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HP Pavilion 500281 Desktop Review: A CPU with Great Graphics

The 500281 desktop computer by HP is a budget gaming setup that is able to handle even the toughest games and applications. Equipped with a 3.4 GHz Intel processor and 4GBs of RAM and an onboard HD graphics 4400, this is the perfect computer for gaming and handling everyday tasks.

Our Verdict: We were surprised to find so many top of the line components in a rig that’s so reasonably priced. A great buy for the avid gamer in need of a reliable rig that won’t lag or overheat, we recommend this model to any potential buyer in search of a tough and fast PC that’s highly upgradeable and designed to take on even the most graphically demanding online games. You really can’t beat a PC that’s designed to handle so much at once, for such a low price.

Keep on reading to learn more about this leading PC from HP and why it earned such a high rating from gamers for speed and performance.

Overview and Features

This model is equipped with a 1 TB hard drive, so it’s pretty fast and features top of the line components that don’t come cheap.

Weighing in at just fifteen pounds this HP desktop is a total space saver that can easily fit on most desks and workspaces.

This package also comes with:

  • Windows 7
  • Wired mouse
  • Full-size keyboard
  • 7-in-1 media card reader which is located on the face of the tower.
HP Pavilion 500281 Desktop PC

Gamer Product Rating: (4.5/5)

HP Pavilion 500281 Desktop

  • Fourth Generation Intel Core dual processor
  • Multitasking capabilities
  • High-Definition
  • Built-in card reader slot
  • NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards
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Overall, this is a model that’s a strong contender in this price range and it’s definitely a good option for consumers on a tight budget. With the ability to play challenging games with no lag, this is a PC designed for a number of tasks that it can handle well while also providing you with a better gaming experience.


The computer’s top of the line processor offers a lightning-fast performance, which is why this machine is able to effortlessly handle multitasking, juggling a variety of programs at once, without breaking stride. This includes power hungry photo editing programs, high-def videos, and online gaming.

The included NVIDIA graphics card is what provides a more realistic gaming experience. Buyers can also opt for the AMD high-graphics card, which delivers similar image quality as the NVIDIA graphics card, but at a lower price, especially when you compared it to higher priced models that don’t deliver this type of image quality, such as the CYBERPOWERPC GAMER ULTRA GUA880. Of course, these graphics card options were huge selling points for gamers.

Quality Sound

For surround sound quality this HP features a DTS soundcard that includes EQ settings so you can make the necessary adjustments for better sound quality.


This PC comes with a one-year product warranty on defects and all parts.

Upgradable Design

Gamers will appreciate the fact that this model is upgradeable, which means you can swap out the graphics card or add more memory, later down the line, when your budget allows.


Upon purchase, you can choose from the latest, top of the line intel processors that are able to multitask easily, just like a higher priced rig. The PC is able to handle photo editing software programs, HDh3 video, and graphically demanding video games.



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As we mentioned earlier, this PC is capable of handling a wide variety of applications at the same time. It can be used for gaming, office work, writing, streaming, and much more. During use, you won’t have to worry about lags or screen freezes, this computer is just that powerful.

Excellent Support

HP Support Assistant is a handy tool that’s built right into this PC. It will provide customer support and also includes great troubleshooting guides that you can rely on for simple, fast fixes if you run into any issues.

Intel Core Processor

As we mentioned, this is one power-packed rig. It comes with a fourth-generation Intel Core that’s designed to deliver a top of the line performance. The dual-core processor allows users to enjoy multitasking, stunning visuals, a faster speed, and top-notch security that will allow you to enjoy your favorite music, movies, or try your hand at online gaming.

Advantages & Disadvantages


  • Fourth Generation Intel Core dual processor
  • Multitasking capabilities
  • High-Definition
  • Built-in card reader slot
  • NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards


  • In order to prevent lags or screen freezes, you may need to adjust your online game’s settings to low or medium, depending on the game.

Related Questions

Can This Rig Handle Any Type of Online Game?

One issue some gamers noted involved screen lags that would occur with certain online games, such as World of Warcraft. For this particular game, it was noted that the settings made need to be adjusted to medium, in order to prevent the screen from freezing or lags in the stream. This is a common issue that most gamers encounter with online games from time to time and it’s not really an issue that’s exclusive to this PC. To learn more about gaming PCs and what you can expect regarding performance, click here to read our buyer’s guide.

What’s the Sound Quality Like?

This model is considered very flexible and features immersive surround sound and plenty of storage space. It’s also definitely much faster and more powerful than most models in this price range. The numerous USB ports and built-in card reader slot also give you more reason to buy, in a versatile PC that you can upgrade down the line.

HP Pavilion 500281 Conclusion and Rating

Gamer Product Rating: (4.5/5)

HP Pavilion 500281 DesktopTo sum up our HP Pavilion 500281 Desktop review, while the modern look of the computer’s casing may be the first thing that stands out for most potential buyers, once you start gaming, you’ll be blown away by the speed and power this model has to offer. If you’re an avid gamer then you can definitely appreciate the graphics card options and the faster than average dual-core processor design. Because this is such a flexible PC you can multitask with no fear of screen freezes and enjoy a challenging game that allows you to explore every detail like never before. It’s also easy to set up, even for beginners, thanks to the detailed step-by-step instructions. The included warranty can also give buyers confidence in this type of large purchase and the HP customer support team is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to guide you through any issues and help you troubleshoot any problems you may encounter. We gave this model a rating of four and a half out of five stars.

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