Compaq Presario 6470NX
At a Glance
Our system's interior was messier than the insides of other desktops we've seen. Twisted cabling blocked access to drive bay cages; to add or swap out a hard drive, you'll have to push them aside. The two open PCI slots are located between the preinstalled graphics and ethernet cards, so reaching them is a tight squeeze.
The two tall JBL satellite speakers (without subwoofer) stand half as high as the system case itself. Paired with integrated audio, they produced middling sound quality when we listened to vocal music and a movie on DVD. Bass tones came through but lacked oomph. Treble notes sounded a bit flat.
The ATI Radeon 9000 graphics board is a couple of generations behind the cutting edge, but it produced above-average frame rates and good image quality. Serious gamers will probably want faster performance, however. Compaq's Presario 6000 line (of which this model is part) is not customizable, though PCs in other Presario lines can be built to order.
The keyboard accompanying the 6470NX felt solid. Typing on it was quiet and sure, and it has several hot-keys for launching Web sites and e-mail programs. Compaq's documentation includes a general-purpose user's guide that covers both the Presario 6000 and 8000 lines, plus a setup poster. The manual covers troubleshooting and component upgrades. An additional manual offers ergonomic recommendations.