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My experience with the HP EliteDesk Gaming PC: Intel i5 + GTX 1660 Super (2024)

My thoughts on the HP Gaming PC: performance, storage, customization, and overall value
Jim Grendler

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


November 16, 2023


I received the HP EliteDesk Tower 2 weeks ago, which I chose as my main gaming and work PC. It promised the specs of a gaming powerhouse without breaking the bank. Below is my experience with it so far.


Property Value Property Value
Specific Uses For Product Gaming Brand HP
Personal computer design type Computer Tower Operating System Windows 10 Pro
Memory Storage Capacity 512 GB Ram Memory Installed Size 16 GB
Model Name EliteDesk Tower Included Components Mouse, Keybord
CPU Model Core i5 Color 16G/512G SSD + 3T


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Performance and Gaming Experience with the HP EliteDesk Tower

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When it comes to gaming PCs, the HP EliteDesk Tower has proven to be a mixed bag for me. On one hand, its impressive specs, including an Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super graphics card, suggest a machine capable of handling most of the latest games.

Here’s a quick rundown of my experience:

  • Performance: The 3.6GHz Core i5 and 16GB of RAM keep everything running smoothly for the most part.

  • Gaming: It delivers over 60 fps on many popular titles at medium settings, which is respectable.

  • Graphic Intensity: When things get graphically intense, there are noticeable drops in frame rates.

I’ve put this computer through its paces with a variety of games. Titles like Fortnite and League of Legends run without a hitch, often exceeding the 60 fps mark. However, once I push the settings to high for more demanding games like Elden Ring, I’ve noticed some performance drops. This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it does mean you might have to tweak settings for an optimal experience.

The GTX 1660 Super is a competent card, but it’s worth mentioning that in some instances, the performance hasn’t quite met my expectations. For example, running GTA V with mods put a significant strain on the system, leading to less-than-ideal frame rates.

In terms of raw power, the EliteDesk is a solid performer. It offered a significant upgrade over my previous lower-end setup, and the speed at which games load is impressive. I particularly appreciate the fast boot times, thanks to the SSD onboard. Multiple USB ports and the inclusion of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are bonuses that make my life easier.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While initially quiet, the system has developed a bit of a hum over time. Also, I’ve experienced a couple of concerning hiccups, like the machine refusing to turn on or booting directly to BIOS—clear signs of instability.

Despite these issues, when the system is up and running, the gaming experience is really enjoyable. I didn’t expect to hit a whopping 160 fps in some of the less demanding games, but that was a pleasant surprise.

I’m quite satisfied with how the EliteDesk handles my daily transcoding and streaming tasks as well. While this isn’t a powerhouse that’s going to blow the most expensive rigs out of the water, it stands its ground as a reliable and versatile machine that balances power and functionality—with a few caveats.

Storage and Speed: Navigating a Hybrid Drive Setup

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Managing storage and ensuring fast access to data are key to a seamless computing experience, especially when using a PC for diverse tasks like gaming, video editing, and multimedia. This HP gaming PC promises a hybrid drive setup—coupled with the speed of a 512GB SSD for your operating system and most-used programs, and a generous 3TB HDD for additional storage of larger files and games.

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of this setup:


  • Fast boot and load times thanks to the SSD.

  • Plenty of space for games, videos, and files on the HDD.

  • Good price-to-storage ratio.


  • Potential management needed between two drives.

  • SSD space may be insufficient for users with extensive software.

  • HDDs are slower than SSDs, which may affect file access times.

The Intel Core i5 that powers this rig is a robust companion for the hybrid drive, ensuring that it doesn’t become a bottleneck for data-intensive operations like video editing or heavy multitasking. The inclusion of 16GB of RAM is also a good match; it handles current games and applications with ease.

I appreciate the thinking behind the hybrid drive setup. The SSD’s speed is obvious when booting up or loading games—moments where quick data access is king. Meanwhile, the 3TB HDD is spacious enough to store a vast library of media or game files without constantly worrying about running out of space. It’s a good balance between the high price of a large SSD and the slow performance of using just an HDD.

Nevertheless, I notice the need to strategically organize my files. Keeping my operating system and most-used apps on the SSD ensures they benefit from the speed increase, while less frequently used items go on the HDD. It’s something to consider if you’re not the type to keep an eye on where things are saved.

There’s also the potential of the SSD feeling cramped if you’re a heavy user. With games now often exceeding 50GB, that 512GB can get used up faster than you’d think, meaning you might need to offload some of them to the slower HDD, affecting load times.

While peace of mind is provided by the 1-year parts and labor warranty and lifetime tech support, it’s also noteworthy that the setup isn’t immune to issues. The long wait for shipping and the unlikely situation of it refusing to power on (which happened to me after a short while), can be frustrating, although the return and refund process proved relatively painless.

Infinite storage space and hyperspeed access remain a fantasy for now, but this system strikes a reasonable balance between cost and performance. The hybrid solution gives the flexibility needed for a broad range of uses, from gaming to professional applications, satisfying both my inner gamer and productivity enthusiast.

Customization and Upgrade Potential

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When I first got my hands on the HP EliteDesk Tower, the range of upgradable options caught my attention. The default configuration with its Intel Core i5 processor and 16GB of RAM seemed more than sufficient for my day-to-day tasks, but knowing that I could amp up the specs in the future was reassuring. Here’s a rundown of the customization and upgrade potential that I found significant:

  • Processor: The provided Core i5 can handle a variety of tasks, but if needed, there’s the possibility to upgrade within the Intel ecosystem for more demanding applications.

  • RAM: The 16GB of memory is ample for gaming and multitasking, though additional slots allow for future memory upgrades.

  • Storage: The combination of a 512GB SSD with a 3TB HDD offers speed and ample storage space, and both can be upgraded or replaced if necessary.

  • Graphics Card: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super is a solid mid-range card. However, if you’re looking to push into higher-end gaming, the option to switch out the GPU is a big plus.

Now, let’s talk drawbacks. The thought of upgrading is great, but the actual process of doing it can be daunting if you’re not tech-savvy. Additionally, while the current specs support most games at medium settings, newer titles or future releases might push the existing hardware to its limits, making those upgrade paths more of a necessity than an option.

I noticed the GTX 1660 Super might not always keep up with the most demanding parts of graphically intense games; I experienced some framerate drops during peak action. Though for now, it does the job quite well, especially if you’re coming from a lower spec machine—like I was. The difference in gaming performance was night and day for me.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical about the durability of the rig since it’s a refurbished model, but it’s been smooth sailing so far. The comfort of having a 1-year parts and labor warranty with lifetime tech support provided some peace of mind. The only real issue I faced was the loud fan noise that developed over time—something to consider if your gaming zone needs to be whisper quiet.

To wrap it up, the HP EliteDesk Tower strikes a balance between out-of-the-box power and the flexibility to transform into a more powerful machine down the line. The RGB lighting and inclusion of a gaming keyboard and mouse are nice touches, but it’s the under-the-hood customizability that really makes this PC stand out as a future-proof investment. Just bear in mind the additional cost and effort that might go into those upgrades if you’re after top-tier gaming performance.

Overall Value and Reliability: Weighing Price Against Performance

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Weighing the price against performance is always a tricky balance, especially when it comes to gaming PCs. Based on my experiences, the HP EliteDesk Tower has a lot to offer but also comes with a few caveats. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons:


  • Versatile use for gaming, office work, and creative tasks.

  • Solid performance in most games, with over 60 FPS in many cases.

  • Ample storage with a 512 GB SSD and 3 TB HDD combo.

  • Good connectivity options.

  • Special features like RGB lighting and included peripherals.


  • Some games need to be set on medium settings for optimal performance.

  • Occasional issues with shipping and unit functionality.

  • Can become loud under heavy load.

  • The GTX 1660 Super may not meet the expectations of hardcore gamers.

Let’s delve into these a bit more.

Starting with the performance, I found that the Intel Core i5 and the GTX 1660 Super combo handled most of the games I threw at it remarkably well. I’m not the most hardcore gamer around, but I appreciate a smooth experience. For example, games like Fortnite and Overwatch ran fine on high settings, but when pushing the limits with modded GTA V, I saw mixed results. It’s clear that while this PC isn’t top-tier, it offers decent gaming capabilities for its price range.

Storage is one thing I’m pretty happy about. The SSD ensures quick boot times and swift game load times, while the HDD provides enough space for an extensive game library and personal media. It’s a great hybrid approach that gives both speed and capacity.

Now, about the fans and noise level – it’s true. The system started quietly, but as the action heated up, so did the volume. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s something to be mindful of if you prefer a silent running machine.

I must address the reliability issues I encountered. A few users have had problems with the unit not turning on after a short period, which can be frustrating, considering the excitement of a new gaming setup. Thankfully, my experience with customer service was quite positive, which softened the blow of any technical issues.

In conclusion, the HP EliteDesk Tower does its job with a couple of hiccups here and there. It’s a good entry to mid-level gaming PC that offers flexibility and a bang for your buck. While it might not cater to the desires of those looking for elite performance, for anyone venturing into the PC gaming world or looking for a reliable workhorse, it’s well worth considering.