Wednesday, 22 February 2012

HP Vectra VL420 Obsevations & Review

HP Vectra VL420 - Overview

The HP VL420 is an aged tower PC that is now way out of date, but will if upgraded quiet happily run windows 7, for office based tasks. It is highly expandable, with a fair few PCI slots and three drive bays, although you are limited to four ide / PATA connectors (2 primary 2 secondary)

HP Vectra VL420 - Max Processor

When I first aquired a vl42o it had a 1.6GHZ 478 socket pentium 4 with a rather small cooler, however, came by a 2.8 GHZ and installed that which made it quiet usable, the FSB is only 400, so don't expect wirl wind performance like I say this is an old PC.

HP Vectra VL420 - Memory

The vectra takes PC133 dimms and will take up to 3 GB is you can find 1 GB dimms, although I would say there is little point you may aswell stick at 3 x 512 (1.5GB) which is plenty. Memeroy management in windows 7 will utilse the full 3 GB, which can onlt mean for a smoother ride.

HP Vectra VL420 - Hard Drives

One thing I never got to work on my VL420 was the Solid State drive, which I should imgaiune would have eeked out my aged PC's existance for another couple of years. I made life difficult for myself by opting for a forwards compatable SATA drive, which is not native to XP (prefered OS) and the VL420 is IDE native, so I had to try and boot from a Fastrack PCI Sata Card one thing you might try for simplicity is an Iomax IDE to SATA convertor, which will mimic an IDE drive rather than having to install SATA drivers etc. I did try slip stream drivers in to an XP disk to get the SATA Acard to boot but it was a very time consuming and fruitless exercise.

HP Vectra VL420 - For Gaming

I am not an avid gamer, but I did try out unreal tournament 2004 once, which looked pretty glossy and I was able to play is glitch free at reasonable resolutions. 800 x 600, with a 256MB AGP grahics card (ATI).

HP Vectra VL420 - Conclusions

The vectra is way past its best but if you can pick one up for cheap on ebay it will certainly last you a while if used for office based tasks, it will handle multiple programs, multiple monitors, 2 hard drives with mirroring and served me well for 3 years.

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