The HP Pavilion Slimline s5660f PC is a slim desktop computer with a good selection of multimedia features, including a Blu-ray drive and a TV tuner. It also has dedicated graphics, a 2.9GHz AMD CPU and 6GB of RAM. Because of this, it makes an excellent accessory to any home theater setup.
The HP s5660f PC has a smaller footprint and more compact body than a traditional desktop, which means you can put this computer anywhere, including as part of your home theater system, and it will fit right in. The whole body measures 15.9 x 4.4 x 12.3-inches and has a sleek black paint job that makes it look quite nice.
On the backside of the unit, you'll find a great deal of ports. There are four USB 2.0, one S/PDIF digital audio output, Ethernet, and audio ports for speakers, subwoofers, and the usual line in/out with microphone port. There is a DVI connector for video out, but also an HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV, which is a huge plus. The front panel has a 6-in-1 media card reader, two more USB ports, one headphone jack and an IR receiver for the included remote control. A TV tuner card is installed in the one PCI Express slot this system has and is capable of receiving ATSC/NTSC/QAM TV programming. 802.11b/g/n wireless networking is also built-in, meaning you can connect this computer to the Internet without any wires if you have a home network.
The only thing that might be considered missing on this system is a optical audio out, which would round off the HP Pavilion Slimline S5660f's port selection to include ever possible home theater-related connection option. This is, however, only a minor downside as you've got basically every other audio possibility covered already.
Some of the HP Pavilion Slimline S5660f's specifications include an AMD Phenom II X4-830 quad-core CPU clocked at 2.9GHz and 6GB of DDR RAM installed (up to 16GB supported). A 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive is also installed, but we were disappointed that it isn't 7200RPM, which would give faster read/write speeds. HP also includes a tray-loading SuperMulti Blu-ray optical disc drive with LightScribe. This means you can read Blu-ray discs (but not write to them) and read/write DVDs and CDs. The Blu-ray disc drive further enhances this computer's use in a home theater setup. The graphics card installed is an ATI Radeon HD5450 with 512MB of dedicated memory. The audio card is also high-definition with support for up to 8-channels of audio.
The large RAM and hard drive allow you to use the system's TV tuner card to watch, pause, and record live TV broadcasts just like you would on your cable or satellite provider's DVR. The included wireless IR media center remote makes this easy and just like the experience you'd have on a DVR. This is yet another reason to use this computer in conjunction with an HDTV.
HP pre installs a copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) onto this computer, but they also include a lot of bloatware and trialware, which is something HP is famous for doing. They've included CyberLink DVD, Microsoft Works 9, Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition 2007 (60-day trial), Norton Internet Security 2010 (60-day trial), Norton Online Backup (30-day trial), HP WildTangent games and many links on the desktop for services like Netflix, AOL, and Snapfish.
Performance with the HP Slimline S5660f is extremely good, especially when watching Blu-ray movies. Performing processor-intensive tasks, like video encoding, also performed extremely well. Thanks to the discrete graphics card, you can also do some 3D gaming too on this computer.