HP Pavilion Review

7.4 Total Score

The 2021 Newest HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop is priced to sell and designed to impress, offering smooth 1080p gaming action in a compact design. Again, its hardware can handle a broad range of everyday tasks alongside good connectivity.

  • Well priced
  • Plenty of power for 1080p gaming
  • Compact size
  • Good front port selection
  • Not designed for tool-less upgrades
  • Cooling fans are audible while gaming

Most pre-built gaming desktops that we see use a too-predictable formula: Intel CPU, Nvidia graphics card. That’s why we’re excited by the chance to review the HP Pavilion (2021), which fuses the best of both worlds: a Ryzen CPU and a dedicated Nvidia GPU. For the price, the Pavilion model we’re reviewing packs some impressive value.

HP HP Gaming PC Specs

CPUAMD 6-Core Ryzen 5 3500
GPUGeForce GTX 1650 Super 4 GB
Storage256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Weight16.32 pounds
Size‎20 x 16 x 12 inches


HP Gaming PC front

With a design similar to last year’s HP Pavilion TG01-1022, the HP Pavilion gaming desktop looks attractive with a classy faceplate with inverted V-shaped patterns and a customizable LED lighting at the bottom, next to an HP logo. If you need a desktop that looks great on your desk, you should seriously start from here.

At 16.32 pounds and 16 x 12 x 20 inches, the HP Pavilion is slightly lighter and looks way sleeker than Dell’s competing budget gaming PC, the G5 gaming desktop, which weighs. 16.7 pounds and measures 14.45 x 6.65 x 12.12 inches. Perhaps the main difference between the HP Pavilion Gaming desktop and the Dell G5 desktops is that the former offers customizable LED lighting.

It includes a decent number of ports as well, including four USB 3.1 ports, one USB Type-C port, four USB 2.0 ports, an RJ 45 Ethernet port, a headphone jack, and a built-in card reader. On the Nvidia GTX 1650 Super graphics card you have an HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort, just in case you need to do a dual-monitor setup.  

Also bundled into the HP gaming pc are a standard keyboard and mouse, and while they aren’t gaming gear, at least HP included something. However, the package doesn’t include a monitor, should you need one, the 24-inch Dell S2421HGF is worth a look.


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The right combination of price and performance is what sells this HP gaming computer. The inclusion of an AMD 6-core Ryzen 5 3500 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (with 4GB) Super graphics card, 8GB RAM, a 256 GB SSD and Windows 10 Home (high-end machines comes with Windows 10 Pro, though) makes it a strong entry-level gaming contender and a solid workhorse among machines in its price range.

These specs allow the HP Gaming PC to drum up butter-smooth 1080p gaming performance in today’s demanding titles. That’s with the visual settings maxed to high, if you crank the setting to ultra, the visual quality will take a hit. Still, few desktops in this price range can claim to do that.

HP Pavilion ports

In real world gaming, the Nvidia GTX 1650 Super graphics card delivers decent frame rates per second: Far Cry New Dawn (79 fps – high; 72 fps – Ultra), Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (54 fps – med; 27 fps – high), and Shadow of the Tomb Raider (85 fps – med; 72 fps – high), all played at 1080p resolution.

Most of us will be buying the HP gaming desktop for the simple reason it can be used as a gaming hub at home or a productivity center-piece at the workplace. However, if you’re simply buying a gaming PC, the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8060A10 is a better alternative.

The CyberpowerPC Gamer delivers better performance, thanks to its Intel Core i5-10400F CPU, GeForce GTX 1660 Super (6GB) graphics card, 8GB RAM, and 500GB SSD storage, in a practical case that supports future upgrades.

Bottom Line

The HP Pavilion gaming PC range serves up effective everyday productivity computers, and the 2021 model we’re reviewing stands out with some gaming capabilities. This machine can handle pretty much everything: web browsing, schoolwork, office applications, some content creation, and with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, modern AAA gaming is very possible, too.

This gaming variant is especially worth considering if you want a small home PC to handle esports titles and mainstream games, but we really wouldn’t recommend the GTX 1650 for serious pro-gaming. In that case, we recommend the Asus ROG Strix GA15DK for midrange gaming, the HP Omen 30L (GT13-0090) for pro-gaming and professional content creation, or the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8060A10 for enthusiast gamers.

Otherwise, if you want a desktop PC for both gaming and work at a very reasonable price, the HP Gaming PC (2021) gaming desktop crosses out almost everything else from that list that you’d reasonably want in a budget machine.

Last update on 2024-07-15 at 22:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

HP Pavilion Review
HP Pavilion Review
Digital Weekly