HP has put plenty of thought into the internal design of the PC. In order to keep the machine cool, quiet and compact, it uses several parts normally found inside laptop computers. The main players are the 1.6GHz AMD Turion 64 TL-52 processor, and a couple of 1GB SO-DIMM laptop memory modules.
Graphics duties are handled by an Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics chip, which again, was originally designed for a laptop. It has 256MB of its own dedicated video memory, but can draw a further 256MB from system memory should you require a bit of extra oomph. It won't be rubbing shoulders with any Alienware or Dell XPS systems, but it'll let you indulge in the odd bout of Half-Life 2.
The TouchSmart IQ770's performance is average. It felt occasionally sluggish in everyday use, but this never becomes intolerable. Its laptop-oriented components helped it achieve a PCMark 2005 score of 3,765 -- about what we'd expect from a mid-range laptop.
Graphics performance was slightly more impressive: the Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 clocked up 2,294 in 3DMark 2006, and 19 frames per second in F.E.A.R -- although we had every single graphics enhancement on the maximum setting, plus anti-aliasing at 4x and anisotropic filtering on 8x. It won't shy away from most games, provided you do without the fancy effects.
On the whole, we find the PC's performance acceptable, but this is definitely not the sort of PC you'd want to edit hi-def video on. And don't even think about upgrading it with faster components unless you're extremely confident with PC hardware.
You can easily get a better-specced normal PC for the same money, but that misses the point. The IQ770 is simply one cool piece of kit. Having a Media Center machine in your kitchen is probably the height of decadence, but if you've got the money to burn and don't want to play the latest games at the highest quality settings, you won't be disappointed.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide