HP produced one of the most affordable ways of getting an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with its Pavilion TG01-2170m gaming PCs. The pricing has shifted around a bit, but for a long time, it was the cheapest way of getting a GPU that will handle 1080p gaming maxed out for a few years to come.
Unfortunately, HP finally realised this was too good a deal and has removed that option from the configuration screen. That machine now tops out with a GTX 1660 Super—still a decent card for 1080p gaming, but it's no RTX 3060.
The only real problem with that original machine is it uses a quad-core Ryzen 5300G, which is an excellent budget chip, but compromises have had to be made in order to squeeze the integrated graphics into its package. Basically, you will see a performance delta between that chip and what you'll find with this HP Pavilion desktop PC, which is home to an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 processor.
The Intel Core i5 11400 you'll find in the HP Pavilion TG01-2260xt is a full six-core, 12-thread CPU with a base frequency of 2.6GHz and a boost clock of 4.4GHz. The really good news is that this machine still has the option to upgrade the parts on the configuration screen to use an RTX 3060. In order to do this, you will need to upgrade the power supply as well, which will add an extra $30 to the price.
HP Pavilion TG01-2260xt | Intel Core i5 11400| RTX 3060 Ti | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD |
$1,369.99 $1,169.99 at HP (save $200)
Set the graphics card to an RTX 3060 Ti, the PSU to the 500W model and the SSD to the 512GB SSD + 32GB Optane memory option in the configuration screen, and you'll end up with an excellent 1080p/1440p gaming PC. You'll do well to find anything that even comes close to the power offered here, especially if you upgrade the memory as well.
Once you've selected the 500W power supply you'll be able to choose either an RTX 3060 (taking the total to $929) or even an RTX 3060 Ti, which bumps the total up to $1,129. That's a lot more than this machine's starting price, but it's still not a bad price to pay for the core components here.
I'd recommend upgrading the storage while you're at it. By default, the machine comes with a fairly paltry 256GB SSD, but for a mere $40 extra you can upgrade this to a 512GB Intel SSD and benefit from a 32GB Intel Optane memory boost as well. Upgrading to 16GB of RAM would also be preferable too, although at $100 this is an upgrade worth doing yourself.
Overall then, you can transform the base specification of this machine from a fine, but uninspiring gaming machine with a 1650 Super and a 256GB SSD up to a 3060 Ti powerhouse with a 512GB SSD. With a final price of $1,169, that's not much to pay for a decent core spec, despite the lowly 8GB of RAM.