We're not saying that the HP Pavilion Elite m9500y belongs in a pile of garbage. Far from it, in fact. At first glance, the spread of components you get for the price ($939) seems pretty decent: a 2.4GHz AMD Phenom Quad Core processor, a full 8GB of DDR2 RAM, a dedicated Nvidia 9500GS graphics card, 750GB of storage, and a wireless LAN card.
Unfortunately for HP, opinions change when you compare it with other systems like the Dell XPS 430-121B, which gives you faster DDR3 Ram, a more aggressive CPU, and trades Wi-Fi for a TV tuner card. Truly, the only advantage that the more expensive HP has over the Dell is the video card, which will only interest gamers and video editors.
On the other hand, if you fall into that category, chances are you've already read our review of the Gateway LX 6810-01 that actually gives you a better video card, the 1GB NVIDIA GEForce GT120, for just $779.
We're not saying that the m9500y deserves a punch in the mouth; it's just that there are other systems out there that give you a better deal for your dollar.
Check out our full review of the HP Pavilion Elite m9500y.