HP’s New HPE-h9 Phoenix: HP’s Gaming Threat?

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For the longest time, HP hasn’t much cared for the gamer and enthusiast segments of the market, refusing to stock or equip their Pavilion Elite line of desktops with the best and brightest of AMD’s or NVIDIA’s GPU lineup. That attitude slowly seems to be changing with the new Phoenix desktop, which comes with sleek red case lighting and watercooled CPUs.

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-h9 PhoenixHP Pavilion Elite HPE-h9 Phoenix

The new HPE-h9 desktop, which HP is calling the ‘Phoenix’, is the most powerful desktop to hit their consumer lineup yet, and for good reason. Not only can you configure this system with some of Intel’s latest six-core ‘Extreme Edition’ CPUs, but you can also snag a reasonably good graphics card (finally).

While HP isn’t calling the Phoenix a gaming desktop, it’s pretty obvious which segment of the market they aim to go after – it comes with a Knight Rider-esque illuminated red strip on the front of the case, and aggressive red lighting on the inside that peeks out through the sheer venting holes on the unit’s right side.

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-h9 Phoenix HP Pavilion Elite HPE-h9 Phoenix

It’s nice to see HP pursuing more creative and stylish approaches for the Pavilion lineup, which for the past several years has seen only token design changes, and has generally looked extremely dated compared to options from the likes of Dell or Acer/Gateway.

Along the front bottom of the case is a set of silver fins reminiscent of armor plating, with red accent lights showing through each of the blades. The trim carries up along the side, and runs across the top edges. Inside, the system can ship with up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, multi-terabyte hard drives, SSDs, and single-GPU configurations with cards that pull up to 250W of power.

That means that self-named hardcore gamers will probably pass on the Phoenix, but the majority of PC gamers and enthusiasts will likely find a custom ship option to their tastes. Both AMD and Intel CPUs will be available in the Phoenix lineup, as will late-gen graphics cards such as the AMD Radeon HD 7670 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550. Pricing starts at $1149, and the systems will be available this Sunday, January 8th.

Stick around for hands-on article later this afternoon – meanwhile, be sure to check out the full gallery of press images here




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