HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9z
A gaming desktop solution
We’ve all started seeing gaming desktops as these devices with bad performance in tests and price that’s either too expensive or too cheap. But many manufacturers of such products have started to show them to us, consumers, in a completely new light. And then along came HP and did the opposite thing. The company’s Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9z has, besides a long name, an expensive price tag and a bad performance. But don’t let it convince you that great gaming desktops are a rarity. In the following review we’ll have a look at just how modest this product is.
Not impressive design
With the Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9z, Hewlett Packard tries to introduce a new case. Its appearance is stylized as a means of most likely looking different than other gaming desktops. But it doesn’t really make a splash. We weren’t left with our mouth hanging open when having a go at it. Angles look rather dramatic. But that is basically all in terms of “innovative” looks. We’ve definitely seen more aesthetically pleasing gadgets for gamers.
This model has an important absence from its list of components. A liquid processor cooler. You can buy one for $60, if you feel like. But you shouldn’t have to in the first place, since HP promised a built-in cooler when they presented the Phoenix h9z during this year’s CES.
The system’s AMD FX-8100 chip will have to be overclocked by the user herself or himself. And it can be done even in the absence of a liquid cooler. Frequency, though, will remain low. But returning for a bit to that chip we just mentioned at the end of the product review. It should be replaced. Its presence makes the Phoenix h9z perform badly compared with other tested devices. Alienware gaming desktops that cost little are actually better than this one made by HP. Which is completely embarrassing. Sure, you have an eight-core processor, but so what? It won’t help you deliver great performance.
But, at the end of the day, this system is a standard full-tower. That implies a better degree of expandability. Case in point: 2 free 1x PCI Express card slots, enough space for 3 hard drives and the presence of 4 memory slots. The fact that the system sports a power supply of 600W is a testament to a really steady GPU. A full-length card is fully supported by the Phoenix h9z.
Weak performance in 3D mode
3D performance is bad. When it shouldn’t be; because, after all, this is a product that should be used by gamers alone. Far Cry 2 didn’t even succeed in hitting 60fps. On the other hand, games that are simpler won’t have this kind of issues. So all’s not lost in the Phoenix h9z kingdom. So as long as you stay away from demanding titles, you’ll have a jolly good time. And it does not look like future Phoenix gaming desktops will be able to play those competitive games we mentioned.
Connectivity options are the basic ones. Like 2 DVI ports, 1 pair of USB 3.0 jacks, 7.1 analog jacks, one miniHDMI jack, USB 2.0 ports, a set of audio jacks and a S/PDIF digital audio output. But other than those we just talked about, it does not feel like the system should have many more. Warranty for labor and parts is the usual 1-year period.
Don’t have doubts about the HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9z. It won’t do as a gaming desktop. The cons it features are far too many to be that easily forgotten.