HP tries its hand at another gaming desktop PC with the HP HPE h9 Phoenix line. Now that HP’s Voodoo PC division is for all intents and purposes in cryogenic freeze, the h9 Phoenix is Hewlett Packard’s answer to the mid-level Acer
Predators and Dell XPS 8300 systems in the high-end multimedia and gaming desktop PC space. It has some aggressive styling cues and (some) high-end components, but it’s still more sedate than systems from Alienwar
e or the old HP with VoodooDNA brand.
Design and Features
The HPE h9 chassis uses the same internal structure as the multimedia-oriented HP HPE h8 tower, though the h9 has newly styled exterior panels that give the system a more assertive look. The side panel is perforated and lit so you
The h9 Phoenix has a plethora of options for AMD FX or Intel four and six-core processors, four DIMM slots with a capacity of 16GB of DDR3 system memory, support for 250W graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia, up to three hard drives, options for SSD, top mounted USB 3.0 ports, HP Beats Audio, HP LinkUp software, 7.1 surround sound capability, and optional liquid cooling. Other options include HDTV tuner, wireless keyboard and mouse, Bluetooth, and up to two DVD or Blu-ray drives. can show off the liquid cooled processor, the front panel comes with menacing red accent lighting, and the top panel features a “landing pad” on the top of the system to park your smartphone or media player and headphones. The top also features a pair of super speed USB 3.0 ports for syncing and charging. It will certainly stand out on a store shelf compared to the basic HP Pavilion PCs, but the h9 Phoenix is still understated compared to systems like the Acer Predator. To really stand out, HP needs to take a page from their history and release a truly stunning system like the HP Blackbird 002 or the Firebird.
The HP HPE h9 Phoenix starts at $999.99 for a system with an eight-core AMD FX-8100 processor, 8GB of system memory, 1TB hard drive, 1GB AMD Radeon HD 7670 graphics card, Blu-ray reader, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 15 months of Norton Internet Security, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Look for a review soon.