The Bottom Line
Feb 26 2013 - HP is certainly forward thinking with some of the features on the ENVY Phoenix h9. The inclusion of a solid state cache drive helps the system to really feel faster than many similar systems that have faster processors. They also try to balance out the features by including items such as dual band wireless and Bluetooth. The problem is that the system offers some odd decisions like the memory configuration which is detrimental to the overall performance once applications are loaded. The addition of the lighting is also less useful for those that might want to use the HDTV tuner with a home theater system.
- SSD Caching Helps Improved Boot and Access Times
- HDTV Tuner
- Wireless Networking With Bluetooth
- Slower Memory With Odd Configuration That Reduces Performance
- Case Lighting Can Be Distracting Especially For Those Using It With A Home Theater
- Intel Core i5-3570K Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 10GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 2TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive With 16GB Solid State Cache
- Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
- AMD Radeon HD 7670 Graphics Card With 1GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Four USB 3.0, Eight USB 2.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, 15-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 8, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP ENVY Phoenix h9-1335
Feb 25 2013 - HP's ENVY Phoenix h9 is the company's latest of the high end performance desktops to come to market. The case has been redesigned somewhat from past ENVY model to a lighter color and more ventilation openings. It also brings back colored lighting that shows through the vents which can appeal to some gamers but makes it a bit of a distraction to those that might use it in darker areas and near home theater setups.
Since this is the more budget oriented of the HP ENVY Pheonix h9 series, the h9-1335 uses a more sedate Intel Core i5-3570K quad core processor. This does provide it with a good level of performance that can take on most tasks but it is a slower at the more demanding tasks such as desktop video work than competing systems that are built around the Core i7 processors. It is theoretically unlocked for overclocking although the ability to do this is limited within the motherboard hardware. The memory configuration is very confusing however. It features 10GB of DDR3 memory that is achieved through two 4GB and one 2GB modules. The problem is that this breaks the dual-channel configuration which means that when combined with 1333MHz modules results in slower overall memory bandwidth than if the system had just used 8GB of faster 1600MHz memory.
HP does differentiate itself with the storage of the ENVY Phoenix h9-1335. It still comes with a very large two terabyte hard drive that provides a good deal of space for data. What is different is the inclusion of a small 16GB solid state drive that acts as cache for the primary drive. This helps improve the boot times of the computer considerably over those that rely just on a hard drive. It also speeds up frequently loaded applications as well. If you do need additional space, there are four USB 3.0 (two top, two back) ports for use with high speed external storage drives. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media while a flash card reader supports the most common memory cards from digital peripherals.
The graphics for the HP Phoenix h9-1335 are handled by and AMD Radeon HD 7670 graphics card. This is a lower range card for this price range and provides a modest level of performance. Those looking to use the system for PC gaming may get older titles to run at 1920x1080 resolutions common to most monitors but many newer games will require lower resolutions and detail levels. The card does provide it with a a fair amount of acceleration for non-3D applications such as Photoshop or digital video encoding. If you want a more powerful graphics card, the power supply does supply up to 600 watts which can support some of the higher end video cards on the market. In addition to a graphics card, the system also comes with a TV tuner card for use with an over the air HDTV tuner. This may appeal to a few individuals but the design of the system is not well suited for a home theater setup.
With a price point just under $1000, the HP Phoenix h9-1335 has a fair number of competing systems but most of them are more suited for PC gaming. These include the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1372 and the iBUYPOWER Gamer Extreme NE731i. Both are priced around $950 and use the same Intel processor but with 8GB of memory. The big difference is that they offer less storage space (1TB for the Cyberpower and 500GB for the iBUYPOWER) but offer much stronger 3D graphics (Radeon HD 7850 for the CyberPower and GeForce GTX 660 for the iBUYPOWER). In terms of more general purpose, the Lenovo IdeaCentre K430 can be found for a bit less but uses a more powerful i7-3770 processor with 12GB of memory and a GeForce GT 640 graphics card.