The Bottom Line
Feb 25 2013 - HP's Envy h8-1430 is one of the more affordable options out there for its performance lineup but it makes a number of sacrifices to its features to have its lower price. In particular, the graphics subsystem lacks much 3D performance that it isn't really suited for anyone that might consider using it for PC gaming even at a casual level. The memory setup is also an odd choice as it actually hurts performance compared to many of its competitors. There are some bright spots in that it has good general performance from its quad core Intel processor and the wireless networking features make it easy to setup.
- Good General Performance From Quad Core Intel Processor
- Wireless Networking With Bluetooth
- Low End Graphics Card Offers Limited Benefits
- Slower Memory With Odd Configuration That Reduces Performance
- Intel Core i5-3350P Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 10GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 2TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 620 Graphics Card With 1GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Four USB 3.0, Four USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA, 15-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 8, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP ENVY h8-1430
Feb 25 2013 - The HP ENVY h8-1430 fills sort of an in-between space between their lower end Pavilion systems and the higher range ENVY performance lineup. It uses the same base features and functions but comes with a bit less in terms of items so that it can make its more affordable $780 price tag.
Powering the HP ENVY h8-1430 is the Intel Core i5-3350P quad core processor. This is a bit slower than the more ubiquitous i5-3570 that is found on many systems in this price range. In terms of performance, it does a fine job at most tasks but is just a bit slower at getting things done. This is really only goin to matter for those doing more demanding tasks like desktop video editing though. HP has matched up an odd 10GB of DDR3 memory to the processor which does provide a smooth overall experience with Windows. In addition to this odd amount that fills up three of the memory slots is the choice of slower 1333MHz memory compared to 1600MHz. It would have been better for consumers if HP had elected to use 8GB of 1600MHz memory which would be a bit more effective and provide better memory upgrade options.
The storage system for the HP ENVY h8-1430 is fairly typical for most non-budget desktops. It features a two terabyte hard drive which provides a lot more space for applications, data and media files compared to many systems in its price range that use a single terabyte. The drive spins at 7200rpm spin rate which offers it good performance but it falls short of the newer and more expensive ENVY Phoenix h9 systems that feature a 16GB solid state cache particular during boot sequences. If you do need additional space, there are a total of four USB 3.0 (two top, two back) ports for use with high speed external drives. A standard dual-layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD and DVD media while there is a multi-card reader for use with the most common types of flash media drives for digital peripherals.
The graphics system is probably the most disappointing aspect of the HP ENVY h8-1430. It uses a dedicated graphics card but it is a very low end NVIDIA GeForce GT 620. This does provide better 3D performance over the integrated Intel HD Graphics built into the Core i5 processor but it still isn't really something for PC gaming because it is restricted to lower resolutions such as 1366x768 and lower and often at low detail levels. The one advantage that it provides is the ability to accelerate a broader range of non-3D applications while the Intel HD Graphics can only help with media encoding. While it is possible to upgrade the graphics card to a higher model, buyer's would probably be better spending more for a higher level of ENVY system that already features an upgraded card and other specs.
Like most of the HP desktop systems, the ENVY h8 does come with a wireless networking card in the system to allow for easy networking within a home. The only downside is that that card they use does not support the 5GHz radio spectrum for some of the 802.11n networking and the 802.11a equipment. It does feature Bluetooth for use with wireless peripherals but the keyboard and mouse are both wired USB models.
Price at $780, the HP ENVY h8-1430 is clearly one of the more affordable options on the market even though it does sacrifice some features. There are a number of other systems at this price point that offer some different options. The ASUS CM1855 uses the AMD FX-8300 eight core processor with 16GB of memory but sacrifices storage space and wireless networking. The Avatar Gaming A1077 uses the AMD A10 quad core processor also with 16GB of memory, half the hard drive space and no wireless. Both the ASUS and Avatar does come with a much faster Radeon HD 7770 graphics card though.