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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice hardware, interesting layout (cool and quiet). But Windows 8 inhibits productivity
This review will not provide a synopsis of the hardware features that are already available here and at the HP web site, but will focus on and augment that info. Similarly, for detailed analysis of the performance of the CPU and the graphics card for various applications, games and other tasks, you should look to the many web sites providing those assessments and...
Published 22 months ago by Douglas B. Moran

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Compatability issues
I am not a tech person however I purchased this unit August of 2013 and it "crashed" on January 2014. Up to January the unit was working fine. Then in January it started to take longer and longer to boot up. I thought it might be a virus or some such however I was using a security suite along with MALEWAREBYTES and SuperAntiSpyware. Before the unit completely quite I...
Published 10 months ago by Haunted


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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice hardware, interesting layout (cool and quiet). But Windows 8 inhibits productivity, February 6, 2013
This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This review will not provide a synopsis of the hardware features that are already available here and at the HP web site, but will focus on and augment that info. Similarly, for detailed analysis of the performance of the CPU and the graphics card for various applications, games and other tasks, you should look to the many web sites providing those assessments and comparisons. However, I must say I really appreciated the 12 USB connectors (back, front and top) and was intrigued by the unconventional layout to reduce noise and improve cooling.

Caveat: Some of the marketing descriptions make this computer seem more high-end than it is. For example, if you didn't check the specs, you might be expecting an Core i7 instead of an i5.

Caveat: The Radeon HD 7670 graphics card is not a true member of the Radeon HD 7xxx family, but is a rebranded Radeon HD 6670 for the OEM marketplace (a reprehensible but common practice by not just AMD/ATI but nVidia and others). You should ignore this deception and instead focus on whether this card gives you the capabilities that you want/need: There are a number of web sites that give comparisons to other graphics cards (Amazon legitimately doesn't allow external URLs, but the web search is easy). Some classify this card as being at the top of "entry level" performance, while others put it over the threshold into "mid-range".

Correction: Some of the specs for the H9 family say that the CPU is liquid-cooled. This model is not, nor is there any reason that it should be. Aside: The MoBo has a connector whose label is "Pump Fan".

---- Additional Specs ----
This is what came in my computer. YMMV. This information may help you further assess performance, reliability, ...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda model ST2000DM001 (7200.14, SATA 6.0Gb/s, 64MB cache)
SSD: SanDisk SDSA5GK-016G-1006 (16GB) with software ExpressCache by Condusiv (formerly Diskeeper) -- no configuration or management on the part of the user.

"Formosa" Motherboard: manufacturer Pegatron. Software finds the model as "2AD5", but the useful ID is model "IPMMB-FM" (printed on board) for which web search returns extensive details.
Highlights:
- Chipset: Intel Ivy Bridge 7 Series/C216 with Intel Z75
- SATA connectors: 6 total (3 used)
- Note: The PCIe x16 slot is close enough to the first PCIe 1x slot that the Radeon HD 7670 graphics card essentially precludes use of that slot. Any card in that slot would likely block too much of the airflow to the graphics card even though there might be _physical_ room.
- USB 3.0 is supported in the BIOS (eg, if you have your keyboard plugged into a USB 3.0 port, it is seen during the full boot sequence). Expected, but confirming.

Main memory (10GB):
- two (paired) sticks of 4GB each (mfg Micron).
- one stick of 2GB (mfg Hyundai).
- The open slot is very close to the CPU heatsink (see photo I added here). My strong inclination is to leave it open.
- Installed sticks have performance of: PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600K), timings 11-11-11-28. This is better than the listed performance of PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333).
- sticks do not have heat sinks/spreaders (unneeded for _many_ typical uses of this class of computer).

Power Supply: Delta DPS-600WB A (600W max)
Plenty of capacity for expansion but potentially more than you want. It uses 135W (23% capacity) with the system busy: CPU at 100% (Prime 95), playing a DVD movie and copying a 6GB file from one place on the disk to another. At idle, it uses 56W (9% capacity). The general rule is to size the power supply so that it operates at 20-80% capacity.

Warranty: Confirming that you can open the case without voiding the warranty. I have encountered some desksides where this has not been the situation (eg, ASUS).

---- Assessments ----
WiFi+Bluetooth is provided with a Mini PCIe card (half-length = 30 x 26.8 mm) that plugs into a connector on the motherboard (rather than an adapter that plugs into one of the standard PCIe slots on the MoBo). The antennas are internal -- the wires enter a plastic compartment on the top of the case. I was concerned that the obstructions associated with the typical placements of the case would severely degrade the performance of the WiFi, but I was pleasantly surprised. Caveat: WiFi is very much YMMV.
Test 1: In a location in my house where previous WiFi devices had problems even establishing a connection, I was able to maintain a 1Mbps transfer.
Test 2: With a partially filled 2-drawer filing cabinet between it and the WiFi router two rooms away, it slightly out-performed a WiFi dongle positioned above that cabinet.
Test 3: The inSSIDer tool reported a 6-9 dBm stronger signal than I got for several of my USB dongles in the same location.
Note: On various competing computer that have external antennas, I have often found the cable(s) to be barely long enough to reach the desktop immediately above the case. Extension cables are readily available, but attenuate (weaken) the signal (see specs for the specific product).
Note: For those who use a wired connection between your computer and the Internet, but use WiFi to connect that computer to various nearby devices (eg printers, laptops, ...), be aware that Windows 8 has dropped support for ad hoc WiFi networks. Unaware of this capability, most people simply bought an (additional) WiFi router for that location.

Fans/Noise: This computer is surprisingly quiet. I don't have the equipment to take direct measurements, but fan RPM is a good proxy. The fans here are effective at lower RPMs. With an ambient temperature of 71 degrees F:
- The CPU has a radial heat sink and I have observed the fan running at 900-1700 RPM, the latter when the cores are all running at 100% (using Prime 95).
- I have observed the rear exhaust fan running at 1100-1700 RPM.

Cooling: The motherboard is installed "upside down", that is, with the CPU socket at the bottom vs just under the power supply. Originally (ancient times) the fan in the power supply was intended to help exhaust the heat produced by the CPU. But as CPUs generated more heat (used more power), this became a problem because that heat decreased the efficiency of the power supply and shortened the lifespan of its components. There are some (expensive) cases that move the power supply to a separate airflow tunnel at the bottom of the case (eg Antec P280). The HP Envy provides a very interesting alternative. The graphics card becomes a baffle above the CPU and the other big heat producers, largely segregating that airflow from the rest of the case (good) and exhausted by the case fan. This inversion also results in the graphics card (and any other expansion cards) having the components on the top side, enabling convection cooling (in addition to the small fan on the GPU). The heat from this (upper) section -- mostly low power (heat) components -- is primarily vented through the power supply (via its fan).

The disks are mounted _across_ the front of the case and on an incline (see picture), probably to save space but also enabling convective cooling. Vents on the case are positioned to provide good airflow over the disks. As a test, I wrote 80GB to the disk and the temperature was steady (26 degrees C with ambient of 22 C).
Note: The large trapezoidal grill on the lower side is _not_ a vent, but a window.

Power button protection: It is on the top and near the right-hand front corner (facing the case) and is only slightly recessed. The default configuration is that a short press puts the computer to sleep and a long hold (> 4 seconds) powers it off.
Concern: I mention this because I have encountered cases where this button is not adequately protected, resulting in the computer being unintentionally turned off. One (an ASUS) had the button on the front where it could easily be pressed with your leg as you reached over to (un)plug a USB cable at the back. It also was turned off by a cat rubbing up against the case. Other cases have had buttons on top where they were easily pressed by a cat, or small dog, using the case either as a path to the (physical) desktop or as a location where their person can more easily pet them.

BIOS: Minimal settings available, but cover what I regard as the basics. And under "Security Settings", it allows you to disable the individual USB ports (including the built-in memory card reader device). This can be useful to discourage--not prevent--the connection of a flash drive or external disk to copy apps and/or data onto or off of your computer (if this is a concern for you, you can find advice online).

---- The Case ----
The inverted motherboard (see above) has side-effects that won't be an issue for most purchasers, but will be mentioned in case you are the exception. The case opens on the "opposite" side -- on your right when viewed from the front. The back panel connectors that you are accustomed to being at the top (USB, audio, Ethernet) are now at the bottom. But connectors for any PCIe cards will be higher up -- above the clutter of the usual cables.

The connectors on the top (USB3 and audio) are slightly angled upward, leaving room for fingers to comfortably grasp the cables.

The removable side panel closes over a simple lock/cable loop (sheet metal tab with circular hole) as well as having the slot for a traditional security cable (Kensington Laptop type: example).

The top is plastic, presumably to minimize the attenuation of the WiFi antenna underneath.
- It flexes: Discovered when I put my hand on it to help get up after crawling under a desk to route and connect cables.
- If you are using the WiFi, putting things on top of the case might degrade the signal. The plastic is slightly concave, but probably not enough to be an effective reminder of this (convex probably would have been better). Or maybe the shape is intended to allow it to function as a tray? HP doesn't say.
- If your cat or (small) dog treats the top of the case as a good place to be close when you are working on the computer, this is a problem. First, studies on the safety of WiFi signals make assumptions about distance from the antenna. One of my directional WiFi antennas calls for over a foot of separation. Not knowing the specs of the antenna here, I don't know what a reasonable distance, but mere inches seems inadvisable (remember power falls off as the _square_ of the distance). If I had a pet that did this, I would either disable the WiFi or fashion something to keep it off. Second, I suspect that the plastic wasn't designed to accommodate the repeated flexing of a pet getting on and off. If such is unavoidable, I would put a stronger material over it, but recognize that that may decrease access to the connectors on the top.

---- Documentation ----
Do NOT ignore the Quick Setup/Start Guide as being "obvious". There are useful additions that are not highlighted as such.
1. HP provides a utility to copy the Restore Partition to DVDs (5 needed). Windows 8 dropped this capability -- If you use the Control Panel item, backups have to go to a USB flash drive (dedicated 32GB drive required).
2. One of the downloads from HP is the "HP Quick Start" application to get to the traditional Start Menu (however, I decided to use the free "Classic Shell Start Menu").

HP scatters the more detailed product documentation in several places in their web site, so you need to poke around and use web search.

Included is an "introduction" to Windows 8 that equates it to the Metro interface. You will have to look elsewhere for other changes, for example, the purported better support for multiple displays.

---- Unpacking ----
The box can be unpacked from either the top or the bottom. From the top: the unit is light-enough and there are adequate handholds to easily lift out. From the bottom: The items packed on the side are readily handled (few and adequate packed themselves).

---- Windows 8 ----
While Windows 8 should be considered your decision, it doesn't factor into my rating here -- HP doesn't really have a choice on this. More than a month after getting this computer, I am still using my nearly 3 year-old Windows 7 computer for most of my work, and using this computer only for those (few) tasks that significantly benefit from its very substantially greater compute power. I was well aware of the many criticisms of Windows 8 for traditional PC systems, but I badly underestimated just how aggravating it would be. Figuring out the changes for any one particular task isn't that hard, and the number of missing capabilities aren't that large, but the range of tasks and a range of apps I deal with made the _cumulative_ effect intensely frustrating (for me), especially given its seeming pointlessness. I have done Windows transitions since Windows 95, as well as in other OS families.

The comments here are less relevant to someone who spend the vast majority of their time in a single application, such as video editing and more relevant to those who work over multiple applications.

In a magazine interview, the product manager for Windows 8 said that the target user was one who worked in one window at a time and closed that window before going on to the next task. (1) This computer is designed not just for a display with multiple windows open, but for multiple displays, (2) It offers far more compute power than the target customer would ever need/use -- its users are those who routinely work between multiple windows.

Even though I immediately go to the traditional (multi-window) desktop, doing the tiniest thing in an application that is part of Windows 8 too often dumps me into the Metro interface which then takes multiple steps to get back out of, and is especially time-consuming (aggravating) because Microsoft intends it to be difficult if you are using a mouse rather than touch.

Trying to figure out how to do something in Windows 8 is unnecessarily time-consuming because the explanations prioritize the Metro terminology and process, forcing you to translate to "traditional". If "traditional" is included in the explanation, it is often incomplete and follows the Metro (rather than being a separate section).

On my Windows 7 computer, I have my second display on only when doing the more complicated tasks. With Windows 8, the second display is used much more -- I have a second browser open there for web search on how to do things in Windows 8.

Another aspect of the Metro interface that is more aggravating that I expected: While it might be reasonable to take over much of a tablet's screen to accommodate fat fingers, doing the same on 24- and 28-inch displays feels like sabotage -- I get simple icons that usurp several square inches of screen space.

I often feel that I am spending more time trying to work around Windows 8 than I am spending getting work done. With Microsoft deciding to punish customers who don't buy tablets, I wish HP had figured out how to install Windows 7 instead.

---- Miscellaneous notes ----
Onboard Intel HD Graphics is disabled in the BIOS and the two corresponding DVI connectors on the back panel are covered by screwed-on plates with "Do not remove" labels. Probable rationale: The onboard graphics has no sideport memory and thus would be competing for bus bandwidth to the main memory. The graphics card has more than enough memory of its own (1GB) for the expected user. However, if you need more than three displays, this _might_ be preferable to a PCIe 1x graphics card (there are no 4x slots).
The MoBo specs cite either Intel HD2500 or HD4000. Although the product spec states that you can't use the onboard graphics when a graphics card is installed, my experience with similar motherboards is that this isn't _technically_ true, but rather intended to keep you from trying something you will likely be unhappy with.

-- Douglas B. Moran
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Upgrade PC; Runs Adobe Creative Suite Programs Like a Charm, December 28, 2012
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
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My previous PC (which is still in use) was an excellent computer, but in the past three years a lot of improvements have become standard issue on PCs while I had to keep buying adapters and dongles to use new technology on my older machine. I am delighted that this computer came standard with Bluetooth capabilities, USB 3.0 ports and HDMI support. With this unit I was able to hook up my bluetooth keyboard, wireless mouse, and HDMI monitor and really minimize the amount of cords going into the back of my computer and the amount of stationery devices on my desktop. The PC was entirely hooked-up in less than a minute. Actually booting up the PC for the first time with Windows 8 also seemed faster than my Windows 7 launch. Be forewarned that you need to sign-in with an existing Windows Live ID or create one.

The design of this computer is very attractive. It stacks up as slightly taller (about 1/2") than my last HP PC. This largely seems to be because of the top-mounted headphone, Microphone, and USB 2.0 jacks. These jacks face the back of the computer. The top of the PC (minus the dash for the plugs), has a beveled shape which makes it nice for charging and storing devices since it minimizes the chances for accidentally knocking a peripheral off the top of the PC (see my picture uploaded by the product images). The splashes of red color you see in the photograph are actually light strategically peeking out from the case to lend a specific aesthetic to the tower.

I wanted to focus on the details above first since the product description page offers almost all the item hardware and software specifics an individual would need to know. However, I do have a few comments about those also.

The computer does not have a VGA input, but it includes a dongle that adapts your VGA cable to fit in the DVI port. I was delighted by this because I was able to use my HDMI cable from my monitor to this computer and use my existing VGA cable to keep my older computer hooked up to the same monitor (the HP w2207h).

It only took me a couple of days to get accustomed to the Windows 8 interface, but I can see how it would be a bit overwhelming to someone not already familiar with apps in another OS or without a touch device that maximizes it. My bluetooth keyboard (the PC comes with both a standard cord-attached USB keyboard and mouse) allows me to scroll through open apps and the other actions are easy enough to do with a standard mouse and the use of the Windows start button on keyboards. I found that claims about being able to reach the old desktop are greatly exaggerated unless you pin everything you love to the taskbar since there is no way to add the classic start screen button to the desktop view without installing third-party software and tweaks. For those who do not want to adapt, this computer has such incredible hardware that buying it with the Windows 8 and then installing Windows 7 would be an option provided you have the tech chops to handle any potential driver recognition issues that would pop up - HP warns that this is a possibility - there is a Computer World article this some depth if you search their website.

So far, I have installed the full Microsoft Office Professional Suite and one of the design variations of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.0. It features a little over half of the CS programs. After installing these programs and the initial launch, I could click on one of the programs, like Photoshop Extended Edition, and have it fully up and ready to run in 1.8 seconds. Word launches in approximately the same amount of time. For the price of this PC and considering the hardware, I would expect that, but it is still incredible to watch. My old computer had an AMD Quad Core processor with acceptable speed, so I unsure if this unit would be faster, and I definitely should not have been. I've never had these programs launch this fast. Also, the somewhat large installs barely made a blip in the hard disk space.

Windows 8 and HP have added a few new features to the computer that many of us will probably appreciate. Now, after connecting the computer with my Facebook account and iPod touch, the "My Photos/Pictures" shows off both my uploaded pictures and the photos from Facebook and the iPod all in one place instead of my needing to manually pull them in from the device. These can be browsed both in the standard manner from the desktop screen or with the "Photos" tile. The "Photos" tile offers full screen images without prompting and features handy delete, rotate, and crop buttons when you right click. HP also has a "connected remote" you can download as a smartphone or tablet app which allows you to play videos and music from your smartphone or iPod. I like this feature a lot because it kept me from having to import the music I have on my iPod that isn't stored in Apple's Cloud into this PC for listening. You can just play it through the system from your phone or player. When I saw the computer specifics mention a remote, I presumed it was a physical remote, but this is much better. Another really nice improvement with this PC is that I did not have to manually install my HP wireless printer, the PC recognized it automatically.

I only have one complaint. I am a bit surprised that this unit did not come standard with a Blu-ray player installed. I have seen a Blu-Ray player featured on many PCs with a lower cost and that aren't geared toward gamers or massive resource consumers like myself. There is an expansion bay that would allow me to install one, but it feels like something that should be a given in a product of this cost at this point in time. However, I am not ducking a star on the product since it is clear in the product specifications that only a combo DVD player/burner is included.

When reviewing an item like this, I always feel like I am forgetting to mention something important, so feel free to ask me a question by leaving a comment if there is something you want to know.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really like it, January 11, 2013
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
I got this computer for the "family" but also was hoping to finally do some decent gaming. Let's start with the good news: This computer comes pretty loaded out of the box. While I'm sure someone willing to put in the time and effort could assemble something comparable for a little less dough, this is a pretty powerful pre-built computer. KEY among its stats is the power supply: 600 watts and a good load of amps. Everything else is nice too, I suppose a SSD drive would be an improvement but after using this for a month I find Windows 8 loads in just seconds. Runs well enough for me. Special mention, the included audio sounds better than any "motherboard audio" I've heard before as well.

I do have a couple gripes to share. #1 is this: Not sure if the BIOS is locked or just complicated to get to but I couldn't do it. I tried to reboot into the UEFI and ended up spending a couple hours trying to recover from it beeping and refusing to boot at all. Didn't like that. Haven't messed with it since and haven't had the issue since so I'll be letting sleeping dogs lie there.

#2 is this: The graphics card that comes with this thing STINKS. Oh it sounds impressive but do some research, it is basically a re-badged entry level Radeon 6000 card. It barely has Direct X 11 support and makes no use of the PCI 3.0 slot. I do know this for sure, I ran 3DMark11 on it and was getting single digit framerates. Bleh. I replaced it with a NVIDIA 670 and let me tell you that is night and day. Well over 30 fps on those same tests with it. As noted above the power supply can more than handle it although the case is a tight fit, but I did manage to jam that beast in there. Played Alien v Predator and Skyrim so far, maxed, both look great. No overheating of any kind to report.

So, that's my take. I think if you mean to do some real gaming you are looking at replacing the included card but you have the power to run almost any new card in this rig. The price has varied a lot in the last couple months on this so maybe watch for a dip and scoop it up if interested.

******* UPDATE 5 - 22- 13 ***********

Wow, I don't normally update reviews but I have something to share that is the most important thing you will read on the internet!! Regarding this computer anyway...

Let's talk about updating the graphics card in this or any recent HP desktop with Windows 8. The wonderful new feature known as "Secure Boot" ensures you may have a hard time like I did. Yes I got this computer updated with a GTX 670 but performance seemed a little slow and I could never get into the bios. These issues may be related for you see, Secure boot ensures non-UEFI compliant cards (like my PNY) are hard to update and won't work at all until Windows loads. I found this out recently when I tried to download new drivers only to have the computer go to a blank screen and refuse ( I thought) to do anything. I'd also note upon installing the new card I lost the option to put the computer to sleep.

In plainer terms, Secure Boot is linked to the card that comes with this thing. If you buy a new card, and you have issues like a "blank screen" upon installation or update, it may be secure boot that is to blame. Great now, what to do about it.

After much reading and screwing around here is what I did. Step #1 - put the old card that came with this back in it. Step #2 - reboot into the bios. On this machine this is easiest done by restarting, ramming F10 immediately on load, and hitting escape to access "settings." Step #3 - in settings turn off secure boot and turn on legacy support. Step #4 - save and restart. Step #5 - reinstall new GPU and you should be able to update drivers with no more blank screen. Essentially secure boot (I think, no expert) disables VGA support on non UEFI-compliant cards so you basically can't see anything unless you have a driver installed and are in windows. Quite the conundrum when you have a new card and need to install drivers!

Having done all this performance has improved, and I can see all startup info and access the bios again if I need to. And, sleep mode has returned as an option. What of secure boot? I believe in my case it must be left off. Depending on what card you buy if there's a UEFI update for it, you may be able to turn it back on. PNY (as of this writing) says they are still working on theirs so I plan to just leave it off for now.

Honestly - this issue has caused me a lot of headaches. Please if you have a new HP and are getting a blank monitor especially upon replacement of your graphics card, consider trying my steps above!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!, December 27, 2012
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
This was an upgrade from an old Vista machine so you can imagine how much faster it is. I spent a lot of time researching exactly what I wanted and it came down to this and the 1350 model. At the time this was on sale and over $300 less so it was an easy choice. My main worry was Windows 8 but I actually like it quite a bit. Plus it still supports my old copy of Office Pro 2003 so that was a plus. It didn't take long to get used to the the "tiles" and "apps" and I no longer look for the Start button.

The computer itself is very fast. To start with, the boot time is about 20 seconds. Not sure if that is just how Windows 8 is or the Solid State drive that is used for the cache. I've done quite a bit with photo editing (Adobe Elements 11) and loading and rendering time is very impressive. There are some features I might not use but for what's inside the box, I would highly recommend the HP h9-1330!

Update: So after a few weeks I'm finding more and more to like about this computer. It's VERY quiet and stays very cool. I've also had no issues installing any software or hardware even though Windows 8 isn't "supposed" to be compatible. There is also I feature that HP has called "Connected Remote" which turns my Android devices into remote controls for Windows Media Player. I didn't think I would use this but now use it quite a bit. Lastly (for now) I upgraded my monitor to take advantage of the updated graphics card and decided to use the dual monitor set up (although you can hook up to three). This has also come in much more handy then I ever thought. Just keeps getting better!

5 Months later...Still love this machine. ZERO problems. No noise, no heat, no issues, just runs like a champ. Plus I see it cost $150 more then when I bought it so I'm even happier. Have installed a lot of old software and devices (and even more new) and all work perfectly. The only "issue" I had was it came out of the box with some weird update settings that would just restart the computer with no notice but that was any easy fix. The specs speak for themselves but as a user I can tell you, you won't be disappointed. Almost forgot for those that want to know. Scores 7.1-8.2 on the " Windows Experience Index".
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great machine, November 3, 2012
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
Great machine with up to date hardware, came preloaded with windows 8 and very little bloat ware.
Design of machine is top notch and plays modern games with no problems.

After owning the system for a couple of weeks I am still impressed with the machine. I bought several new games over the Steam holiday sale and it was played them all at max graphics settings. The top mounted head phone jack has also been super nice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good., May 4, 2013
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
Anyone that's scared of Windows 8, please take your fears elsewhere. This review is about the product purchased. And that said, there's an immediate flaw - as another reviewer mentioned (after I purchased it, naturally, I realized this) the product details are incorrect. This model does NOT come with the liquid cooling system, one of the main reasons I was willing to drop nine-hundred bucks on a system here. Thanks, HP. And thanks, Amazon for the quality control on your descriptions. Serious let down.

However, you'll notice the 4 star rating. I only knocked a star off for the sham job I experienced with the lack of cooling system. Beyond that the hardware is absolutely bangin. This comp is a beast as is. In less than 10 seconds it boots, I can log in, and skip to the desktop with all of the startup programs loaded. That alone is seriously worth mention.

As expected, the video card is absolutely garbage, so plan on replacing it. If you're buying a rig like this, you're buying it because you want high-end graphics. Word to the wise, there are no pre-bought systems out there that come with a good graphics card! So that's not a knock on the comp itself, but rather a fact of life. I paired it with a GeForce GTX 660 (amazing value for the price) and had no trouble installing it even though it's an elephant of a video card. The system picked it up right away and installed all the correct drivers. I still recommend checking the drivers at the NVidia site though. Newer is always better when it comes to drivers.

Skyrim was my bench test. Loaded the game onto the comp and overclocked it, modded to absolute hell and back, and I can play it on Ultra settings for hours without skipping a beat. For those who don't know what that means, it means that this computer can seriously handle anything you can throw at it.

It's a long term purchase, and aside from the ill-advised product description, it is exactly what you'd expect from a system approaching a grand. In hindsight, I'd still buy it. But I won't go so far as to say I'd buy it again, because I already own it, and then I'd have two, and that would be one too many.

Good deal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better experience than expected, April 2, 2013
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
I've purchased many HP computers, printers and monitors over the years and while they always have been of good quality, the experience of dealing with HP hasn't always been the best. I find myself surprised to be writing a 5-star review of a product that arrived with a problem, but HP recovered so well, that it would be unfair to give this anything less than a strong review. It was ordered from Amazon along with a separately ordered ATI FirePro video card for this machine that would be running SolidWorks. The PC started right up and appeared to be functionally good, but hung immediately when the new video card was installed. We contacted AMD and they could only guess that their ATI card was defective, so it was quickly replaced by Amazon's awesome service. The new video card arrived and displayed the same symptoms; another call to AMD suggested that it was likely the PC, since they knew of no conflicts that should have presented themselves. HP customer support was prompt to respond and had us a new motherboard the following day and a technician dispatched to our facility on Saturday morning to install and confirm performance. Everything is now functioning as expected and we are very pleased with HP's handling of the situation - especially for what is essentially a utility class PC.
The PC itself performs very well and runs SolidWorks 2013 3d modeling so far without any problems - as mentioned above, we did change to a more suitable graphics card, but otherwise, the machine seems to do a nice job with such a taxing application. We have been running Win8 since it was introduced, so none of the contingent pain and suffering cloud the judgement of this machine. Despite its clumsy UI, designed for tablets and 14-year old girls (as opposed to engineers), Win8 is definitely better than preceding Windows versions; it boots and loads programs fast and doesn't seem to carry with it the overhead of earlier Windows versions. Coming preinstalled on this Envy was definitely a better experience than running upgrades previously. Zero problems setting up networking, lots of storage and pretty fast, I do not hesitate to recommend this product - especially for this price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great computer, January 21, 2013
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
The computer runs windows 8 very well. Out of the box, immediate connects.
Running WOW and SWOTR full detail, massive speed. Great for gaming.
Also bought a gaming mouse, keyboard, and viewsonic 27 monitor
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it so far!!!, February 12, 2013
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This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
I've had this for about a month and so far it is great. Very fast!!! You turn it on and you are ready to go!! No waiting!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice system, April 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black) (Personal Computers)
Very quiet, very fast...I'm still learning all the new facets of windows 8. I've had it 3 months now and no problems.
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HP Envy Phoenix h9-1330 Desktop (Black)
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