System Performance

The HP Phoenix h9se we have for review presents us with a rare opportunity: we have a gaming desktop configured entirely at stock speeds. Also keep in mind that the GTX 580 we have in our system is no longer being offered, as it is being replaced by the AMD Radeon HD 7950 at an ever-so-slightly lower price point, so you'll be getting the same or better performance for about the same amount of money.

We also have a special guest in our charts; the unit marked "Unknown Sample" is a custom rig from a boutique that isn't yet available. We had intended to post that review first, but we've been asked to hold that for a couple more weeks, so we'll just let the numbers speak for themselves.

Futuremark PCMark 7

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

The SSD used in the HP Phoenix is an Intel 320, which is unfortunately limited to 3Gbps operation. As a result our PCMark charts skew heavily in favor of other machines that use faster SSDs. The Intel 320 is by no means awful (an SSD of virtually any stripe is still a notable upgrade as a system drive), but it's a generation behind in terms of performance.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

It's interesting to see how a stock-clocked i7-3960X is able to line up against heavily overclocked Sandy Bridge quad-cores (not to mention the previous generation's i7-990X). Every overclocked processor on these charts is running in excess of 4GHz, while the 3960X has to make do with only being able to turbo up to 3.6GHz on all six cores. When it can't leverage the extra two cores, the 3960X carries a notable deficit behind the heavily overclocked Sandy Bridge chips, but once those two come into play, the stock-clocked 3960X is able to mostly hang with the 4GHz+ i7-990X chips and blows past the quads.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

By this point the GeForce GTX 580 is a well-known quantity. A single-GPU card isn't going to be able to compete with dual- and quad-GPU solutions, but it remains among the fastest single-GPU cards available. Unless you're running multiple monitors, the GTX 580 remains very capable, and once the 7950 becomes available for HP things should get shaken up a bit more.

Introducing the HP Phoenix h9se Gaming Performance
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  • Dr0id - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    And it needs to lose the tacky stickers on the very plasticky case.
  • marc1000 - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    this computer looks a LOT like my "ancient" mid-tower HP desktop, that i bought some 4-5 years ago. reverse-mounted motherboard, fan at bottom-back (but this time it is a liquid-cooler and pushes air out), and tilted hard-drive cage with only 2 3.5" hdd slots (but this time it is 2 2.5 and 1 3.5).

    the main difference is that this one is a bit bigger and has better looks. I can't fit a GTX580 on my case, but I have a 2500k with a 5770 here and for a small case it does a pretty nice job of keeping things cool. I just put 2 fans as intake (9cm and 12cm) on bottom back/right panels and they push all hot air out. no out-take fans for me.

    in general, i really like this design.
  • IceDread - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I don't think I've ever seen an uglier computer.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I did, but that was in the 90's.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure if we're looking at the same case.

    It looks like any <INSERT PC MANUFACTURER HERE> generic PC in the last ~7 years or something, after they settled on fat plastic bezels that are black, and cheap looking steel panels.

    I also think the spec is a bit ridiculous.

    "When we asked why the 7970 wasn't being offered, HP's representatives said it was an issue of maintaining a price point."

    Wait, what.. you think someone who buys a 6 core Sandy Bridge-E with 16GB RAM gives two shits about the price point?

    I'd rather have a 2600K with a healthy clock bump, 8GB RAM, and a 7970.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Sorry, that said, 16GB RAM is actually dirt cheap these days, but I still think it's basically pointless in the life of the machine for the AVERAGE user.
  • Golgatha - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    "When we asked why the 7970 wasn't being offered, HP's representatives said it was an issue of maintaining a price point."

    That confused me too. I get the part about only using a single GPU because of the form factor and power supply, but someone buying an Extreme edition socket 2011 CPU isn't exactly looking at bang-for-buck ratios.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    HD 7970 is brand new and commands a price premium. It probably means that HP couldn't get as large of a volume discount as they'd like. AMD is basically selling all of the 7970 cards they make right now for full price, so why should they sell 50K to HP at a discount when they could just continue selling them to end users for more money?
  • Herp Derpson - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    All prebuild PCs have horrible CPU\GPU ratio. In games Core i5-2500 will give you same fps and money could be spend on additional GPU. Hell, even i3-2100 will be the same in almost all games. It's like builders have no idea that GPU is always bottleneck.
    And of course nvidia bias. There is absolutely no reason to buy 580 now.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    That was one sweet case, I wish they sold that as a standalone. Also the last Voodo Omen. The Firebird wasn't as appealing since it had a smaller upgrade path but it could have been interesting to some people. Sucks that HP shut all of that down after buying Voodo out.

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