Powerful processor options
How to choose the processor that's right for you
HP desktop PCs offer a variety of processor options, each designed to enhance performance. Processors are distinguished by the number of cores, clock speed, front side bus and cache.
Number of cores
The number of cores in a processor determines how quickly your PC handled tasks. Multi-core processors contain two or more processors in the same circuit, which gives them the ability to work independently or together for larger tasks.
- Single core—For everyday tasks like watching movies, listening to music, word processing and web browsing.
- Dual core—For exceptional multitasking.
- Quad core—For graphics-intensive gaming and media.
- Six or more cores—For intensely demanding apps, gaming and high-def content streaming.
Clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz), which is a billion cycles per second, indicates how fast a processor performs an activity. When selecting a processor for your PC, it’s important to consider the activities you'll be performing and the clock speed they require.
- Mid-range speeds up to 3.2 GHz—If you mainly listen to music, organize photos and do word processing, e-mail and web browsing, processor speeds aren't as crucial. If you work with large digital media files, intensive spreadsheets and presentation software, look for processors on the higher end of mid-range speeds.
- The fastest available speeds—If you'll be editing HD movies, love to play games or are involved in multimedia production, look for the fastest available options.
- Turbo technology—If you run a lot of demanding applications, choose a processor with turbo technology to get an automatic burst of speed when your PC needs extra performance.
Front side bus
Your computer's front side bus (FSB) is like the main transit system in a large city. It connects your computer's memory (RAM) to the processor, and quickly transfers data to meet the demands of any given task.
Like the processor, FSB speed is measured in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz). The faster the FSB speed, the faster data moves to the processor and the faster the processor can perform.
Most computers' processors run faster than their FSBs, so the FSB speed is typically a ratio of processor speed. The smaller the ratio, the more efficiently the processor runs. So if you're looking for a fast, responsive desktop PC, be sure to choose a front side bus speed that's compatible with the PC's processor speed.
Cache is a set of memory circuits measured in megabytes (MB) designed to enhance your processor's responsiveness by keeping common tasks handy. The more level 2 (L2) or level 3 (L3) cache a processor has, the faster it can perform those common tasks.
Bring content to life with rich graphics
Whether you'll be creating presentations, watching videos or playing games on your new desktop PC, your content will look its best with a powerful graphics card.
Graphics cards (also known as video cards) work with a PC's graphics processing unit (GPU) to display video images. HP PCs give you the option to choose graphics cards from industry leaders so you get the performance you want.
Integrated graphics solutions use a portion of a PC's random access memory (RAM) and are integrated into the motherboard.
- + Cost less than discrete graphics
- + Can handle Adobe® Flash and 2D graphics
- - Struggle with 3D graphics and high-end video games
Discrete or dedicated graphics
Discrete or dedicated graphics solutions have RAM that's independent of the computer's RAM used only for graphics processing.
- + Much faster than integrated graphics
- + Can handle 3D graphics and high-end video games
- - Generate a lot of heat and can drain battery power quickly
- - Cost more than integrated graphics
Switchable graphics (dynamic and fixed modes)
A desktop PC with switchable graphics has two graphics chipsets: a low-power integrated card for less-demanding applications and a high-performance discrete card for graphics-intense applications like games. There are two styles of switchable graphics cards, dynamic and fixed.
- Dynamic mode—Enables the use of both the integrated and discrete graphics processors without restarting or resetting the display. This feature helps preserve battery life and is configurable based on your preferences.
- Fixed mode—Typically found in older PCs, it requires you to manually switch back and forth from higher to lower power processors, depending on application needs.
The amount of memory available for a graphics card determines how quickly the card processes images.
- Up to 256MB—For watching movies and viewing photos
- Up to 512MB—For graphic design and video editing
- 1GB to 3GB—For immersive 3D gaming
How to choose RAM for your needs
Random access memory (RAM), or system memory, greatly affects PC performance. The more RAM you have, the better your PC can handle multitasking and demanding applications like 3D gaming and video editing.
Types of RAM
RAM is your computer's main memory. There are many types of memory, but the most commonly used today are:
- Synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM)—Synchronized with the computer's system bus, it allows for higher data transfer speeds than non-synchronized DRAM.
- Double data rate synchronous dynamic random access memory (DDR SDRAM)—Offering faster data rate transfers and reduced power consumption than SDRAM, there are different degrees of DDR SDRAM, such as type 3, often abbreviated as DDR3.
Memory modules refer to the type of board and connector used in the computer.
- Single in-line memory modules (SIMM)—A form of memory with a 32-bit data path. Since many processors use 64-bit processing, SIMMs have to be installed in matched pairs to complete the data transfer. DIMMs were introduced to eliminate this practice.
- Dual in-line memory module (DIMM)—A form of memory with a 64-bit data path, DIMMs have become the standard memory module as 64-bit processing has grown in popularity for high-performance computing.
Amount of RAM
Choose the amount of RAM you’ll need based on the activities you plan to do.
- Up to 3GB RAM—For watching movies, listening to music, organizing photos and performing activities like word processing, e-mail or web browsing.
- 4GB to 8GB RAM—For multitasking and memory-intensive activities, such as 64-bit applications and games and photo editing.
- 9GB to 24GB—For computer-intensive video editing, graphic design and engineering software, 3D games and multitasking.
Get the storage you need for all your data
Your desktop PC's internal hard drive stores all your data—from programs and drivers to digital photos and music. If you're not sure what rotational speed and SATA have to do with your files, you're not alone. Learn what the most common storage terms mean so you can choose the option that's best for you.
The more gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB) on your hard drive, the more applications and files you can store. When you select hard drive size, consider the amount of data you have now and what you will be adding in the future. It's a good idea to buy the largest hard drive you can afford.
- 320GB6—If you carry select photos, videos and applications with you but plan to keep most of your content on your home PC or server.
- 500GB-750GB6—If you have a growing music, photo and video library, and plan to install games, productivity-related programs or design software.
- 1TB-3TB (1,000GB-3,000GB)6—If you routinely record your favorite programs—especially in ultra-sharp Full HD format—and want to create a digital archive of your personal videos.
How much can I store?
|320GB6||60,000||24 hours||80,000 songs|
|500GB6||100,000||38 hours||125,000 songs|
|1TB6||200,000||76 hours||250,000 songs|
|2TB6||400,000||150 hours||500,000 songs|
|3TB6||600,000||230 hours||750,000 songs|
NOTE: The number of photos, videos, songs and other files shown here are for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary based on file size and format settings.
The faster the disks spin, the faster your computer’s data is read and written. Higher revolutions per minute (RPM) translate to higher overall system performance.
There are two drive styles available for data storage. Each has its pros and cons.
Hard disk drive (HDD)—An electromechanical device that contains spinning disks and moveable read/write heads.
+ Available in ever-increasing storage capacities
+ Less expensive than solid state drives
- Moving disks can be noisy when in use
Solid-state drive (SSD)—Flash-based memory stores data so there are no moving parts.
+ Less susceptible to damage from physical shock than HDD
+ Silent operation
+ Uses less power than HDD
- Typically supports a limited number of writes over life of the device
- More expensive per GB than HDD
- Fast: Parallel ATA (PATA)—PATA was the standard connector for hard drives for many years, but with the faster SATA, it’s becoming obsolete.
- Faster: Serial ATA (SATA)—SATA technology provides faster data transfer and consumes less power than PATA.
- Standard storage—One internal drive stores all data.
- RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks)—The same data is stored in different places on multiple hard disks to provide increased levels of performance and reliability.
6Actual formatted capacity is less. A portion of the hard drive is reserved for system recovery software: for notebooks, up to
40GB (Windows® 7); for desktops, up to 26GB (Windows® 7). For hard drives, 1GB = 1 billion bytes.
2 Figures represent the average number of photos taken with a 6-megapixel camera in a high-resolution JPEG mode with an average file size of 3.5MB per photo. The actual number of photos will vary by camera model and compression setting.
3The DV format, regardless of its mode (miniDV, DVCAM, DVC-Pro) has a data rate of approximately 25mb/s (mega-bits per second) In storage terms, this translates to approximately 3.5MB/s (megabytes per second) or 13GB/hr.
4Music capacity is based on a 4-minute song. MP3 capacity is based on 128 kbps bit rate and 11:1 audio compression rate. Uncompressed CD quality is based on 1:1 audio compression ratio.
Lightning-fast processing power
HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix PCs feature top-of-the-line processing options for unmatched power and performance. Available with your choice of second-generation AMD Phenom™ processors or Intel Core™ i5 or i7 processors, the Phoenix multitasks seamlessly for your favorite immersive games, high-definition videos and productivity software.
Choosing the processor that’s right for you is easy when you know what to look for. Learn more about processors.
Advanced graphics deliver stunning visuals
When you're playing your favorite 3D game or editing an HD movie, every detail on screen matters. HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix PCs feature high-end discrete graphics to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Loaded with up to 250W of graphics processing power and the latest graphics-card options from industry leaders, you'll see more frames per second for totally immersive gaming and get incredible responsiveness to tackle the most demanding tasks.
HP Liquid Cooling Technology
If you run a lot of high-performance software or games, an air-cooled PC may not cut it for you. Avoid annoying bottlenecks and component damage by choosing an HP PC with liquid cooling technology. HP's maintenance-free sealed-loop liquid cooling system helps you get incredible performance by quietly and efficiently drawing heat away from sensitive components—without any worries about water refills or leaks.
Immense memory options
Get unmatched performance for your games, media and programs. HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix PCs are available with up to 16GB of DDR3 memory to keep your PC running smoothly, even with the most demanding applications. Tool-free access allows you to add even more RAM when you're ready.
Go ahead, hoard everything.
Get room to store every game, video and song in your collection. HP Pavilion HPE desktop PCs have expandable storage options up to 9TB6 over three internal hard drives. The optional solid-state drive (SSD) offers extra-fast access to your most-used applications and files.
HP and the environment
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Award-winning service and support for your products.
Windows Live™ essentials
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1 Availabilty varies on select models and regions.
2 RIFT™ Digital Collector's Edition installer program pre-installed on purchaser's HP HPE Phoenix PC. Purchaser must run HP RIFT CD-Key Retrieval application to retrieve RIFT Product Registration Key ("Key") and redeem Key at RIFTGAME.COM. Key entitles purchaser to sixty (60) consecutive days' RIFT game play from time of redemption. Subscription must be completed by May 31, 2012. KEY REDEMPTION AND GAMEPLAY REQUIRE: (1) INTERNET CONNECTION (SOLD SEPARATELY), (2) TRION WORLDS ACCOUNT IN GOOD STANDING, (3) VALID CREDIT CARD OR PRE-PAID GAME TIME CARD (MONTHLY RECURRING SUBSCRIPTION FEE APPLIES AFTER INCLUDED GAME PLAY TIME), AND (4) ACCEPTANCE OF GAME LICENSE AND USAGE TERMS. Key is non-transferable and not for resale.
3 HP LinkUp software compatible with any notebook or desktop PC running Windows® XP, Windows® Vista, or Windows® 7. Internet connection and home network required.
4 Compatible with any notebook or desktop PC running Windows® XP, Vista, or Windows® 7.
5 Wireless access point, Internet connection, and home network required.
6 Actual formatted capacity is less. A portion of the hard drive is reserved for system recovery software: for notebooks, up to 40GB (Windows® 7); for desktops, up to 26GB (Windows® 7). For hard drives, 1GB = 1 billion bytes.