I suspected we might hear more about the Phoenix gaming desktop upon its U.K. release last year. Today, HP makes its U.S arrival official.
The system, full name HP Pavilion Elite hp9 Phoenix, arrives in the States on January 8th, for a starting price of $1,150. It will use chips from Intel's Core 2000 and Core 3000-series, as well as AMD CPUs, as well as Radeon graphics cards, SSD storage options, and up to 16GB of RAM.
A highlight of the Phoenix, aside from its stylized chassis, will be its HP-made liquid CPU cooling hardware. While HP won't ship the Phoenix overclocked, the liquid cooling will be a welcome option for those who also select tweakable Intel chips with unlocked clock speed multipliers.
HP has not yet shared full pricing and specifications for the Phoenix, so it's unclear how well this system will compete with boutique gaming PC vendors like Falcon Northwest and Maingear. If the Phoenix mirrors past efforts by mainstream vendors, I'd expect the Phoenix will offer some price savings on its lower-end options, and that the boutique vendors will enjoy an edge in performance and breadth of available features for those looking to spend beyond $1,500 or so.