HP promises warranty on overclocked desktops popular with gamers

HP has also given its tower desktops a makeover with a metallic finish

HP Pavilion All-in-One

HP Pavilion All-in-One

Gamers will be able to overclock and add more horsepower to HP's signature gaming desktop without worrying about invalidating their warranties.

The Envy Phoenix Desktop is among a number of newly redesigned desktops announced by HP on Monday. The towers have a premium look with an aluminum finish on the chassis, where HP had previously used plastic.

For the first time, HP is offering Intel Core i5 and i7 chips that can be overclocked with its top-line Envy Phoenix desktop PC. That means gamers can increase computer performance by raising the CPU clock speed, which can be handy when running demanding games. These chips are often incorporated into home-built PCs.

Overclocking risks damaging components due to the additional heat generated by the higher CPU clock speed. But gamers won't break warranty when the chips are overclocked, said Mike Nash, vice president at HP.

With the desktop, HP is clearly targeting the boutique PC makers, some of whom offer overclockable chips in a handful of desktops. With shiny red LED lights, the Envy Phoenix has a color scheme similar to that on desktops from gaming PC maker Origin PC.

The liquid-cooled system is priced starting at US$1,499. It could be configured with the latest graphics cards from Nvidia or AMD to run 4K displays. Storage options include 4TB hard drives or 512GB SSDs (solid-state drives). The desktop can hook up to three monitors via multiple display ports. Another new feature is Bang & Olufsen audio, which has replaced Beats Audio in previous Envy Phoenix desktops.

The less-powerful Envy Desktop doesn't have the shiny look of the Envy Phoenix Desktop, but it is targeted at users who want GPUs and more choice on CPUs. The desktop can be configured with the latest Broadwell-based Intel Core chips or a range of AMD CPUs including the gaming-focused FX series. Users can configure the desktop with up to 3TB hard drives or 512GB SSDs. Depending on the configuration, the system will come with HDMI, DVI or VGA display ports. The PC will starts at $699.99.

Meanwhile, HP's budget Pavilion Desktop got a redesign, with no ports directly visible in the front. CPU options include Intel's low-cost Celeron chips as well as its Core i3/i5/i7 and AMD's A4-A10; with Celeron, the desktop starts at $449.99. The desktop can be configured to also include GPUs, an optical drive and a 3TB hard drive. SSDs aren't being offered with this Pavilion.

Also getting a makeover were HP Pavilion all-in-ones, which come with 21-inch, 23-inch and 27-inch screen sizes. The configurations are similar, with up to 16GB of memory, 3TB hard drives and Intel or AMD CPUs. GPUs can be added, but will cost extra. The all-in-ones have four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI-out slot, Ethernet slot and a media card reader. The Pavilion All-in-One start at $649.99.

The desktops will ship in June.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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