HP launches the wallet-friendly Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690 and 790

As part of its recent wave of fresh offerings, HP released a couple of new gaming desktops with remarkably-understated styling that should appeal to gerbils who find RGB LEDs grotesque. The HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690 and 790 are both compact machines with a blacked-out color scheme save for a tasteful green LED light bar on the front.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop 790

The angular design and the color scheme evoke nostalgic images of Microsoft's original Xbox, or perhaps of Razer hardware. The 690 is the smaller of the two machines, and its size limits it to 16 GB of memory and mid-range graphics cards—a GeForce GTX 1060 or a Radeon RX 580 with unspecified RAM allocations. Meanwhile, the 790 is larger—mostly longer—and can take up to 64 GB of memory and a GeForce GTX 1080 or the aforementioned Radeon RX 580. Either machine can be purchased with Intel Coffee Lake or second-generation AMD Ryzen CPUs.

The front of the Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690.

For storage, the 690 will take a single M.2 drive, a 2.5" drive, and a 3.5" drive. The 790 trades the 2.5" space for a pair of 3.5" drive bays, giving it three hard drive mounts and a single M.2 socket. HP says it will offer dual-storage configurations with hard drives as large as 3 TB and NVMe SSDs up to 512 GB, as well as Optane Memory on models that support it. Optionally, either machine can also come with a slim optical drive.

Gaming Desktop 790 on the left, and 690 on the right.

Whichever Pavilion Gaming Desktop you choose, you get a USB Type-C port up front and a pile of USB 3.0 Type-A plugs on the front and back—although HP declines to specify what USB spec the ports support. Gigabit Ethernet is standard, of course, as is 5.1 audio through the usual trio of 3.5-mm audio jacks. HP mentions that the desktops support Bluetooth audio streaming, though there's nary a mention of Wi-Fi.

HP says the Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690 should start at $549, while its beefier brother will ring in at $649 on the low end. We'll have to wait until the product pages show up on HP's site to find out what the pricing for a model you'd actually want is like, but the starting prices are downright enticing. HP says the Gaming 690 desktop will show up on April 15, and that the Gaming 790 will follow on June 3.

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