HP unveils Blackbird 002

At the HP Your Life is the Show event last night, besides being in a room with stars like Shaun White, Serena Williams, and the guys from West Coast Choppers, Ars was also at the unveiling of the first gaming machine HP has released since its acquisition of Voodoo of September of 2006. It's called Blackbird 002. 苏州美睫美甲

Rahul Sood, founder of Voodoo PC and now Chief Technology Officer for HP's gaming division, took the stage to reveal Blackbird 002. He started out by claiming that the new desktop was far better than any other desktop product out there, so much so that the others were "like a bag of sticks compared to a bag of golf clubs" on the golf course. Um, ??? Anwyay, let's take a look.

It became immediately apparent that Sood's team had focused on cooling. The entire chassis of the Blackbird is cast aluminum, and it sits a few inches above the base of the system. Sood claims this "create[s] a sixth side of cooling. The 1.1 kilowatt power supply is located just above the back… the system brings cold air up on the power supply," and throughout the rest of the system. The processor, not unlike many other offerings from competitors, is water cooled also, and Sood claims that Voodoo "knows liquid cooling. Better than anybody." Inside the chassis, there's also a "Voodoo DNA" label, which Sood claims is an "ingredient that signifies that passion of gamers."

Sood didn't discuss what kind of power was placed under the hood, however, he did say that the systems are "fully configurable," and that customers can "buy it with whatever combination of components they want… choose between NVIDIA and ATI video cards, and choose between Intel and AMD processors." The Blackbird 002 website confirms this: customers can choose among five processors, including four from Intel and one from AMD. The high-end Intel processor on the configuration list is the Core 2 Extreme x6800.

Hard drive options include a 120GB 10,000rpm Western Digital Raptor, or a choice of a 320GB, 500GB, or 750GB 7200rpm drive, and there's room for up to five drives which can be configured to run in a hot-swappable RAID. Memory choices include 1GB of 667Mhz, 800Mhz, or 1GHz with Corsair's PC2-8500DDR2 SDRAM SLI enabled. The system will support up to 8GB of memory across 4 DIMM slots.

So far, there isn't anything that really makes the competition look like a "bag of sticks." Instead, it looks like the Blackbird 002 is dead-on with competition like Alienware and Falcon Northwest, both of which offer systems with nearly exactly the same configurations. However, the Blackbird 002 is fully tool-less, which means anything can be added or removed without the need of a screw driver. It also comes with "industry standard components, the system uses a high-end motherboard from a high-end manufacturer," according to Sood. This makes upgrading parts easier, since nothing is of a proprietary size.

Some of the smaller accessories include the option for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD drives, a lighting system on the back so that plugging in the dark is easier, and a memory card reader/headset/USB port panel that hides at the top of the system.
According to one of the display hands, the Blackbird 002 will be released to the market with a low-end MSRP of $2,500 and a high-end price of $6,500 on September 15th.

We saw a lot of other great stuff coming out from HP this year, so stay tuned.