Chicago (IL) - You can go overboard with pretty much any PC that is offered by a boutique system builder out there and spend as much money on a enthusiast PC as other would on a compact car. But if you do that, you want to buy something unique and we have just found a PC that you may still be able to squeeze into your Christmas wishlist.
Eden Prairie, Minn.-based HIPE PC offers a "dual" PC that combines a gaming and a media center system in one case. The "Daishō-XT" pretty much looks like an oversized full-tower PC system from the outside, but actually houses a second computer, nicknamed "Shoto," which comes with its own, front-panel mounted and motorized 7" LCD touchscreen.
The main system is an enthusiast system that comes standard with Corsair's Dominator memory, a Geforce 8800 GTS graphics card, two 150 GB WD Raptor hard drive and Intel's Core 2 Extreme QX6700 quad-core processor. Pricing without a monitor starts at about $6400. This price includes a "Shoto" system, basically a second PC that is based based on Intel Core 2 Duo T-series mobile processors, mainstream DDR2 memory, a dedicated hard drive and its own DVD burner. Fully decked out, the Daishō checks in at about $11,100 (without monitors).
So why would you build a second PC into the case of your gaming PC? According to a HIPE PC representative, it's basically to enable your gaming rig to focus on just that - gaming. Other applications such as productivity software, instant messaging or videos could run on the secondary, mini-ITX based system (which has its own power supply that its built into a 5.25" drive bay). Technically, you could use the Shoto also as a media streaming server for your home, without having to distract your gaming PC from its main purpose.
We guess you could simply configure a second standalone PC to run those applications as well, but we have to admit that the Daishō is probably worth a looking, if you are sinking your savings into a PC anyway.