New York (NY) – Hewlett-Packard (HP) today announced its long awaited gaming rig that had been in development with the help of the firm's boutique PC builder for some time. Blackbird goes head to head with Dell's XPS performance desktops.HP isn't typically known as a PC company that caters to the needs of gamers. Blackbird could change that perception and enable HP to gain credibility with gamers in a price range that is substantially below what one would spend for a comparable and customized machine from Voodoo PC,.
The Blackbird 002 will be available as a "Dedication Edition" starting September 15 and will be available for configuration on HP's website beginning October 1. Similar to Dell's XPS, the Blackbird can be configured with high-end hardware, including AMD (X2 6000+) or Intel processors (Core 2 Duo 6750 – Core 2 Extreme QX6850), two graphics cards, up to five hard drives (160 GB 10,000 RPM – 750 GB 7200 RPM), up to 8 GB of system memory and a high-definition optical drive (Blu-ray or HD DVD).
HP said that prices of the system will range from about $2500 to $7100, depending on its configuration.
"We've studied the wants and needs of our Voodoo fan base and have brought that into the Blackbird system by leveraging technologies from across all of HP, including HP Labs, to make this the best PC for enthusiasts," says Phil McKinney, vice president and chief technology officer for the Personal Systems Group and general manager, HP Global Gaming Business Unit. In fact, there is some Voodoo know-how in the Blackbird, such as the integration of the liquid cooling system, hidden cabling and the layout of the interior architecture.
The question about the Blackbird will be if it will be picking up customers that otherwise would look at a Voodoo system. Only time will tell, but we assume that the typical Voodoo customer may not even look at the Blackbird: A Voodoo PC stands out with its customization features and $7000 is just where the configuration fun at Voodoo begins.