Back when boutique OEM system builders operated as standalone entities, owning a custom built rig by the likes of a Voodoo PC often required a hefty investment up to several times more than what you could expect to pay if going the DIY route. This scenario has changed somewhat in recent years thanks in part to falling hardware prices and acquisitions by mainstream OEMs. Such is the case with Voodoo PC, who was acquired by HP back in 2006. More recently, HP decided to merge its Voodoo PC unit with its consumer business unit, a move that Raul Sood, CTO for HP's Global Gaming Business, said would "ultimately mean that Voodoo and Voodoo-influenced products will be easier to buy, faster get, they will feature local service, and they have the full power of HP's marketing and sales channel behind them."
Fast forward to today and HP is making good on Sood's promise. Effective immediately, the price of the Voodoo Envy 133 drops a couple of C-notes from $2,100 to $1,900. As an added bonus, each Envy shipped will also include a second battery at no additional charge, an offer that stands until November 30. On the desktop side, the HP Blackbird 002 also gets a price cut and can now be had for $1,800.
Could the days of high-priced boutique builds be nearing an end? Probably not, but gamers on a budget who aren't interested in building their own machine have more options today than in year's past. In addition to HP's price cuts, Alienware (a Dell acquisition) this week announced an affordable dual-GPU CrossFireX gaming notebook.
And thus, the grand story of the Dream Machine 2008 comes to its final edition. And do we have a reveal for you! We're going to show you the ultra-secret case that encloses the mighty guts of our speedy Skulltrail machine. We're also giving you a first-look at the not-quite-as-secret videocards powering the graphics of this hefty rig. Before it catches ablaze, we'll also show you the cooling setup and what we used to rock out whilst checking the cooler for leaks.
That's right. Today, you're getting the case, the graphics, the cooling and the sound--an epic conclusion to the most powerful rig we've ever built. If you're just joining us, you'll want to check out the beginning of the story as well as the second edition of the Dream Machine saga, where we officially showed off this machine's spankin'-fast processors.
But enough small-talk. Click that little "read more" link and prepare thyself for greatness.
Label us Luddites for resisting Windows Vista, but there’s no arguing
the point that the new OS currently offers very little you can’t get
faster with Windows XP. That goes double for games, which is why we’re
baffled by HP’s decision to run Vista Ultimate on the groundbreaking
Blackbird 002 gaming rig it sent us.