HP has produced their first HP branded high end gaming rig since they bought Voodoo PC. The new rig is called the Blackbird 002 and its main claim to fame is the use of off the shelf components for upgradeability.
HP says you can upgrade everything form the CPU to the graphics card and RAM when you want to with components from any vendor. Really the only thing special I see about this system is the case they choose to put it in and it’s only remarkable for the design. There are multiple PC case manufacturers out there making PC cases that use a compartment design to reduce heat, like the Cooler Master Cosmos I reviewed not too long ago. Try again HP, nothing new there to brag about.
Everything else they are so proud of you can do yourself, for significantly less than the $2500 to $6500 the Blackbird is rumored to sell for. The only hard specs I have on the system are that it will use a 1.1KW PSU, be overclockable in the BIOS and have a tool-less entry design.
The case HP used is cool looking with a hovering effect that makes it look like the case floats above one single aluminum foot that can hold 600 pounds. Other than that my opinion on the Blackbird is that it’s nothing special or revolutionary. If you have the skills to upgrade the components in the Blackbird yourself, you can build your own rig for much less cash. HP says the Blackbird will be available on September 15.
I admit that I am a bit stumped by this product. HP is obviously going for the hard core gamer crowd with the Blackbird, the sort of users that tend to want to upgrade frequently and overclock their computers. However, this is the very same crowd that is probably the least likely to buy a pre-built computer from a manufacturer when they can roll their own with superior or equal performance for less money.