updated 02:25 pm EST, Mon January 21, 2008
HP Blackbird Alpha
HP today hoped to lead the crowd of gaming PCs with a new top-end version of its Blackbird 002 gaming PC. Called just the Blackbird Alpha, the tower is based around Intel's newer Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad-core processor running at 3GHz, offering both the faster speed and a cooler 45 nanometer design in the process. The system also brings the faster components of the Blackbird series with an Ageia PhysX physics accelerator card and two of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT video cards with 1GB of RAM each.
In factory stock form, the Alpha ships with 2GB of high-bandwidth system memory, 160GB (10,000RPM) and 500GB (7200RPM) hard drives, and the Blackbird's characteristic ASUS Maximus Formula mainboard that supports both CrossFire for dual ATI graphics or replacement graphics cards with NVIDIA's equivalent SLI mode. HP takes orders for the system at its normal $5500 price today and predicts shipping dates of February 4th for any new orders.