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HP preempts iMac with quad-core Firebird

updated 12:00 am EST, Tue January 6, 2009

HP Firebird 800

HP's CES introductions are being headlined today by an entirely new entry to its desktop line. The Firebird 800 is built with help from the Voodoo sub-label and aims to take up the minimal amount of space of a small form factor desktop with the performance of a full tower, thanks to new Intel processors: new set of Core 2 Quad chips consume just 65W of power without losing features over previous 95W versions. A custom liquid cooling setup also cuts back on fan noise from the chip and simultaneously frees up space for accessing RAM and the two drop-in notebook hard drive bays.

The Firebird also represents the debut of new small-size NVIDIA parts. A more compact nForce 760S mainboard reduces the overall footprint of the system; an equally new GeForce 9800S graphics chip not only accommodates the power and heat requirements for the design but is small enough to let HP fit two of the video parts in SLI mode, bringing the PC's 3D performance closer to a full-size tower.

All models are built with recognition of their likely role as home theater or HDTV gaming PCs and get HDMI output and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo. The Firebird gets expansion options unusual to small desktops and has an ExpressCard/54 slot on top of single FireWire and dual eSATA jacks for external hard drives.

HP hasn't yet disclosed pricing but plans to introduce two core models. The 802 is the entry version and carries a 2.66GHz Core 2 Quad, 4GB of memory, 500GB of disk space split across two drives and a slot-load DVD burner on top of the NVIDIA hardware. The 803 steps up to a 2.83GHz Core 2 Quad with more cache, 640GB of total hard drive storage and a Blu-ray combo drive. It also brings new wireless options over 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi mini PCIe card.

The launch of Firebird potentially confirms plans for a new quad-core iMac, early details of which were leaked in November. The new all-in-ones are rumored due to launch this month, potentially at Tuesday's Macworld Expo keynote, and are said to include a new cooling arrangement to accommodate the slightly hotter-running quad-core CPUs. It's not known whether Apple will use the new GeForce or nForce components, though the company's MacBooks are entirely dependent on NVIDIA for controlling chipsets and graphics.













By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +2

    The VooDoo line...

    ...laptop

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +3

    now with...

    Now with super-heated liquid...

    But seriously, wtf is up with putting two 2.5" bays in there? A single 3.5" bay would be about three times as useful, with the speed and capacity you'd expect from a box with the "performance of a full tower"... There also doesn't seem to be upgradable graphics, another major minus for a "full tower" replacement, particularly one shipping with only a single DVI port. At least it includes eSATA ports, so you can attach some decent external storage... Overall, I don't really see who the target market is here. Someone interested in the currently high-end graphics capabilities also wants fast hard drives and real PCI expandability options. Either you go for a small, quiet PC, or you go for a high performance across the board machine, but who wants the middle-of-the-road desktop/laptop hybrid with the worst aspects of both, and the best of neither?

  1. imactheknife

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2003

    0

    ugly

    this other builders just don't get it.....that thing is butt ugly

  1. MacMan2000

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008

    +2

    ummm

    ok did anyone else catch that in the photos????? thos are all mock-ups. the one that shows the back is empty, only one port.looks like an artist drawing to me...

  1. MhzDoesMatter

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2002

    +1

    May be mock ups....

    ...but if this thing had an upgradeable graphic slot, extra pci slot, two 3.5's, and blue ray, we'd be seeing every x-mac fanatic in the world talking about how this would be the best comp ever if it was made by apple.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -6

    Re: May be mock ups

    but if this thing had an upgradeable graphic slot, extra pci slot, two 3.5's, and blue ray,

    You mean, if it was a completely different computer?

    every x-mac fanatic in the world talking about how this would be the best comp ever if it was made by apple.

    Yeah, but if apple made them, they'd probably cost 50% more than what HP will charge!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    design

    Overall, I don't really see who the target market is here. Someone interested in the currently high-end graphics capabilities also wants fast hard drives and real PCI expandability options. Either you go for a small, quiet PC, or you go for a high performance across the board machine, but who wants the middle-of-the-road desktop/laptop hybrid with the worst aspects of both, and the best of neither?

    What do you mean, it is a small, quiet PC. The footprint is smaller than most towers, it is liquid cooled to keep the noise low.

    So, its basically a hyped-up Mac mini.

    It also is trying to replace your tower in the sense Apple wants to replace yours with an iMac or mini.

    People here always say no one upgrades computers anyway, so HP comes out with a fast computer with limited upgrade capabilities, and you're complaining because it isn't upgradeable?


    As for
    this other builders just don't get it.....that thing is butt ugly


    Please, we know. If it wasn't designed by Apple, the computer is fugly. We don't need to hear about it on every article.

  1. sglewis

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005

    -1

    preempts iMac?

    Umm.. what? How is this even remotely a competitor to the iMac? It's a tower and a monitor. The iMac is an all in one. Wrong audience.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    -1

    awesome

    this computer is awesome, apple just got spanked.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008

    -1

    you should know...

    "this computer is awesome, apple just got spanked."

    ...since you've already got one and tried it out. By the way, I've got a bridge in New York for you to buy.

    /

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