updated 02:40 pm EDT, Tue March 16, 2010
Intel Core i7 makes it into range of gaming PCs
Intel's recently unveiled six-core Core i7-980X CPU has found its way into a number of high-end desktop PCs from four manufacturers this week, including CyberPower, HP, Maingear and Velocity. Rated at 3.33GHz in standard form, the chip uses Hyperthreading to handle as much as 12 tasks at once. Some manufacturers have also taken it upon themselves to overclock Intel's most capable consumer CPU.
CyberPower introduced three new gaming rigs based on the Gulftown processor, including the Black Pearl, Gamer Xtreme 3D, and Fang Series Black Mamba. The Black Pearl will get 12GB or DDR3 RAM, two 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5870 video cards, a Blu-ray drive and 7.1-channel surround sound. Storage comes in the form of a 1TB, 7,200RPM hard drive and two 300GB Western Digital units. Pricing starts at $3,775.
The Gamer Xtreme 3D 3000 has 6GB or DDR3 RAM, two NVIDIA GTX 295 video cards with 1.7GB of RAM each and a 1.5TB, 7,200RPM hard drive. It comes bundled with a 22-inch Samsung monitor and NVIDIA's 3D Vision glasses. Prices for this configuration start at $3,945.
The Fang Series Black Mamba is the fastest system, shipping with an Ultimate Overclock that bumps up the i7's speed to just about 4.33GHz. It has 12GB of RAM, a liquid cooling kit for the CPU and a liquid cooled ATI HD 5870 video card with 1GB of RAM. Two 64GB Kingston SSD drives are paired with a 2TB, 7,200RPM hard drive. This layout costs $4,255 from CyberPower.
All three can be optioned up with CyberPower's Venom Boost technology that includes a liquid cooling kit, allowing overclocking the Core i7 by 30 percent.
HP on Tuesday also began offering its HPE-180t with the newest Intel Core i7 chip, with prices starting at $1,909. This includes 8GB or RAM, a 750GB or 1TB hard drive and a 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4650 video card. Other options of the HPE-180t will be retained, including up to 24GB of RAM, two 1TB of hard drives or a 300GB, 10,000RPM unit together with a 640GB hard drive. NVIDIA's 1.8GB GeForce GTX 260 video card is optional.
At the end of March, HP will offer a new HPE-190t, which will be exclusively offered with the Intel Core i7-980X CPU, along with a Blu-ray drive and a 1.5TB hard drive. It will cost $1,900 in this base trim.
MainGear's SHIFT X58 PCs with the i7-980X begin at $3,290. For the price, buyers also get a 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770 GPU, an ASUS mainboard with a SATA 6GBps interface and USB 3.0 support. There is also 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. It is the only PC here to offer an optional dual-port USB 3.0 hub.
Velocity Micro offers the Edge Z55 from its website with the new Core i7, which starts at $2,824. For this money, buyers get 6GB of RAM, a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 graphics card and a 1.5TB, 7,200RPM Seagate hard drive. It will also soon sell Raptor Lx665 and Lx775 PCs through Tiger Direct with the 3.33GHz Core i7 for $3,599 and $4,799, respectively, though no specifics on either system were given.
Cyber Power Black Pearl
Cyber Power Gamer Xtreme 3000 3D
Cyber Power Fang Series Black Mamba
MainGear SHIFT X58
HP Pavilion Elite HPE
Veloctiy Micro Edge Z55