There’s no mistaking the look of a gaming machine when you stumble upon one in person. Festooned in neon lights, eye-scorching colors, and absurd logos, the boxes usually look more like a fourth grader’s crayon rendering of a spaceship than the latest and greatest Silicon Valley has to offer.
While many major gaming PC manufacturers still seem to favor this approach for their own machines, HP has rethought the aesthetic approach for its high-end VoodooPC arm. The company’s latest new desktop gaming rig, the Omen, substitutes clean lines, smooth surfaces and understated styled for the gaudy loudness of its competitors, but still packs a wallop on the performance end.
Looking quite chiseled with hard edges and flat aluminum sides, the Omen stands a modest 22 inches tall, but weighs an incredible 100 pounds. From the front, only three features really distinguish it from a monolithic aluminum slab turned on end: A bottom cutout that raises it off the floor, a handful of slotted vents cut into the front and top, and a seven-inch LCD seated cleanly on its face.
Image Courtesy of VoodooPC
Of course, Voodoo knows that not all of its customers will bite on the low-key concept, and also offers a slew of upgrades to bring the case up to speed with the spaceship crowd if need be. The exterior, for instance, can take on one of 16 Voodoo Allure colored finishes, as well as one of eight Voodoo Ink laser-engraved designs. Buyers can also complement the existing aluminum with a selection of other materials, including wood, glass, and even leather. Inside, an array of LEDs displays a possible color palette of 16 million RGB colors, selected on the fly by the user.
There’s also plenty of performance hardware packed in there. Copper tubing for the system’s integrated cooling system has been plumbed directly into the case for thermal efficiency, with a built-in quad radiator to dump accumulated heat to the outside. The LED lighting can also serve a more utilitarian purpose by lighting up the case with battery power while users install upgrades.
Not that you’ll be needing them any time soon. The system supports processors as fast as Intel’s Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core 3.20GHz QX9770, and up to 8GB of blazing-fast PC-14400 RAM. As for GPUs, you get a choice of either Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 Ultra or ATI’s Radeon HD3870 series. And thanks to Nvidia SLI and ATI CrossFireX technology, you’ll also have to choose how many.
Other hardware specs get the same extreme treatment, from the prospect of up to six solid-state drives, to dual Blu-ray burners and Creative’s Audio Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer. The mouse and keyboard? Voodoo-branded Razers, of course.
In the grand tradition of custom gaming PCs, prices on the Omen range from outrageous to astronomical. The most basic system will run for $6,500, while a fully upgraded version could hit as high as $20,000 (leaving mere mortals to wonder where the engine and wheels are.) Although Voodoo has announced that it will offer the first systems to current Voodoo customers, the company hasn’t yet laid down a firm release date for the general public to order. For those with the time to ogle or money to shop, more details can be found at VoodooPC.