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CES '09: HP Firebird's a Small Big Puncher

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 0 comment

HP's high performance Voodoo PC division demoed its Firebird desktop,  the smaller sibling of the Blackbird, today at CES '09 . The unit looks very similar to the intimidating looking Blackbird that we took a look at a while back.

Despite making a strong showing on the ground floor here at CES, the Firebird series don't come with Intel's latest Core i7 processors--clearly the Core 2 architecture proved to be not only a huge success for Intel, but also great in terms of longevity.



The Firebird is all passively cooled, with its power supply unit located externally inside a brick. There are currently two Firebird's:

Firebird with VoodooDNA 802

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 @ 2.66 GHz with 6MB L2 cache
  • Nvidia Nforce 760S chipset
  • 4 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • 2 x 512 MB Nvidia GeForce 9800S graphics cards
  • 2 x 250 GB 5,400 rpm hard drives
  • Dual-layer DVD burner
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Integrated audio

Firebird with VoodooDNA 803

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 @ 2.83GHz with 12MB L2 cache
  • Nvidia Nforce 760S chipset
  • 4 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • 2 x 512 MB Nvidia GeForce 9800S graphics cards
  • 2 x 320 GB 5,400 rpm hard drives
  • Blu-ray drive
  • Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless
  • Creative Labs X-Fi Mini PCI audio card

The 802 and 803 cost $1799 and $2000 respectively and are certainly decently equipped. For enthusiasts though, which is who the Voodoo brand targets, going with Core 2 instead of Core i7 processors may prove to be the line's undoing. Other than the CPU, each computer comes with liquid cooling for both the CPU and the GPU, which not only allows better overclocking but reduces operating noise significantly. Both computers are equipped with HDMI outputs for hookup to high resolution HDTVs.

In terms of styling, HP's Voodoo lineup definitely has character. We like the sleek looking design that's made to appear like it floats in the air. Both the Blackbird and Firebird share the same design cues and overall we like where HP's taking desktop design.

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