We always loved us that Voodoo-designed HP Blackbird 002, but it was certainly a behemoth. Now it looks like the duo are going for a more realistic size -- and hopefully pricepoint -- with the all-new HP Firebird PC 803 that just fell in our lap, a gaming tower which flips the disc drive and most other components on their sides to save on space. The resulting kit seems to have more in common with gaming consoles than desktop PCs in terms of design, with very little configurability or expansion available, but the leaked specs are still quite palatable to the modern PC gamer:
  • NVIDIA nForce 760i SLI chipset
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Dual NVIDIA GeForce 9800S cards
  • Two 320GB SATA drives
  • Blu-ray
  • 5-in-1 card reader
  • 6 USB, 1 FireWire, 2 eSATA, 1 S/PDIF and 1 DVI dual-link
  • Bluetooth
  • 802.11n WiFi
To save on space (and heat), the Firebird actually uses an external power supply, but we suppose the included wireless keyboard and mouse should help to make up for that clutter. As you've probably gleaned from the specs, those small form factor 9800S cards aren't going to be putting away the frame rates quite like the cutting edge cards from NVIDIA and AMD, and the seeming lack of expandability makes the (theoretical) up-front cost savings seem a bit less exciting, but for a certain type of gamer the Firebird could be a welcome respite from monstrous, unrealistic and just-as-quickly-outmoded performance towers.

P.S.: Rahul's dubious rant about the boutique gaming industry -- which Voodoo still serves -- makes a lot more sense in this light. [Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
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HP Firebird 803 tower with VoodooDNA leaked!

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