For middle-of-the-high-road types, HP just debuted its new Pavilion Elite m9600 series of Core i7 excitement. Things don't get quite as wild as Dell's new 24GB monsters, but HP packs in a respectable amount of power for the price. The base configuration includes a Core i7 920 2.66Ghz processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GS graphics and a DVD burner, all for $950, and you can escalate up to a Core i7 940 2.93GHz processor, 12GB of RAM, a couple of 1TB hard drives, 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics and a Blu-ray burner. HP is also outing four new 16:9 monitors, the 18.5-inch w1858, 20-inch 2009m, 21.5-inch 2159m and 23-inch w2338h. The latter two include HDMI inputs, and the prices range from $170 to $300 -- not bad at all.

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HP's debuts new Pavilion Elite m9600 series desktops, range of widescreen monitors