CES 2009: HP Firebird with VoodooDNA Gaming PC Hands-on

Water cooled, fanless desktop packs a punch in a small and silent box.

PC Gaming is dying, so on and so on, yadda yadda…no matter what the doom mongers say there still seems to be mileage in PC gaming yet, as evidenced by the latest spawn of HP and its wholly owned subsidiary, Voodoo PC. Called the Firebird, it’s a truly ingenious mixture of desktop and mobile parts that combine to create a small, very powerful and completely silent SLI gaming PC.

Currently only slated for the US, the top of the range model features a 2.83GHz Intel Core 2 Quad, 4GBs of RAM, two 2.5in 320GB hard drives, a slot loading Blu-ray drive, Bluetooth and Draft-N Wi-Fi, Creative Labs X-Fi sound and dual 512MB nVidia 9800S graphics cards.

All of which is great, but the most important thing is that there are no fans in this machine. Both GPUs and the CPU are water cooled, with the reservoir being housed at the top of the case. As you can see below the hard drive bays rotate outwards and house 2.5in drives, as opposed to the 3.5in ones normally found in desktops. This makes the Firebird an obvious candidate for an SSD, though HP doesn’t as yet offer this option.

Perhaps that’s because the Firebird is already pretty expensive. For the model listed above you’ll pay $2,099.99, while the slightly cheaper model still comes in at $1,799.99. Still, the design and engineering of the Firebird makes it easy to see where all that money is going. Inside everything is impossibly neat, showing some considerable thought has gone into how the internals are arranged. Meanwhile, on the outside, HP’s flair for design is evident in the smart backlighting, imprint designs and funky case.

This is definitely one PC we’d love to see make it to the UK. In the meantime, check out the next page for more photos.

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