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

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 8 comments

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.

More from CES 2009

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  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , January 8, 2009 9:49 PM
    Wow, these systems are wrong on so many levels; integrated GPUs instead of a wider case to allow regular expansion card.

    BTW, shouldn't the VoodooDNA 803 be equipped with a Q9550 and not Q9400. Q9400 only comes with 6MB L2.
  • -1 Hide
    tipoo , January 8, 2009 9:57 PM
    Looks amazing, but only a moron would buy a high end gaming desktop for this much with MOBILE GPU's.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 8, 2009 10:11 PM
    Wait, shouldnt the processor on the second one be a Q9550, not the Q9400?
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    smalltime0 , January 9, 2009 4:26 AM
    tipooLooks amazing, but only a moron would buy a high end gaming desktop for this much with MOBILE GPU's.

    And sadly that is why itll sell, there ar enough moronic people in the world to base their purchase on looks.
  • -1 Hide
    zodiacfml , January 9, 2009 7:29 AM
    i thought they were passively cooled?
  • -1 Hide
    tipmen , January 9, 2009 7:43 AM
    I would expect more and better hard drives at this price 1TB are around 100 now. Why not use i7? Its cheaper then the Q9550 but then again you would have to pay the price for DDR3 but a good 3gb kit around $90 and a 6gb kit for 160.

    Ehhh, for $2000 I could build a pretty nice i7 core system easy.


    Newegg quick system.

    LITE-ON Black 6X Blu-ray DVD-ROM $109.99
    LG DVD Burner GH22LS30 $25.99
    case COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black $79.99
    HD 2x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB $239.98 ($119.99 each)
    GPU 1x EVGA 017-P3-1292-AR GeForce GTX 295 $509.99
    PSU ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ1100 1100W $299.99
    memory G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 $144.99
    MOBO BIOSTAR TpowerX58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 $269.99
    CPU Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz $294.99

    total cost $1,975.90

    This should easily beat the other systems. May not have the fancy case or water cooling but its better then whats there. Sure you don't have to spend the time building and risking bad parts but isn't that the fun part?

  • 0 Hide
    vaguedreams , January 9, 2009 1:48 PM
    I really think that many of the "Enthusiasts" are missing the point of this thing.

    Yes, for the do it yourselfers the computer is overpriced.

    This is not targeted for you though. It's targeted for those who don't feel like building their own computer from scratch.

    1.) it uses significantly less energy then the computer you can piecemeal together.
    2.) it is atractive and can fit in nice in a livingroom environment.
    3.) it is nearly silent, much less silent then your piecemeal pc and gaming consoles.
    4.) you don't build it yourself.

    There is no need to hate on the thing just because it does not make sense to you. Quite honestly, it's a nice comp. Nothing special, just nice.
  • 0 Hide
    VoodooDan , January 22, 2009 11:20 PM
    Hi Pei-chen,

    VoodooDan from HP here. Right now we launched two configurations in two very specific price brackets. Depending on the demand we can scale down or up, and we’re currently gauging it. Firebird is brand new, the platform is really creating a new category that we believe is the future of high performance computing. Clean, green, quiet, efficient, small, and very fast.