If you're tired of lugging your full-sized gaming PC from LAN party to LAN party, then iBuyPower may have a solution for you.
iBuyPower has announced its latest gaming PC in the LAN Warrior, a Core i7-based powerhouse contained within a small form factor case. While the NZXT Rouge case used for the new machine isn't quite as small as a Shuttle PC, it does come in a lot smaller than your average mid or full-size ATX case.
The guts of the LAN Warrior are pretty standard fare for a new gaming rig. For $999, you can nab a new Asus Rampage II Gene motherboard, Intel Core i7 920 (2.66 GHz, 8 MB cache), 3 GB of DDR3-1600 memory, 500 GB hard drive, and an Nvidia 9500GT, all powered by a generic 600W power supply. The LAN Warrior also comes with Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit) standard.
If a 9500GT and 500 GB hard drive just won't satiate your gaming appetite, there are plenty of upgrade options on every component. A paltry $4,478 will nab you an Core i7 965 Extreme Edition, 12 GB of Corsair DDR3-1600, two Nvidia GTX 295 video cards in SLI, dual 300 GB Velociraptor drives, a Blu-ray burner, and a 1000W power supply. On top of the upgrades, the hefty price tag will also score you a Fatal1ty edition Creative soundcard and a Killer M1 network card.
While the thought of a more portable pre-built gaming rig is sure to make some of our readers drool, it just isn't the same as cobbling your own machine together. Luckily, none of LAN Warriors components are iBuyPower-specific, including the case (here's the NewEgg link). Also, while there's no better feeling than gaming on a machine you put together yourself, nabbing a LAN Warrior from iBuyPower won't cost you much in terms of overhead. After looking around on a few different online retailers for parts, it became clear that a home-built rig with similar hardware would cost about as much as the above base model. However, iBuyPower includes Windows (which we did not in our quick and unscientific comparison) and a three year warranty, so the new LAN Warrior is not a bad buy by any means.
EDIT: It should be noted that because of the LAN Warrior's size and smaller motherboard, you can not add a sound card and/or network card when using two video cards in SLI or CrossFire configurations. Thanks to reader scook9 for pointing that out to us!