Up to $16,000: Core 2 Duo computers flood the Net

Westlake Village (CA) - A flurry of new computer announcements based on Intel's latest dual-core processor is hitting the Internet. Several computer companies are releasing specs on business and gaming desktops that use the Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors. The processor was official launched today and several companies including Alienware, Dell, Gateway, Velocity Micro and Voodoo PC are introducing new computers.

Alienware is rolling out two updated versions of the Area-51 line that use the new processor. The Area-51 ALX and 7500 will both use either the Core 2 Duo or the Core 2 Extreme processors and can be configured with up to 4 GB of RAM and four graphics processors. The 7500 can also include the Ageia PhysX physics processing card. No price has been specified yet.

Dell is rolling out three new computers: the XPS 410 gaming desktop, Dimension 9200 workstation and the Precision 390 business computer. The XPS 410 and the Dimension 9200 both can have up to 4 GB of DDR2 800 Mhz memory along with two SATA hard drives. The Precision 390 can have up to 8 GB of RAM and is rack-mountable. The XPS 410 will start at $1595 while the Dimension goes for $1674 and up. The Precision 390 starts off the lowest at $1090.

Gateway is announcing their FX510 "ultimate enthusiast and gaming" PC. The computer is in a BTX case and can be configured with either the Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme processors. Unlike many of the other computers announced today, the FX510 will have ATI Radeon X1900 CrossFire graphics, instead of Nvidia SLI. No price has been specified for the FX510.

Velocity Micro, a small Richmond Virgina-based computer maker, is introducing several gaming and home user computers. The computers are available on their website, but will also start selling in Best Buy stores on August 7. Gamers may prefer the liquid-cooled Velocity Raptor DCX or the conventionally-cooled Gamer's Edge PCX. Both computers can have up to four GB of RAM and two GeForce 7900 GTX video cards in SLI mode.

Home users who don't need fancy graphics can choose Velocity Micro's Vector GX with onboard Intel GMA950 graphics. The computer can have up to 2 GB of RAM and has a single hard-drive. While the Vector is the least powerful of the three machines, it is the cheapest, starting at $954 versus $3600 for the Raptor DCX and $1795 for the Gamer's Edge PCX.

The 16,000 Voodoo Omen PC

Voodoo PC has launched the latest version the Omen PC. This water-cooled computer includes the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor running at 2.93 Ghz. Memory can be upgraded to 4 GB and up to four hard drives in RAID configuration can be added. An Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX video card is included, but buyers can add an additional card along with an Ageia PhysX card. The system can currently be configured with prices starting at $5900. A fully loaded Omen with all the options selected will run for more than $16,100.

Both Gateway and Dell promise more Core 2 Duo/Extreme desktop and laptop announcements in the coming weeks.

Complete Core 2 Duo launch coverage:
Intel is back: Core 2 Duo launches
TG Daily interviews Intel: "Core is changing the game"
Official: Intel releases Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Extreme
The long road to Conroe
Tom's Hardware: Core 2 Duo smokes AMD's Athlon 64 X2
Intel to launch Merom, Conroe on Thursday
Four AMD dual-core prices now at or near Intel price/performance curve
Technology Background: Will Intel's Core Architecture Close the Technology Gap? (Tom's Hardware)