Along with the other laptops and desktops HP announced this morning comes the Voodoo Omen. An update of Voodoo's flagship high-end gaming desktop, the new Omen introduces some unique design elements along with the standard performance components. With prices starting at $7,000 and likely approaching over $15,000, the Omen brings HP and Voodoo into the extremely expensive luxury PC market.
At this price range, the specs are almost beside the point. The configuration is not available yet, but a downloadable PDF on the newly designed Voodoo site reveals that the Omen will offer an NForce 790i SLI motherboard, an overclockable, liquid-cooled Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor, solid-state hard drives, and support for both Nvidia's SLI and AMD's CrossFire multigraphics card technologies. All of that is to be expected, and neither the specs nor the sky-high price are different than what you can find from Alienware, Falcon Northwest, and other high-end PC vendors. But while Voodoo is not the only desktop vendor to let you configure a system in the $10,000-plus price range, it may be the only one with a model aimed specifically at that upper tier.
As you can see in part from the photo, it's the design of the Omen that helps it stand out. The all-aluminum chassis features a 7-inch LCD at the front, which works as a secondary display. You can also have the system custom painted, or you can order separate panels made of leather, wood, or glass to swap into the sides and the top of the system. That feature in particular is unique. We saw a wood-paneled mock-up at a preview about a month ago, and it definitely projected the "luxury" affect that Voodoo is marketing.
What we haven't seen is the inner workings. The pictures and Voodoo's descriptions indicate that the Omen's lofted case echoes the design HP used on the Voodoo-assisted Blackbird 002 desktop, wherein the main body of the chassis is elevated to allow air to enter the case through the bottom. Voodoo says it has rotated the motherboard 90 degrees as well to allow for better vertically oriented air-flow. This also puts the major outputs on the top of the system, although the cables are routed through a hole cut into the top of the rear panel. Voodoo also touts copper cooling pipes built into the case itself.
Voodoo provided no specific details on when the Omen will be available for purchase. Its Web site has a couple of teaser images set to go live over the next few weeks, and a press release says "current Voodoo customer will receive a private invitation to be among the first to order a customized Omen."