As an outspoken member of the community, and one of the first to break the story that Dell would eventually acquire Alienware, it was only a matter of time before Rahul Sood's company, Voodoo Computers, was acquired as well.

With Dell already having purchased Alienware, the next logical match would be Voodoo and HP. So today, without further ado, HP is announcing that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Voodoo Computers, Inc.; the deal will close sometime between now and October 31, 2006.

The Dell/Alienware purchase brought into the public eye some of the interest that many of the major players have in the enthusiast and gaming PC markets, thus it is no surprise to see interest in the space by one of Dell's most fierce competitors: HP.

The acquisition will be structured in a bit of a different fashion than what we saw with Dell and Alienware, mainly in that there appears to be much tighter integration within HP itself. Although Voodoo will continue to exist as a high end brand, both Rahul and his brother, Ravi Sood, will be taking roles in HP's newly created Gaming division. Rahul Sood will be the Chief of Technology for HP's Gaming Division Worldwide, while Ravi will be Chief Strategist for the worldwide Gaming Division.

Rahul will also get a seat at the R&D council for HP's Personal Systems Group, meaning that his input may also be used in the design and execution of other HP personal systems.

Neither Voodoo nor HP would comment on any planned products for either the Voodoo business unit or HP's Gaming division other than to state that the goals going forward would continue to be to build the best possible hardware for the customers. In other words, we should expect to see both strong AMD and Intel solutions, coming out of Voodoo and HP Gaming.

As we mentioned before, Voodoo will exist as a separate business unit with a different business model and goals than HP's Gaming division. Without the intense pressures of remaining an independent company, Voodoo will not be forced to take its brand downstream to remain afloat; with the backing of HP, the goal is for Voodoo to be a truly high-end, Ferrari-class brand allowing HP Gaming products to service the masses.

From HP's standpoint, it's not necessarily gamers that the gaming division is interested in attracting. According to Rahul, only about 25 - 30% of Voodoo's customers use their Voodoo PCs for "hardcore gaming", the rest are more casual gamers that use their systems for much more. It's these users that have fairly stressful, high-end usage models (many of which are content creation or consumption focused) that HP is hoping to better target with the expertise of Voodoo at the helm.

As far as Rahul and Ravi are concerned, the fit with HP makes a lot of sense because of HP's incredible focus on R&D. As two people very passionate about their work, being able to have access to even a sliver of HP's $3.5B yearly investment in R&D is reason enough to be excited about the deal. While we couldn't get any specifics as to what sort of R&D we would see productized in the near future, cooling and chassis design obviously come to mind as two areas that could leverage HP's investments in R&D.

Given the close proximity to the Dell/Alienware deal, inevitably many will wonder (us included) about how much of this deal was reactionary rather than premeditated. Rahul was very clear in mentioning that the very first discussions of an alliance between HP and Voodoo dated back to January 2005, but as most of these deals go, it was met with delays that kept things from happening until now.

Both Rahul and Ravi Sood seemed very upbeat about the acquisition and we can only wish them the best of luck in their new roles at HP. With both HP and Dell seriously looking at the enthusiast/gaming space, this consolidation will hopefully result in more interesting options for the market going forward. It's often times the smaller companies like Alienware and Voodoo that have the passion and focus on technology that can easily get lost or forgotten in a larger company like Dell and HP. With Voodoo's DNA now infused with HP, hopefully we'll see positive ramifications extending far beyond a new line of gaming PCs but a more innovative impact across HP's entire consumer lineup of desktops.

The PC industry has been in dire need of a manufacturer that could focus on something beyond building a more affordable computer, but actually innovate beyond building a generic box. We've been waiting for an Apple-like entity to come around and breathe new life into the PC and take some out there concepts and make them reality. While the verdict isn't out on Dell/Alienware and definitely not HP/Voodoo, here's hoping that at least one of them will be able to think further outside the box than we've seen from PC OEMs in the past.



View All Comments

  • QueBert - Friday, September 29, 2006 - link

    not sure who "we" is, but tell "we" if they can build a a system like that for 3,000 - hell for 6,000 I will buy 10 of them at once! 14.5k is inflated yet, but you need to shop around, Falcon's paint job's alone are hella expensive. I was quoted one place for wanting a custom air brushed case (I already had the case...) $750 bucks. All these specality vendors like Falcon and Voodoo put anything they sell threw hella testing, which is good for the consumer. As a consumer you can't possibly test all the configurations they do to know what works best together. Typically I read 2 reviews of a MB, buy it, and end up having issues :)

    cutting edge doesn't always equal = best b0x!
  • Zebo - Saturday, September 30, 2006 - link

    Building 6? You aint started yet? Reply
  • Zebo - Saturday, September 30, 2006 - link

    No problem that what were here for at anandtech

    Lets review voodoo's $14,443 OMEN WATERCooled jober. Don't look at Jarrad's specs his are innacuate.">

    All I added was a second x1900xtx for gaming

    Voodoo Case Voodoo propietary closest to LIAN LI PC-V1200 $200

    Voodoo Water cooling but not on video cards, I'll give you video card cooling in our build - All Swifttech
    -2 x MCW60 for videocards $100
    -APOGEE for CPU $37
    -MCP350™ 12 VDC Pump $71
    -MCR220 Quiet Power 2X120mm Radiator $44
    -2x Yateloon Low RPM Fans $8
    - Res and tubing $30

    Voodoo OMEN Elemental Intel Core 2 Duo X6800- ours: X6800 $934.00

    Voodoo ASUS P5W DH Deluxe Digital Home - ours $237

    Voodoo Stealth 600 Watt Modular Silent Power Supply - Ours Corsiar modular 620W $120

    Voodoo CORSAIR TWINX 2GB 8500C5 DD2 - ours CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) (PC2 8500) $388

    Voodoo 500 GiG HGST Sata 7200 RPM - ours Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000KS 500GB 7200 RPM $169

    Voodoo OMEN Molded Digital Card Reader - Ours Spire Coolers SP150 16-in-1 USB 2.0 compliant & USB 1.1 backward compatible Card Reader $9

    Voodoo Pioneer Dual Layer 16X DVD+-RW - ours Pioneer DVR-111D 16x Dual Layer Black IDE DVDRW $22

    Voodoo ATi Radeon X1900XTX 512 SS - ours Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX Video Card $344

    Voodoo ATi Radeon X1900 Crossfire SS - ours SAPPHIRE Radeon X1900 CrossFire Edition $374

    Voodoo Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Music - ours Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Music $62.46

    Vodoo Windows XP Professional - Ours Windows XP Professional $99

    Grand total with better water cooling and quieter = 2938.26

    $14,443 or $2938.26 if we do it.

  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 29, 2006 - link

    $2000 - $3000? Hardly.

    High-end chassis = $200 minumum. Note that the $14000 PCs generally have custom paint jobs that can easily cost hundreds of dollars, sometimes more. Let's just say $1000 for kicks.
    975X Motherboard = $250 or so. (Curse them if they use an Intel BadAxe2!)
    X6800 = $1000, possibly a bit more given current prices.
    2 x X1900 XT (probably should be X1950 by now) = $700-$900 depending on cards.
    2x1024MB high-end DDR2 = $400-$550 these days.
    2x150GB Raptor = $430 (or $540 for the windowed model).
    2xDVD = $60 for cheap brands; $120-$150 for high-end (and/or SATA).
    Was a 30" LCD included in that price? That's $2200 for Dell 3007WFP.
    Watercooling, probably in the neighborhood of $250 for full system cooling.
    X-Fi Platinum (likely) = $250.
    Keyboard and mouse (probably wireless Logitech laser version) = $125. Paint matching would add another $50-$100 I would say at least.
    700W PSU = $160; 1000W PSU = $360. (I'm just going extreme here; I don't know for sure what they're using as I'm too lazy to look.)

    Bottom line: $6000 minimum to use off-the-shelf equivalents, without any paint job.
    $7875 for maxed out version with paint (estimated at $1100 for painting all components)

    What about some digital 5.1 speakers? There's another $300 if they use the Logitech Z-5500. Let's give them 15% profit, just because we are talking a high-end configuration. That puts the total of the maxed version at $9400 at least. Hopefully there's a full onsite 3-year warranty (or next-day shipping to and from the manufacturer), which could be $500 or so. Assuming top quality support, you might also get another $500 added on to pay those people, and I forgot the $130 for the OS.

    Yes, I'm being a bit generous on some prices, and it is quite possible to get over $10000 in "costs" for the system builder. That's still $4500 in profit, but there is no way on earth you can match a full FNW $14500 system with any box costing under $4000 (not including LCD). Then you just need to get people to buy it, which is the really tough part. Heh.
  • Zebo - Friday, September 29, 2006 - link

    I can paint a three cars with $1000 in paint using the best PPG urathanes and hardners..probably 500 cases. Being generous $35 paint

    Case does'nt cost more than $100 directly from china..there not buying from newegg it's custom and laser etched just for voodoo.

    Hell all your prices are way out of line at MSRP not wholesale as you noted. The only ting accurate is watercooling.

    No no monitor was included

    Of course sales is the hard part these rip off boxes don't sell themselves.
  • Chadder007 - Thursday, September 28, 2006 - link

    What?? After their mistake of buying out Compaq?
    Also what is with everyone merging or being bought out here lately?
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