Feature Summary

We've covered a majority of the features already, but before we get to the actual benchmarks we thought we would summarize all of the system details and highlight any other areas that we have not discussed so far.

HP Blackbird 002 LCi
Case HP Custom "Blackbird" ATX
Motherboard ASUS Striker Supreme
Processor Core 2 Extreme QX6850 Overclocked
(Quad-core 11x333MHz 3.67 GHz 2x4MB shared L2 cache)
Heatsink/Cooling Asetek LLC Liquid Cooling for CPU/GPUs - Factory Sealed
1 x 120mm front case fan
2 x 120mm top case fans (for radiator)
RAM 2x1024MB Corsair Dominator PC2-8500
(CM2X1024-8500C5D)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD X2900 XT 1GB x 2 (CrossFire Capability)
Hard Drives 1x160GB Raptor 16MB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s (WD1600ADFS)
1x750GB Seagate 16MB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s (ST3750640AS)
Optical Drives Slot-Load DVDR with LightScribe (TS-T632L)
Blu-ray Rewriter/HD-DVD Reader (HL-DT-ST BD-RE GGW-H10N)
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe X16 (dual x16, single x8)
1 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI 2.2
Expansion Bays 5 x 3.5" internal bays
Audio Analog Devices AD1988B
Power Supply 1.1 kW Modular Cable Design
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
Front Ports 15-in-1 Flash Reader
2 X 3.5mm Audio (Headphone and Microphone)
1 x 6-pin IEEE 1394, 2 x USB2.0
Rear Ports Optical and Coax S/PDIF Out
2 x RJ45 GbE
4 x USB2.0
1 x 6-pin IEEE 1394
2 x eSATA
LCD POST Panel
LED Switch
Dimensions 23.5" x 9" x 22" (HxWxD)
Weight 72 pounds

There's plenty of room for additional hard drives, but the configuration we received includes a single 160GB Western Digital Raptor and a secondary 750GB Seagate 7200.10 drive for mass storage. The Blackbird also includes dual optical drives; one is a slot loader DVD-RW while the second is a combination Blu-ray writer/HD-DVD reader. Not sure which optical format will win out in the coming high-definition content wars? The Blackbird has you covered, at least in terms of reading media. We do have to mention, however, that the slot load drive makes a decent amount of noise when you first start up the system - it sounds as though it's trying to eject a disc, whether or not one is installed.


All of the usual suspects are present for the remainder of the system: Gigabit Ethernet (two ports), plenty of USB ports, FireWire, and HD audio. A small (relative to the rest of the case) hatch pops up at the top-front of the case, providing access to a couple USB ports and a FireWire port, microphone and headphone jacks, and flash memory readers for pretty much every conceivable memory type: SM, SD, xM, MS, CF, and MMC (and probably a few other formats besides).


A large 1100W modular power supply keeps all of the components happily juiced up, and provides plenty of room for expansion in the future. Our power supply testing has revealed that optimal efficiency usually comes in the 30%-60% load range, so with the given configuration the Blackbird 002 will usually fall into that area. We'll have more details on the power numbers later.

Considering that HP has included pretty much everything plus the kitchen sink, there is one notable omission. Audio is not provided by a dedicated sound card, although it does come on a riser card. ASUS uses the Analog Devices AD1988b audio chip, which we have generally found to be slightly better than the Realtek and other onboard solutions. In the past, we have recommended that gamers and other audio enthusiasts use a dedicated sound card, but Windows Vista has thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into that recommendation. Specifically, we have serious concerns about recommending a Sound Blaster X-Fi card for any Windows Vista system at this point in time. When the drivers do work, and with a little bit of extra effort on the part of the user, you can still get enhanced sound effects; however, we are content to sit this one out for a little while longer. In other words, while the lack of a dedicated sound card might seem like a flaw, we're not particularly concerned for the time being - users can always add one later if they feel it's necessary.

Gearheads, Rejoice! Benchmark Setup
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31 Comments

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  • Sabresiberian - Monday, October 8, 2007 - link

    Hewlett-Packard used to be synonymous with high quality small computing and scientific gear, but have become something less than that. It is nice to see them produce something that is once again aimed at the high-end market.

    I can understand why they didn't go with 64-bit, it's still early for that, but I agree it should have had 4GB ram. Easy to fix, but why should you have to fix anything in a $5500 system?

    I'd buy one just to support HP's efforts if I could afford one :)
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, September 17, 2007 - link

    No idea how great this encoder is (video isn't my thing) but http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html">Super claims to convert to H.264 Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - link

    Seems to work fine, except it definitely doesn't support quad-core and possibly not even fully dual-core. :( Reply
  • Zak - Saturday, September 15, 2007 - link

    Since when Radeon HD X2900 XT 1GB is the fastest card on the market? I'm confused. All reviews I read say that it's about as fast as 8800GTS 640MB. Because all that super fast memory doesn't give it any benefit since the GPU is lagging behind. It was beaten by 8800GTX and Ultra in all reviews, except for one game, I forgot which one. Can someone elaborate? I'm going to buy a new video card soon and I was intrigued by this card: 1GB of GDDR4 sounds impressive and the price is right. But then I started reading reviews and they cooled me off, this card is competing against 8800GTS, it's not even close to GTX or Ultra speed.

    Z.
    Reply
  • wolfman3k5 - Saturday, September 15, 2007 - link

    Regardless of what reviews say, because many reviewers are biased, I can tell you that I've tested a Sapphire HD2900XT 1GB GDDR4 and it's performance lies between a 8800 GTS 640MB and a 8800 GTX 768MB. Never mind touching the Ultra. Best bang for the buck is the MSI 8800 GTX, Anand will agree with me. Take care and good luck. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 15, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Since when Radeon HD X2900 XT 1GB is the fastest card on the market?


    I'm not sure that I ever intended to give the impression that the HD 2900 XT 1GB is the fastest card on the market - in fact, at several points I specifically say the opposite. However, I'm sure that AMD CrossFire is merely an option and is not required. Obviously, the Dell 720 H2C comes out ahead in quite a few of the gaming tests, even with older drivers.

    Also, a https://h20435.www2.hp.com/Default.aspx">"special edition" Blackbird went on sale today for $5500, and only 518 (don't ask me why 518!) will be made. That version includes dual 8800 Ultra cards and the Half-Life 2 "Orange Box" bundle, plus pretty much everything seen here. Not a bad price for the components, really, but still more than most people are willing to spend.
    Reply
  • Zak - Sunday, September 16, 2007 - link

    Thanks. I was just confused. I thought I missed something. Also, thanks to the other poster who replied. I will most likely get the 8800GTX then. 8800Ultra seems like a waste of money at $100 more. But I just got a 24" monitor, I may need all the graphics power I can get. SLI is out of question though, too expensive.

    Z.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 15, 2007 - link

    Apparently I messed up the link. Let's try that again:

    https://h20435.www2.hp.com/Default.aspx">HP Blackbird 002 Dedication Edition
    Reply
  • Zak - Saturday, September 15, 2007 - link

    I have to say I'm shocked to see this come out of HP, the most boring computer maker on the planet. The price is prohibitively high, but if I was on the market for computer of this grade I would very seriously consider this vs Dell or Alienware.

    Z.
    Reply
  • Toronto699 - Thursday, September 13, 2007 - link

    Blackbird Tech Support will be handled by Voodoo PC in Calgary Alberta Canada, Canadas Oil Capitol Reply

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