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HP to Offer Custom Compaq Gaming PCs

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the tricked-out dept.

HP 253

PunkerTFC writes "Announced in the run-up to E3, Hewlett-Packard will offer custom built-to-order gaming machines under the Compaq brand, according to Reuters. The machines will be avalible in June or July and 'offer a range of options with standard, off-the-shelf components.' HP has been selling a Compaq gaming machine on a limited basis through a few select retailers already - apparently, 'Those pilot sales... convinced the company that it could compete in a market where well-known specialty manufacturers like Alienware, Voodoo and Falcon Northwest face increasing competition from mainstream players like Dell Inc'. The X Gaming machines will feature 'a standard chassis from CoolerMaster, known for its work in keeping system noise down while also decreasing heat, and red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark.'"

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253 comments

HP (-1, Offtopic)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109090)

I love games!

Heh. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109094)


If I call up asking for a machine to play Marathon they'll build me a Mac? Sweet!

Re:Heh. (1)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109132)

Yeah! I've always needed a box to play Glider. The Windows port always acts wonky and doesn't have an editor.

Paper airplane action, here I come!
-----

Re:Heh. (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109321)

and now that its free and works in OSX you can play it along side Unreal 2004

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109402)

It's either Marathon or Photoshop if you want a Mac and not a lot else...

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109444)

What about warcraft 3, unreal tournament 2k4 or neverwinter nights?

Not to mention Escape Velocity: Nova, which r0x0red.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109464)

Well, we're up to six now...

In all honesty, I was going to buy a Mac in 1996 because of Marathon, it was miles better than anything on the PC. Problem was that Quake came along at just the right/wrong moment. I have a iBook now so I'm in part redeemed...

Re:Well... (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109480)

SimCity 4, Civ III, Most of the Sims, and a whole bunch of really awesome shareware games. (And some kids games, Bugdom, Nanosaur, etc.)

Not bad for the platform designed to actually get work done!

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109537)

Or MS Office. Or Nisus Writer. Or Macromedia Studio MX, or UT2k4, or these [apple.com] or these [apple.com] or some of these [versiontracker.com] . Oh, and don't forget about Fink [sourceforge.net] . 3dpong rocks when it's hardware rendered.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109103)

fp bitches you suck......

Eff Pee (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109108)

why do donuts resemble toilet seats?

Is this going to be a popular serivce? (5, Insightful)

James A. O. Joyce (777976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109109)

I mean, don't most gamers do all of this already? The only people who might purchase these custom computers would be wannabes, surely? Your average gamer either make does with what he's got or just adapts custom hardware. Besides, there's no fun in a case mod if it comes with the PC.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (4, Insightful)

_pruegel_ (581143) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109175)

Actually the article does not mention "case mod" at all. HP sells very high end machines to consumers and might be able to do so at a good price due to large volume. I don't think that the average gamer is also a hardware technician.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (4, Insightful)

cynicalmoose (720691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109221)

Hold on.

At the moment, those with case mods are the people who know how to mod their machines, and actually know a little. They do it partly for the kudos, but also for the fun.

But I can just imagine your standard 1337 gamer wanting to have a console looking like that, but unable to do so. And some of them, many of them, would pay for the priveledge.

So no, although those currently who have mods, won't buy this thing, there is probably a market who will, who haven't been able to get modded machines before.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (0)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109495)

Uh, if case mods are the only use you can think of for a custom build gaming rig, try a little harder.

Sure, having a cool cathode light is neat. But having a machine with a cool cathode light and three years of on site support is far neater.

Some gamers, myself included, would far prefer to be playing games, rather than debugging hardware issues. Of course, the extent of my case modding was a brushed aluminum case I bought two years ago. Why waste your time making the box look nice when you could be brushing up on your head shots? I've some elite looking boxes piloted by canon fodder.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (5, Insightful)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109228)

I mean, don't most gamers do all of this already? The only people who might purchase these custom computers would be wannabes, surely? Your average gamer either make does with what he's got or just adapts custom hardware. Besides, there's no fun in a case mod if it comes with the PC.

While this is all true, it's nice once in a while to have a computer under warranty, with the components rigorously tested and certified to work well together. I'd often get add-on components and realize the power supply wasn't able to support new gaming hardware, or the new component turned out to be excessively noisy. There's a lot of gamers out there who would prefer to spend the time playing games rather than mucking about with worrying about such factors with the hardware.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (3, Interesting)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109255)

Definately, the mystique of a case mod is made completely lame by factory installation.

After-all, mod = modify. If it was just the windows, lights and custom fans that made case mods cool, then we'd call them case accessories, or some-other innane term.

However, there are plenty of die-hard gamers who have no clue as to what to do inside their computers. These folks buy 'gaming PCs'. Of course, the popular ones don't include pre-fab 'case mods', just seats for where case-mods could go.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109271)

I would be weary (even as a non-gamer) of any PC that was branded under Compaq. My gf had a p3-500 that she bought when she entered college. It had 64mb of RAM. Only 56mb was usable for anything because 8 of it was tied up for VRAM.

How could any hardcore gamer trust a Compaq computer with a history like that?

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109368)

I won't disagree that Compaq sucks, but she only has herself to blame for that one. One can still buy cheapo PCs that use shared video memory.

Compaq's commercial stuff was always top-notch, and their consumer stuff was always complete and total garbage. I haven't paid much attention since they absorbed into HP though.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (2, Interesting)

ManoMarks (574691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109440)

Absolutely. I've had to deal with Compaqs at work and friends who have them, they've been nothing but trouble. They seem to have inherited the old Packard-Bell method of construction. I hear they made good servers, though. Before they were bought out. I haven't heard anything about the brand since.

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109458)


IHMO, hardcore gamers will declare these machines to be "gay" and no one will buy them...

Re:Is this going to be a popular serivce? (4, Insightful)

TomorrowPlusX (571956) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109550)

I don't mean to sound like an ass, but, it seems the great overarching movement of western culture has been to make available the image of "uniqueness" to anybody willing to pay for it. And I'm not talking about paying more for quality -- that's commendable ( disclaimer, I own an Apple laptop ). I'm talking about paying someone for a product that's meant to look "custom".

Well, I could be wrong, but a few years ago I said: "I don't think anybody will buy a Chrysler PT Cruiser. The kind of person who wants something like that will make one ( e.g., like a hot-rod ) from an old panel truck."

Boy, was I wrong.

Red lights! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109113)

red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark... and make it run faster!

Re:Red lights! (-1, Flamebait)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109191)

No, red means stop. That's for when it loads Windows.

/karma whoring

Re:Red lights! (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109332)

The red light feature is designed to complement Virtual Valeriesque games.

Re:Red lights! (5, Funny)

dallask (320655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109385)

LED Glow wire = -2 FPS
Red lights = + 5 FPS
Blue Lights = + 7 FPS
LED Fans = +12 FPS

Case Window = +6 FPS
Window Etching = +2 FPS

Anti RIAA sticker = +27 FPS
Anti MPAA sticker = +14 FPS

Wife / girlfriend / parental oversight on your mod spending habits = -2200 FPS

Re:Red lights! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109460)

Hey, it apparently works for Honda Civics... What do those glowing LED windshield washer nozzles add, 15 horse at the wheels?

Re:Red lights! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109477)

And the red lights are to lull you into a state of ignorance so you don't realize you're buying another Hewlett Compaqard piece of crap to go along with your piece of crap printer whose cartridges cost more than the printer.

beowulf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109125)

a beowulf cluster of these things would be awesome, but I, for one, welcome our hp/compaq custom built gaming pc overlords.

Odd Choice of Brands, Maybe (5, Interesting)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109127)

Way back when HP and Compaq merged, the decision was made that HP's would be the higher end product, and Compaqs would be marketed toward the low-end.

So it's odd to see them choose their cheaper brand to be their game box, since game boxes are by definition amped up versions of regular machines.

Maybe they just think Compaq sounds a lot cooler than Hewlett-Packard.

Re:Odd Choice of Brands, Maybe (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109151)

Well, it does have that quirky 'q' at the end without a 'u' after it. I don't think the name would be so neat if it were Compaqu.

Re:Odd Choice of Brands, Maybe (4, Informative)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109284)

I honestly couldn't point to the source that says this, but I remember them ultimately deciding that Compaq would be reintroduced as their "enthusiasts" brand, for people who tinkered a bit more with their PCs and demanded a bit more hardware (video editing folks, gamers, the guy who needs the new chip because it's new).

I suppose some market survey showed that Compaq owners did this more often than HP owners, or that people who were a bit more into hardware specs looked more favorably on the compaq name.

Toward the end of Compaq's stand-alone life, they were actually using some nice, deskpro-derived towers and were one of the first big-name companies to embrace the Athlon processor in their higher-range consumer equipment. They were also a big supporter of the Athlon/DDR combo during the P4A days when the only non-RDRAM chipset from intel supported PC133 SDRAM. Both of those things would indicate that, at least from a strategy standpoint, Compaq might have counted on their customers being slightly more informed on the hardware side of things than otherwise. Or it might just have been a gamble, who knows?

Again, I swear the first point about the enthusiast brand was from one of their official statements post-merger, where they started talking about what lines from each company would be dropped. Given those sorts of examples, though, I don't think it's too terribly far fetched.

Re:Odd Choice of Brands, Maybe (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109299)

Actually it was more like this:

x86 platform = All Compaq gear, HP would continue selling HP brand workstations to stores for contract obligations

unix platform = HPUX is the only one, Dec VMS dead

printers = HP is the only one, Compaq lexmark deal would not be

Compaq always had a superior x86 line than HP. True HP would sell higher-end products, but only in the enterprise space. No matter how smoking fast & high-end this end user product is, it is still an end user product.

Re:Odd Choice of Brands, Maybe (1)

Daemongar (176180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109423)

Well, this isn't too informative, but I know that among *ahem* mature gamers, the Hewlett-Packard brand name = crap system. Not saying their current systems stink - hell, I love HP servers. Just that there was tooo much ill-will produced by their old HP home systems.

I still remember the HP 75 machines with the integrated sound/modem card that made my life a living hell - couldn't upgrade anything, ran slower than most 486/66's, IIRC proprietary memory. Brrrr!!!

It would be very hard for HP to recover from the bad press they got, so why bother? Just start fresh with Compaq X system or whatever and try again.

Fine for the kids (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109130)

But any l33t gamer wouldn't be caught dead with one of these. I have the feeling these won't sell all that well.

Re:Fine for the kids (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109507)

Good thought, AC, but bad conclusion.

The target market is not the _truly_ l33t gamer, who wouldn't buy a box with a mobo in it, let alone some tricked-out box with the cover screwed on. This product line is aimed straight at the flush parent/college student/damn12yearolds professional who is looking for speed with a warranty.

X, X, X!!! (5, Insightful)

Daemongar (176180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109131)

For crying out loud if I hear of another X-machine, I'll go crazy! Are the nations game players, nerds, and marketers in such an uncreative funk that they can't think of anything more than putting an X on everything and therby making it "radical" or eXtreme?

This country sucks!

Re:X, X, X!!! (4, Funny)

penguinoid (724646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109171)

Just wait untill you hear about X-Windows... heh

Re:X, X, X!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109250)

This country sucks!

Xactly!

They should just sell case badges... (4, Funny)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109135)

...and be done with it.

Re:They should just sell case badges... (0, Offtopic)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109266)

I read that as "Case badgers [badgerbadgerbadger.com] ".

Re:They should just sell case badges... (1)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109311)

LOL - A friend wrote that domain in my 9y/o's homework folder last week. Too funny.

Red lights (4, Funny)

Radi-0-head (261712) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109137)

Red glowing lights? Must... buy... NOW...

Can't... resist... red glowing lights...

Re:Red lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109272)

Red glowing lights? Must... buy... NOW...


Just wait'll they slap a glitter finish on it!

We'll all be DOOMED!
( ...doomed!... )

commercials... (3, Insightful)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109138)


But will they [HP] top AlienWare's commercial that airs on TechTV?

All HP has to do is throw in an AMD Athlon64 into the machine and they'll top *Dull* (err, Dell) since Dell is an Intel-only screwdriver operation, for now.

Speaking of Dell, has anyone seen the commericals to the NetFlix competitor starring the former *Dell Dude*?

Hmmm... (1, Funny)

James A. O. Joyce (777976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109144)

"red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark"

How can I trust their case mods if I can't even trust their grammar?
(Note: the quoted sentence should use the word "what" in place of "that".)

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109205)

If they meant to use "that" instead of "what" wouldn't it then be a spelling or typing error?

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109344)

"red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark"

How can I trust their case mods if I can't even trust their grammar?

Sounds like British grammar: "It's people like you what cause unrest. [jumpstation.ca] "

Umm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109145)

...red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark.
In case you lose it in a forest at night?

Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109147)

Does it run Linux?

Re:Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109180)

If it has new hardware in it then no it will not.

..red glowing lights in front and back.. (3, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109162)

red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark.

For those truly l33t gamer/night joggers. You really aren't an extreme gamer until you've hit the wall at the 30th mile at 3:00 am while fragging.

Re:..red glowing lights in front and back.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109382)

I'd mod this as "Funny", except it's even funnier that someone modded it as "Insightful"

I've Seen These Pilots... (4, Interesting)

ItMustBeEsoteric (732632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109163)

The Best Buy semi-local to me has them (in Toledo, OH). While I admit the case is cool (shiny polished aluminum), and definitely looks better than the Dell XPS or the hideous Alienwares, it was overpriced as is to be expected. It was almost as much as the Alienware they had (this was a few months ago).

Now, gamers who buy these gaming systems rather than building their own rigs go a lot for cool factor, name-brand recognition, and bragging rights. I think the fact that it's a Compaq may hurt this.

"Yeah, I have an Alienware Area-51"
"Sweet, I just got a Dell XPS laptop."
"Yeah, well, I got a Compaq gaming tower!"

See what I mean?

Ah, gamers (0, Redundant)

cflorio (604840) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109172)

Ah, gamers, the driving force behind faster processors! Go Frag!

ahhh Nostalgia (2, Funny)

poofyhairguy82 (635386) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109174)

A Compaq with standard, off-the-shelf components? Wow, it will be like before the company was ruined by HP's love of crappy part integration [hp.com] !!

Re:ahhh Nostalgia (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109269)

A Compaq with standard, off-the-shelf components? Wow, it will be like before the company was ruined by HP's love of crappy part integration !!

Err come again? My first PC was a Compaq years before they merged with HP. They used proprietary parts back then. Proprietary sound card, motherboard, video card, and "psuedo-winmodem" (not an actual winmodem but used special drivers and didn't use the Hayes command set). Hell the only off-the-shelf product as I recall was the WD HD. In spite of this I did manage to get most of the system (had to replace the modem -- which would have happened anyway because it came with a 14.4) working in Linux when I was introduced to it by a friend -- though it was never really stable or useable in X.

I don't think Compaq needed to take any lessons in non-off-the-shelf hardware from HP. They both practically invented the concept.

Re:ahhh Nostalgia (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109442)

The worst was the silver-plated DIMMs. They cost 50% more and if you put a tin DIMM on the board, you had a good chance of messing up the board.

Re:ahhh Nostalgia (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109556)

the best part is that the mobos aren't even standard ATX - I have an old compaq desktop (Pentium Classic - way before the merger) in a hideous case, and I can't replace the case because the board is proprietary!! Oh, and it has one of those stupid sleep + volume control + quicklaunch boards that attaches to a connector on the mobo, too.

Everyone I've ever known who had an old compaq hated it, because it was hard to upgrade. Not only was it proprietary, but the case even had lots of sharp edges - it was as if Compaq was actively trying to hurt you, let alone deny you access to the internals!

The only Compaq that is tolerable is my much newer P4 2.2 laptop - but that's expected to be proprietary.

Hopeless. (5, Interesting)

Trespass (225077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109181)

HP has worked tirelessly for the last five years to ensure that their consumer PCs are some of the most unreliable, poorly-supported pieces of Wal-Mart level junk on the market. I should know, I used to sell the damn things. Emachines were actual more reliable for most of the 3-year stint I worked at Orifice Depot. HP has done everything possible to drain any remaining residues of consumer goodwill left. Between not having mobo drivers for many of their PCs available at all, not even shipping a restore CD with their retail machines, and... oh hell I could go on.

Enthusiasts won't pay these prices for a machine from HP. They should at least do like Sony, and pretend to be a different company for their better products.

whatever troll. (0)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109351)

Whatever. My HP doesn't catch on fire like eMachines do. (or used to. Have they gotten better?)

Also I got restore CD's from HP. Sure, I had to call for them, but I got them.

My HP has been everything I wanted it to be: cheap, decent, no compatibility problems, and has handled all the "upgrades" I've added into it.

This was my first x86 PC and I just wanted an inexpensive box that worked.

Re:whatever troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109565)

Was that the restore CD that included the virus? Sad, but true story from the HP legacy.

Re:Hopeless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109468)

Just when I was about to buy an HP Pavillion AMD 64 laptop, HP has just about lost my respect again.

I paid $90 to ship 4 pieces of good quality equipment to the "HP Recycling" program in exchange (for what I thought) would be a $200 coupon good torwards a future hpshopping.com purchase. Well what I received were 3-$40 coupons and 1-$60 coupon AND you can only use one of those coupons for a single hpshopping.com purchase AND you must use each of those coupons within 30 days!! What a load of crap?!

Even with those stupid coupons, I could get an eMachines that has twice the features as an HP and for much cheaper!

That's just my HP rant of the day. Oh yeah - and who would buy a gaming PC from them?

Re:Hopeless. (2, Interesting)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109524)

FYI their servers don't impress me either.

At work my whole team's been given Compaq desktops, and we're now upgraded to these 'low-profile' machines that are making the rounds.

Both models have had serious issues. Out of four, we've had one die with a motherboard failure and a second with a dead hard drive. The graphics chip (Intel) in it is crap (or perhaps the drivers are), for it hard locks the machine sometimes while the screensaver is on.

As for the servers (Compaq DL360) and the racks they sit in, again, all crap.

The servers are 1U machines that can't support their own weight in the rack. Yes, they actually SAG in the middle. The CPU inside has three 1" fans next to it. If one of them dies, do you get a warning? No - the entire box will simply decide to shut down and refuse to boot again until you replace it. It can't run off the other two. Nevermind that I've had dead RAID controllers, dead hard drives and dead memory galore, and I only have 3 of those particular servers. All this in the last year.

Next the racks. The shelves in them can't support squat. Try to put a desktop machine on one, and it sags like it's going to break.

Fancy pull-out LCD monitor and pull-out keyboard for the rack? They get STUCK sometimes and you can't put them back in. You have to actually go in behind and adjust the rails so they don't catch on each other. It doesn't look like an installation problem, because it catches on itself, not on anything else.

It's stuff like this that made me insist that our next round of servers and racks were IBM. And when we got them they made me very happy, for they exhibit none of the abovementioned problems. I'm not trolling here, I'm just relaying my (very) frustrating experiences.

Build yer own (5, Informative)

Hecubas (21451) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109202)

If you have the time, I highly recommend builing your own. Check out some of the popular tech sites and read the reviews.

A hot gaming system nowadays mostly consists of a $300 video card and whatever hardware will support it. Get the a AMD 64bit chip, a good mobo (Abit, Asus, etc.), some fast RAM (Corsair, etc) and your looking at a system under $1500 that will kick the snot out of their proposed $3K system.

Re:Build yer own (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109328)

I find the best buy is usually a compromise. Buy yourself a decent office machine and then add in more ram and a real video card, and maybe an old SB Live Value for surround sound. Except for these sleek riced-out gaming boxes like the Compaqs in question, building from parts is usually much more expensive than finding a whole machine with most of the gear you want. A decent DELL is like $400 and you get the l33t Dell case. Just put in some real RAM, a burner, and a new AGP card.

Re:Build yer own (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109361)

A hot gaming system nowadays mostly consists of a $300 video card and whatever hardware will support it. Get the a AMD 64bit chip, a good mobo (Abit, Asus, etc.), some fast RAM (Corsair, etc) and your looking at a system under $1500 that will kick the snot out of their proposed $3K system.

Don't forget the (at least -- if you can manage to get an OEM license) Microsoft tax of at least $100-$120 for an OEM copy of Windows XP Pro. Or $260-$300 if you need to buy it retail. I don't know any self-respecting gamer or power user that would go with XP Home.

Of course there's always the option of pirating it. That's what most of us did in our script kiddie PC hacking/building days. Nowadays I buy an OEM copy though a local system builder that I've done some work on the side for. The really expensive software (Office) I get my company to pay for. But those probably aren't options for everybody.

There's also the "this isn't worth my time" mindset. At least in my experience once I started working 40 hours a week and got into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex building a PC isn't on my list of things to do anymore. My next PC I'll probably buy from a local computer supplier -- I refuse to buy from the big companies on principal.

Re:Build yer own (1)

BillLeeLee (629420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109476)

I don't know any self-respecting gamer or power user that would go with XP Home.

This is one of the things that bug me about comp users today. Most gamers and what you'd call power users probably don't even use or need the extra features built into XP Pro. They probably just buy it to have the Professional tag on it.

Granted, there are people who'd use the ability to join a domain or disk quotas or file encryption/permissions, but a lot of the people I've talked to who wanted to by XP Pro had no idea what any of those terms meant and thought Professional was faster.

I'd say for the average gamer, Home would be better since by default, I think it actually has less stuff starting up (like NetMeeting, etc.) so there'd be less burden on resources at startup.

And yes, I use XP Pro; my school offered it to me for $5.

Re:Build yer own (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109555)

They probably just buy it to have the Professional tag on it.

I would tend to agree with that -- but there is one highly useful feature that comes with Pro -- remote desktop. I don't know any power users or geek friends that don't use it. It's handy to be able to bounce into your box at home to check your e-mail or surf without leaving evide^H^H^H^H^H^H cookies on your computer at the office.

It's also pretty spiffy around the house too. I can bounce into my desktop from my laptop when I'm sitting on the couch using my AP so I can watch TV and surf at the same time.

It's probably the "killer feature" of XP Pro and likely the only one that a home power user would have any use for. The encrypted files might be nice but who really needs em? I don't have anybody else using my PC -- they wouldn't do much for me. And who has a domain at home?

Re:Build yer own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109379)

oh haven't you heard? after 4 separate mail-in rebates and a 6 year contract of msn internet service, theirs will cost $1500 also. Just ask best buy.

This might be good... (2, Insightful)

penguinoid (724646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109206)

If I can buy it with my choice of video card, ethernet card, etc, I might buy this. If instead they try to make this a Dell lock-up, or it is overpriced, then I will happily build my own box.

Hmmmm... Methinks there's no news here. (5, Insightful)

quarkoid (26884) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109214)

Perhaps foolishly, I'll assume for the moment that most people who play the kind of games which need specialist kit are the kind of people who know what kind of specialist kit they need. If they know what kit they need, the chances are that they'll know where to buy it cheaply. I'll also assume that the kind of people who want specialist kit (which, another assumption, would be bleeding edge) will be the kind of people who're likely to upgrade those individual components in need of a little more ooomph. If they're the kind of person who does their own upgrades, won't they just buy the bits themselves?

OK, OK, a lot of assumptions, but what I'm trying to say is that I can't imagine that this'll be popular with real gamers.

So, if this service is not going to be used by real gamers, who will order a specialist games PC? Probably the kind of numpty who would order a PC from the likes of HP/Dell/Whatever anyway. If this is the case, then we're not talking about news of earth-shattering importance. It's just a manufacturer introducing a new range to try to grab new market share. Just like soap powder manufacturers introducing a new powder to try to grab more market share.

So...

Move along, there's nothing to see....

Nick.

Re:Hmmmm... Methinks there's no news here. (1)

thegrommit (13025) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109455)

It's just a manufacturer introducing a new range to try to grab new market share. Just like soap powder manufacturers introducing a new powder to try to grab more market share.


What you're missing is that this a mainstream manufacturer seeing gaming as a big business opportunity. Obviously they're not the first, but it's another example of how gaming has become a part of mainstream cultrue.

Real gamers build their computers.. (5, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109219)

There's the gamer nerd. Gamer nerd builds his computer and tweaks the hell out of it. It never runs at the specified bus speed, voltage, and it never crashes. The graphics card is overclocked along with every other component in the computer.

Then, there's the gamer dork. Gamer dork spends $2000 extra for an Alienware. He brags to his friends about how awesome it is. Then, he screws it up with spyware and it runs slow. Then, he pays Gamer Nerd $50 and a 12-pack to fix it.

Perhaps if Compaq offered a real savings over building the computer yourself, Gamer Nerd will be interested in it. However, Gamer Nerd quickly sees that $2000 of the price of the computer is for unneeded software, brand name, and unneeded support.

Re:Real gamers build their computers.. (4, Insightful)

Otto (17870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109415)

...and it never crashes.

You don't know a lot of "gamer nerds" or overclockers, do you? ;)

Re:Real gamers build their computers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109505)

Thirdly, there's the sanctimonius Slashdot poster who believes that observing his friends and random postings on an anonymous website constitute market research and that he obviously understands enough to segment the market into two segments.

PS: My Alienware was $500 more than a homebuilt with the same components. It doesn't crash, and the warranty replaced the mobo when my overclocking was a little bit too aggresive, and two years later my hard drive when its IBMness caught up with it.

Wow.. (-1, Offtopic)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109226)

"X Gaming machines..."

"red glowing lights in front and back..."

Yeah.. I think I'll pass on this one...

The Compaq brand is the 100% wrong move (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109229)

I would be dramatically more likely to consider a PC sold under the HP brand than the Compaq brand, if I didn't understand that they were the same company now. Every compaq machine I have ever used and/or owned was crap except my laptop (Presario 1692) which was passable. By contrast, some of the HP Kayak machines were very nice, and most of the Vectras weren't all that bad.

Re:The Compaq brand is the 100% wrong move (1)

PipsqueakOnAP133 (761720) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109362)

Hey, the Kayaks and Vectras were not common HPs machines. They were what HP considered "workstation class" and obviously had better designs then a consumer class machine. The first time I saw a Kayak was at school with a little programmable LCD+buttons in front. The machine POSTed with a smiley.

Anyhow, the comparison you're making is sorta like this:
Would you like a HP Pavilion versus a HP Kayak?
Would you like a Compaq Presario versus a Compaq ProLiant?

It's not hard to see that whether it's an HP or a Compaq, it can still be either good or shitty.

Personally, with the new Compaq Evo laptops, Compaq's name has the upper hand in "seems to be better designed" compared to HP's bright-blinding-blue-light-always-shining-directly -in-your-eyes laptops.

Re:The Compaq brand is the 100% wrong move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109534)

The HP Kayaks, Brios, Vectras, etc. are office machines. Stable configurations.

The Compaq Presario line of desktops is composed of home machines. Not stable, just inexpensive and feature-laden. Presario laptops are fine.

If you'd ever used a Compaq DeskPro, you would have found them as nice to deal with as HP's business machines. Old models needed a small <10 MB partition on the boot drive if you wanted to use their BIOS setup program (either that, or floppy-boot to setup & diags), but other than that, very nice and stable. Easier to open and manage hardware than a comparable HP or Dell of the same time period.

Obligatory SImpsons reference (4, Funny)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109251)

All it needs now are some "speed holes"

Boycott HP/Compaq if you love America (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109257)

They are the biggest outsourcers on the planet. Go Alienware if you want a gaming PC

For those who have strong opinions... (1)

ultramk (470198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109278)

I can't figure out if I should buy a package, like this HP deal or a Dell machine, or build a system myself. I'm reasonably technically adept, just not with PC's (my machines are heavily modified, and I've done hw and sw troubleshooting for 15 years on macs). I'm just getting a PC for games, because my MDD G4 is fine for the Photoshop/Illustrator work that's my bread and butter.

So... does someone have a guide to picking components for a game machine? What are the dangers?

Would it make sense to plop down the extra $$ to buy a package?

I've never actually owned a PC, so it might be a good learning experience to put one together... hrm.

Opinions?

m-

Re:For those who have strong opinions... (1)

BillLeeLee (629420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109387)

I've known people who always say they're a little nervous about building a computer or cracking open that case, but truthfully, unless you're really really incompetent, it's not that hard to build a comp.

I'd recommend building one for yourself if only for freedom of choice of parts and because usually, you can use better parts while still keeping the comp at the same price level as the OEM comps.

For components, I recommend reading the multitude of reviews and articles over at sites like www.hardforum.com, www.anandtech.com, www.designtechnica.com, www.arstechnica.com, etc. It depends on your preferences, like Intel or AMD, ATi or Nvidia, etc., and some people are really diehard in favoring one over the other, so it's best to read reviews and see what would suit you best. For a gaming PC, I'd say an Athlon 64 would give you top performance. (And I'm not an AMD follower, I use mostly Intel systems and some Alphas at school, and I like ATi more than Nvidia, except in the driver department).

The dangers of picking components is that some might not mix well (like some Athlon 64 motherboards don't get along with some types of memory).

If you're still iffy about building a computer, I'd say there's no real reason to worry if you know what you're doing when working with computers.

Re:For those who have strong opinions... (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109560)


Another good source for suggestions on best hardware for your price range is the buyer's guides [sharkyextreme.com] at Sharky Extreme. Monthly (approximately) they put together the best gamer box they can for $1,000 [sharkyextreme.com] , $2,500 [sharkyextreme.com] , and $4,000 [sharkyextreme.com] .

Markworth is wrong. (4, Interesting)

abb3w (696381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109282)

"Credibility is something you only earn over time"

Nope. You also can lose it over time, which HP and Compaq are notorious for. At this point, I trust the HP mid-to-high-end laser printers... and nothing else they make. I used to swear by HP scanners and calculators, but almost everything they make is going downhill in ergonomics and durability, even when the performance isn't crap to begin with.

Re:Markworth is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109398)

The alternative being rejected by "only" is that credibility could be earned quickly, not that it is impossible for credibility to decline.

Red glowing lights? (0, Offtopic)

GetPFunky (309463) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109297)

Must be the reason the Borg were so successful with their Red Laser Sight. WHO KNEW!?!?

Credibility? (1)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109313)

While HP's name is not the first on the mind of gaming enthusiasts today, Markworth said the company's long history will be its advantage as it enters the market.

"Credibility is something you only earn over time," he said. "HP with its Compaq brand has a huge advantage in stepping in as a newer player."

No, it doesn't.

Re:Credibility? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109443)

Actually, I think they're (sort of) right about this, at least in a mass-market credibility sense. Obviously Joe Slashdot or anyone used to building their own machines is a different market.

For the relatively technically uninitiated, though, I think it might be a different story. They don't necessarily know about the reliability issues I'm seeing people post about here. What they do know is that HP/Compaq are brands that they've heard of and recognize. These are brands that they expect will be around. They believe that if something goes wrong with their machine in two years, HP/Compaq will still exist to provide customer support for it. Whether or not they'll actually get useful customer support might be another story, but it's not likely that they won't get it because the company doesn't exist. People who aren't supahardcore gamers have heard of the HP/Compaq brands. Even people who don't deal with technology at all may have heard of them. Not so for the hardcore gaming rig companies.

Consumers will feel like they can rely on Compaq to be around in years to come. They will feel like they can rely on Compaq to not, for example, take their money and then disappear without providing a machine. In these senses, yes, Compaq will be seen as a reliable brand and I don't doubt that it will get them some sales in the gaming space, if not necessarily to anyone who reads or posts here.

HP gaming machines? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109316)

I heard that they'll EAT YOUR BRAAANE!

DVD+R in HP machines (2, Informative)

achacha (139424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109360)

If only they would stop pushing DVD+R down everyone's throat, it's the least compatible format and the only one HP offers with their machines.

Re:DVD+R in HP machines (2, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109405)

Agreed, from a customer perspective it would be much better if it supported - and + media. I've had a few calls where people had bought - media and I've had to tell them it's incompatible.

Re:DVD+R in HP machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109409)

DVD+R is winning. It's faster, and it'll likely have the first dual layer burning format out.

Re:DVD+R in HP machines (1)

BillLeeLee (629420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109493)

I've talked with an employee of HP and he said that HP had finally released a dual format DVD writer. I even saw a link to it and the product page. However, I tried looking for it right now, and couldn't find it anywhere.

Call me crazy... (2, Informative)

Otto (17870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109375)

But I want a gaming rig that will smoke the hell out of other people with it's blazingly fast processor power, not it's stylish looks.

Looks are fine, and I got nothing against case modding. Hell, I painted my Pentium 100 PC's case neon orange back in 1995 or 1996, before weird cases became popular. That's beside the point. A gaming rig is meant for high powered, speed processing for lightning fast 3d gaming. Anything else is just extraneous.

And a pre-bought modded case, stamped out on a line, kinda strikes me as lame as hell. The point of case modding is to make something impressive. Seeing 100 copies of the same thing is no longer impressive. Okay, I might buy parts and mod it, or I might buy a modded case and put it together with some of my own addons, or I might even have somebody else do a custom paint job for me because I lack that kind of expertise or artistic ability... but these are more timesavers than anything else. Buying a whole pre-modded system out of a catalog is just silly and not l33t. :-P

I realize that HP bought compaq (2, Informative)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109378)

but isn't it ridiculous to continue using the compaq brand name? What is so different from Compaq and HP machines? We all know that a Compaq machine is an HP one. Am I missing something or am I the only one who finds that this just doesn't make much sense?

Got one (3, Interesting)

simontek2 (523795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109408)

Actually, We have one. Its the Compaq X07 Its a nice machine, specs Intel P4 3.0Ghz 800MHZ Nvidia 5950 256mb 120Gig seagate SATA 512mb DDR 400 Dual Channel Coolermaster Wave case all in one reader. 4X DVD+R Creative Labs Audigy2 Platium The case is alumium, and slide out mobo. Makes it almost a dream to work on. The only thing Compaq is the Keyboard, mouse and badge on the computer. Which was replaced immediatly. We like running it in Linux, and occasionally use the winxp pro it came with.

HP Sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9109425)

Given,

My last attempt to get support through HP's India operations I'd say avoid HP/compaq like the plague.

l33t gamers...not the market! (5, Insightful)

Laetor (718839) | more than 10 years ago | (#9109439)

All these posts are missing something...logic. These companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars seeking markets and figuring out customer segmentation. You all actually think they don't know that truly elite gamers build their own systems? This market is a tiny friggin' niche in the greater scheme of things. "Gamers" does not equal "l33t". Gamers = PC enthusiasts who also probably own Xboxs or PS2s or somesuch, you know, the person who likes to play games, not lose their lives pretending to be some 12th level Elvish rogue mage while cybring some hottie online. It's amazing how many dorks are on here at /. hearing "gamer" and thinking "l33t CS scripter." That is not the market here. People like me, with families and other obligations eating up vast amounts of time, but with an l33t background (yes, I once had skillz, but since have gotten pwned by 2 babies) are the market. We don't have time to screw around building systems -- we're willing to spend money to save time. We also like warrantees so we can return things when the mobo fails or the WIFI card won't work with other components.

There are a ton of once-l33t gamers now growing into adults (gasp!) with much less time to solve component-conflicts and video driver problems. We're looking for the silver bullet solution, and willing to pay extra for it. And our numbers grow with each birth.

-Laetor
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