Hot on the heels of HP's acquisition of Voodoo, we bring you one of Voodoo’s powerhouse gaming Small-Form Factor systems. Voodoo is widely known for their unique builds and overall consumer experiences, but is it worth the price premium?
As many of you might know by now, HardOCP doesn’t "review" systems, we evaluate the experiences they facilitate. We order the system the same as you would and evaluate every aspect of the end-user experience. Not only does this give us a better idea of what hardware an end user actually receives, it also allows us to obtain a more accurate picture of just how each company functions and treats its customers. As fast as PC hardware has become over the years, we think giving a personal computer "5 stars" based on how fast it ran a synthetic benchmark is simply irresponsible. We think service, support, and reliability are much more important factors in today's climate than speed. Fast is easily bought, but purchasing and ownership satisfaction can be elusive.
Our first experience with Voodoo came with their debut Media Center PC, the ARIA. It was an expensive foray into the world of Media Centers, but it performed well enough in our evaluation. There were a few problems with documentation and the extra features (such as with the LCD touchscreen), but it was a solid unit overall. Of course, a Media Center is first and foremost an entertainment device and not a gaming system, but the ARIA still handled all our gaming titles with ease, earning a vaunted 10/10 score. With that experience in mind, we were interested in what kind of performance we could squeeze out of a desktop unit built for gaming.
Voodoo was recently in the news for its recent acquisition by multinational Tier I OEM Hewlett-Packard (HP). There are many opinions surrounding this event, but we invite you to read Rahul Sood’s blog entry in which he discusses the transaction.
Given that our Voodoo Hexx comes with a price tag of close to $3000, we expect great performance right out of the box, rock-solid stability, and killer technical support. While it may not be packed with the latest AMD processor technology, we expect the single-core Athlon 64 3800+ and the NVIDIA GeForce 7900GT video card combination to be able to handle our games with decent performance at high resolutions and graphics settings. Finally, we expect this performance and stability to be wrapped up in an appropriate SFF chassis that can sit unobtrusively on our desktops and run as quietly and comfortably as possible. The key question will be what we’re getting for our money.