What do NASA, DreamWorks and Google have in common? They all use high-powered computers that are now being made available to Australian consumers.
That’s going to be good news for local users, considering the many and varied requirements demanded by each of these giants of their field, be it performance, power or simply reliability.
“Some of that power and science is what we use when working with gamers,” Jeff Woodhouse, Consumer PC Category Manager for computer hardware manufacturer at HP told an audience in Melbourne last week.
In Australia to showcase the company’s high-powered Omen X desktop PC at the annual gaming convention, PAX Aus, Mr Woodhouse revealed that the company’s technology was powering missions to the International Space Station, helping animators create memorable characters and stories, and being used across the US in Google data centres.
“The development of the Omen X box involved getting gamers in and obtaining a lot of feedback to find out what’s important – is it thermals, overclocking, reliability, access?
“They’re very critical, and rightly so, because they know what they’re looking at.”
Considering many gamers will spend upwards of $4000 to $5000 dollars or more on a gaming rig – and that’s not including regular upgrades to graphics cards or internal data storage – you can’t blame them for being picky.
Super-powered home PCs
With the spotlight shone on a variety of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets released this year, so to has focus been placed on building PCs capable of powering the devices.
A number of manufacturers felt a very public burn as various computers earned the title of ‘incompatible’ with premium VR systems. When you consider many VR devices offer more than gaming uses, but business and industry applications as well, offering VR-capable equipment would appear to be a wise business strategy.
Requiring enormous computing power to handle punishing digital rendering in a 360-degree or 3D game environment, computer hardware manufacturers, while not caught unawares, have risen to the challenge and released ‘VR-ready’ PCs that will meet the demands of premium VR headsets, such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The bonus for anyone not needing a VR PC just yet – or a suitable machine to launch oneself out of the atmosphere – is, the cost for a formidable computer is now cheaper than ever and you get the best hardware money can buy.
You can expect a new high-powered PC to feature a state-of-the-art processor running alongside a separate Graphics Processing Unit – usually known as a graphics card – more RAM than you can poke a precision screwdriver at (16GB to 32GB is standard) and enough internal storage to hold every game ever designed.
If you’re in the market for a new gaming rig, or a high-powered gaming laptop, here are some of the best PCs that PAX Aus had to offer. Click the links to see detailed specs.
Read more – From $3777
The variable mounting system of Genesis allows you to completely customise internal components to ensure adequate heat flow and placement, with room for up to 33 hard drives or SSDs, and cryogenic liquid cooling for CPU and GPU.
Read more – $2299
For those who like to game on the road, the OMEN 17 laptop, which packs a GTX 960M graphics chip, offers a rich desktop-like audio and video experience, thanks to Bang & Olufsen audio and 4K graphics.
Alienware Area 51
Read more – From $2990
An update to Dell’s flagship gaming rig, the Alienware Area 51 desktop PC will prove a formidable presence in any home. With four CPU options and three different graphics cards to choose from, plus a variety of other modifications, configuring the perfect system for your needs is a snap.
Razer Blade Stealth
Read more – From $1549
Combined with the external Razer Core graphics unit, with a 4K touch display and user-configurable graphics cards, this computer puts paid to suggestions that laptops are second banana to desktop gaming rigs.
Read more – From $4499
A flagship gaming rig if there were ever one, the OMEN X offers maximum configuration possibilities with the latest hardware. The unique and user-friendly design gives internal components space and air to cool, with upgrades achieved without the need for tools.
Pryon Aegis 1080
Read more – $4996
The latest GTX graphics card, liquid cooling and a whole lot of RAM (32GB) make this Pryon computer a standout winner for best off-the-shelf PC – just add your favourite monitor set-up and you’re off.
Read more – From $1499
A VR-ready laptop is a rare thing, but Dell has achieved this and more with the Alienware 13. Long-life battery and an OLED touch screen are the icing on the slim and easily transportable cake.