We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PCs Reviews
15,669 Reviews

HP BlackBird 002 LCi power PC

$6,299 ($4,900 for system plus $1,399 for monitor)

Manufacturer: HP

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Although it's designed with gamers in mind, the exceptional build quality of the quad-core Blackbird also makes it an excellent choice for other power users.

Boasting distinct design features inside and out, the Blackbird 002 is a creation by boutique gaming PC maker VoodooPC, which HP acquired last year. Although it's designed with gamers in mind, the exceptional build quality of the quad-core Blackbird also makes it an excellent choice for other power users seeking a well-engineered system that remains cool and quiet while handling demanding tasks.

The $4,900 (about £2,450) Blackbird 002 LCi model we tested features Intel's 3GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850 CPU and comes with two Corsair Dominator 1GB RAM chips, a single 768MB EVGA e-GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics board, two multiformat DVD burners and a 160GB (10,000rpm) Western Digital Raptor hard drive. We found that amount of storage slightly small for a machine that costs so much.

Our review unit shipped with Windows Vista Ultimate. In our WorldBench 6 Beta 2 test suite, it earned a respectable mark of 123. The Blackbird 002 was quite strong in our graphics tests as well, achieving an average of 179 fps (frames per second) while running Doom3 at 1,024x768 with antialiasing turned on.

HP paired our system with its own LP3065 30in widescreen LCD, which costs an additional $1,399 (£700). The configuration brought our model's total cost to a hefty $6,299 (£3,150), thousands of dollars more than other power-oriented PCs we've recently reviewed. It's not yet available in the UK but should appear over here in the future: watch this space for a UK price update.

From October 1, you'll be able to go HP's Blackbird site and customise your system by choosing from a nice selection of industry-standard components, including the CPU (Intel or AMD), graphics card (nVidia or ATI), motherboard (Asus or Intel) and memory (Corsair, Hynix or Samsung). The case itself is currently available only in black. Notably, however, you can choose to have any Blackbird 002 model equipped with an Intel Extreme processor overclocked by HP for free.

The Blackbird 002 LCi's unique exterior features a wedge-shaped, aluminium chassis that's supported a few inches off the ground by a sturdy cast-aluminium foot. This clever design lifts the PC up somewhat, like a monitor on a stand, and allows air to flow below the machine, giving the chassis six-way cooling (all of the sides have vents). A handy pop-up dock on top of the case provides a media reader plus USB, FireWire and audio ports. The rear panel has four USB, one FireWire and two eSATA connections but lacks legacy ports for older peripherals.

Next: Inside the chassis

HP BlackBird 002 LCi Expert Verdict »

Intel 3GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850 CPU
2x Corsair Dominator 1GB RAM chips
768MB EVGA e-GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics board
2x multiformat DVD burners
160GB (10,000rpm) Western Digital Raptor hard drive
HP LP3065 30in widescreen flat-panel
WorldBench 6 score: 123
  • Build Quality: We give this item 10 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

The exquisitely designed Blackbird 002 has plenty to offer anyone who wants to invest in a cutting-edge system that combines solid performance with upgradeable ease.

  • CyberPower Power Infinity Pro 'Penryn' desktop PC review

    CyberPower Power Infinity Pro 'Penryn' desktop PC

    This Penryn-based CyberPower Power Infinity Pro desktop PC packs a big punch in gaming performance, but it'll also wallop your wallet. It's currently available only in the US, but we put it through its paces to test out Intel's newest quad-core CPU.

  • Dell XPS 625 review

    Dell XPS 625

    The Dell XPS 625 is an AMD Phenom II gaming PC is at the high end of our value PC category in both performance and price - starting at £799 without a monitor.

  • Intel 520 Series 240GB review

    Intel 520 Series 240GB

    The Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD is a high-performance 2.5in solid-state drive with 6Gbps SATA interface and the latest 25nm flash chips.

  • HP TouchSmart Pro 610-1130UK review

    HP TouchSmart Pro 610-1130UK

    HP’s bundled software is very good, and includes programs that make great use of the PC’s touch input when working with photos.

  • HP Folio 13-2000 review

    HP Folio 13-2000

    While Intel is egging on its customers to build copies of the MacBook Air, HP may have found the sweetspot, building a well-made 13in ultraportable for under £750.

IDG UK Sites

Android M Developer Preview announced at Google I/O: Android M UK release date and new features. Wh?......

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Mac OS X 10.11 release date rumours: all the new features expected in Yosemite successor