Ultimate PC

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jethro's picture

The Vista team at Microsoft have built a website called UltimatePC beta. Unfortunately its a flash site so while it looks sexy its hard to get around it and even harder to find the links leading out of it. So we have done that for you here.

They are promoting the New HP Blackbird Gaming PC as the ultimate PC. I had a rig like this 2 years ago and my current rig is almost exactly the same. I think of it now as pretty ordinary and am waiting for the next step up in system performance, but I suppose for most people its pretty good - and dang expensive. Basic specs, Quad core extreme CPU, 2 GB RAM (not enough!), 2 8800GTX video cards, Raptor hard drive, sexy case with some excellent thermal cooling solutions and Vista ultimate. starts from around USD$5K, though with the USD fallen in a hole lately that's good for the rest of the world.

They are also pretty hot on the whole media center and home theatre setup. Once again their ultimate setup is very similar to what I have had installed for over 2 years now, though I am using some considerably better componentry than they suggest. However without spending the money that either they have or I Did, you can set these home theatres up with integrated systems very easily in your house using some fairly well connected technology nowadays. Windows Home server, Media centre on an Vista Ultimate or Home Premium PC and any AV Amp / receiver can be the central point of a good home theatre setup. Let me know what you currently have in your house and I can tell you the minimum you would need to do and spend to make a rocking home theatre setup.

This a great idea from Microsoft, though too late of course - this should have been launched 12 months ago when Vista was launched. It does connect with a number of geeks who have written about their installs, see mine, Scott Haneselman's etc.

What's missing is the how tos, the traps not to fall into, the problems and things that can go wring, the technical explanations of how the technologies work and can be put together, how to use HDMI, Media Centre, etc. This is the main reason I pick on their use of flash, as there is no easy way to leverage a site like this to include the resources, community feedback and other material that would help people who are researching this sort of thing.