Dell CEO, Michael Dell, has announced a major thrust to sell high-powered gaming machines. He has announced new machines and screens.
7 January 2006
Michael Dell, founder of Dell computers, has revealed, a first glimpse at his company’s latest and greatest gaming products. Dell was unequivocal in his enthusiasm for PC gaming, and backed up his statements with some rather impressive hardware announcements.
While many had suspected the release of a new edition of Dell’s XPS gaming line, few knew quite how far Dell was willing to take things. With considerable flourish, Dell himself unveiled the XPS 600 Renegade, a limited edition gaming PC boasting not just a gnarly looking paintjob, but the be-all-end all of PC gaming: 4 Nvidia 7800 GPUs, running through dual card SLI boards at 16x, as well as a factory-overclocked Intel Extreme Edition 4.26 GHz CPU. By far the most powerful gaming computer yet known to man, Dell cited tech-specs at 1.3 billion transistors within the GPUs and 2 gigabytes of dedicated frame buffer memory, as well as benchmark figures of 41 Gigaflops per second and a total of 5.2 TFLOPs. Suffice to say, the Renegade is a beast of here-to-fore unknown power.
The XPS Renegade is so powerful, in fact, that, according to Dell, its performance figures rank each Renegade system as the 70th most powerful super-computer in the world. Through partnerships with Nvidia, the company that partnered with Dell to design the quad-GPU architecture, the four GPUs run unimpeded, able to produce benchmark results between 4 and 5 times that of a single GPU. If such numbers are to be believed, Nvidia and Dell have engineered so elegant a solution that no performance is lost in the communication between GPUs, a rare feat in terms of the history of multi-processor gaming computers. The Renegade also runs to Western Digital 150 GB 10k-rpm HDs in Raid-0, and Dell promises a solid road map for future upgradeability for the specially designed quad graphics cards.
Not only was Michael Dell blatantly proud of the internals of his new PC gaming behemoth, he was also beaming over the externals of the box, clothed in an impressive licking-flames design by Mike Divall, best known as the Killer Paint artist featured on popular TV-shows like Monster Garage. If any PC deserves to be burning up its environs, the XPS 600 Renegade is it. Journalists present at the lunch and later press conference were able to see the machine running Call of Duty 2 at an amazing 2560×1600 resolution on another new Dell product: a beautiful 30″ WQXGA widescreen LCD. Needless to say, CoD2 has never looked so good.
Though the XPS Renegade certainly set the bar quite a bit higher for PC-gaming performance, Dell was not content to stop there. Also displayed at the press conference was a new XPS laptop concept, developed around a 20″ LCD and detachable keyboard. Still in its concept stage, the demo unit was whisked away before reporters could get their dirty mitts all over it, however, the unit displayed looked beautiful, and folded easily into a brief-case sized package, complete with an integrated carrying handle. Dell promised that the concept could bridge the gaps between mobile and desktop performance, and would allow for a quality cinematic and gaming experiences previously unknown by those who need to travel.
A question and answer session followed the highly-selective luncheon, and Michael Dell responded candidly to a variety of questions. When asked if 4 GPUs were actually necessary for the current PC games available, Dell confidently responded that many current-generation titles are already maxing out the performance of SLI machines, especially when running at the higher resolutions possible with large screens such as the new 30″ 2560×1600 Dell will soon put to market. Confronted with the fact that PC games are being dramatically cut back in exposure at major retailers, Dell replied that the mainstream market was of little concern in his overall plans for the hardcore PC gaming audience, and that he was confident that Dell’s plans for pre-installed gaming options at purchase and direct to drive style game downloads would allow dedicated PC gamers to continue support the market.
Overall, Dell exhibited a great deal of confidence while presenting such audacious concepts as a quad-GPU gaming PC and a 20″ LCD laptop. According to figures presented at the press conference, Dell has grown its sales of consumer PCs between 2000 and 2005 by 449%, whereas all competitors combined have shrunk their sales by 8%. With sales figures like these, as well as the fact that Dell is coming off of a record fourth quarter of more than 10 million PCs sold (a record for the entire industry), Michael Dell was right to exude confidence and aplomb. The quad-GPU Nvidia architecture will be a Dell exclusive for an undisclosed period of time, allowing Michael to sit back and relax, fully confident that his company is now the sole manufacturer of the most powerful gaming PC in the world. When asked what the Renegade’s price will be, Dell laughed and returned “a lot, but it’s worth it.” Coming from a billionaire, “a lot” sounds a little scary, however, those with the means are highly encouraged to give it a try.