In the bad old days, you had to plod along with a workstation running on a creaky 400MHz chip. Now companies like HP are cramming up to 8 cores worth of speedy Xeons into a single desktop.
In mid-December, HP should start shipping the xw6600 and HP xw8600. Both systems will run on Intel's upcoming line of 45nm dual-core and quad-core chips. So, if you have cash to burn, you can slap two four-core chips in one of these systems and render the hell out of a Photoshop image.
The systems have room for dual PCI Express Gen2 x16 graphics slots, up to 128GB of memory (on the beefier xw8600) and 5TB of storage.
The energy conscious will note that the systems also ship with 80 per cent efficient power supplies, which is decent.
HP expects the systems to start around $1,200, although you'll pay a heck of a lot more than that for fully-packed versions. ®
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