TAIPEI -- PC hardware and peripheral manufacturer Corsair obviously hopes to be top dog when it comes to living room gaming, if its vicious Bulldog PC is anything to go by.
The Bulldog offers 4K video gaming, a water-cooled CPU, along with near-silent running all in a compact case -- well, compact for that sort of power at least.
The idea behind the Bulldog is to create a do-it-yourself gaming PC kit that can bring the kind of power required for 4K gaming into the lounge room. The Bulldog has a compact mini ITX liquid CPU cooler, powerful enough to handle the top range of Intel or AMD chipsets. This gets coupled with a 600-watt power supply and an optional liquid cooling rig for the graphics card. Corsair says the GPU cooler should allow for maximum overclocking with no increase in fan noise from the Bulldog.
The chassis isn't small, but it's tiny compared to, say, the Alienware Area 51 . I'd say it's roughly on par with a video recorder from the late 80s. At least one of the really cheap ones. It's certainly bigger than any console or Steam Machine that's on the market, but the squat frame is relatively unobtrusive compared to most tower-style desktops.
For $399 (£250, AU$520) you get the basic Bulldog kit -- that's the chassis, ITX motherboard, power supply and CPU cooling. You supply everything else. Corsair has worked with Nvidia, so you can get GPUs with liquid cooling that are ready to drop in -- a cooled GTX 980, for example, would set you back an additional $599 (£395, AU$780).
The Bulldog seems like an idea that PC enthusiasts could get behind, letting existing gamers bring their own high-end hardware into a new chassis at a decent price, while also providing a starting point for people to build their own new 4K gaming rig.
Corsair has put some thought into how this loungeroom PC gaming lark might actually happen and also come up with a bizarrely cool peripheral called the Lapdog. This is a "gaming control centre" that offers a space for your keyboard, a 7- by 11-inch mouse mat area and a powered USB hub. This can sit across your legs while you game on the couch (or you could just have it on the desk like the guy in the photo).
Corsair is selling the Lapdog as either a standalone station for $89 (£60, AU$115), or with a Corsair gaming keyboard for $199 (£80, AU$155).
No call yet on exact dates for the Bulldog or the Lapdog -- Corsair says the PC should be available around October and the station in Q4. We'll update with regional pricing as it becomes available (the above UK and Australian prices are all approximate conversions and final prices are likely to differ considerably).