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HP entices VR creators with 'Pro' MR headset, Core X chips

It's the first time HP has added Intel's Core series as an option for its popular Z4 desktop workstation line.

HP's most popular desktop workstation, the Z4, has been the province of Intel's Xeon line of workstation CPUs. Now, in a push to reach more VR-creation pros, the company has added options for Intel's most powerful consumer-grade processors, the Core X series, along with a commercial version of its Windows Mixed Reality headset.

You'll be able to equip it with up to an 18-core Core i9-7980XE, which is a bit cheaper than its Xeon equivalent, the W-2195 -- because not everyone needs the extra security, ECC memory support or 256GB support of a Xeon chip (along with a few other features).

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The HP Z4 and Windows Mixed Reality Professional Edition headset.

HP

Or if you need the clock speed but not so many cores, you can configure it with an eight-core Core i7-7820X, which probably will be tons cheaper. The only pricing we have at the moment is that the cheapest model will start at $1,499, which is about the same as it's been (directly converted, that's roughly £1,060 and AU$1,895). The new options will become available in March.

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HP will continue to sell the HTC Vive Business Edition, but it's tweaked its MR headset and dubbed it the "Professional Edition" for $449. (Directly converted, that's roughly £320 and AU$570.) That's the same price the consumer model launched at, and was considered overpriced. Now it's down to $399 direct from HP (still too high elsewhere at £380 and AU$800) and a rational $265 at Amazon (no discounts to speak of in the UK and Australia).

What's so pro about it? Swappable and washable face pads! I imagine those would be just as useful for a consumer model. Plus, a short cable for connecting to the commercial version of its VR backpack system. It will also ship in March.