Rock cooks up gaming powerhouse

Gamers, it's time to smell what Rock has been cooking over Christmas – and don't worry, it's no turkey. It's the Xtreme XL8, the company's most

Gamers, it's time to smell what Rock has been cooking over Christmas – and don't worry, it's no turkey. It's the Xtreme XL8, the company's most powerful gaming notebook yet.

The XL8 may lack the muscular shell of an Alienware Area-51, but inside this 17in beast is all the crazy processing guts required to steam through Crysis et al. It's a quad-core machine, naturally, but also packs two desktop-class Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTX GPUs.

A plentiful 4GB of RAM comes as standard, and you can configure the hard drive to be either a 600GB, 7200rpm number or, if you have a lot of video files, a slower 1TB, 5400rpm version.

The Gigabit Ethernet port and 1900x1200-pixel screen mean that it'll mostly live a life on the LAN party circuit, but it's not all about gaming. That optical drive will also read HD DVDs – perhaps not your pick of the hi-def formats, but handy for when they end up in the supermarket bargain bins.

You'll have to postpone those conservatory plans for another year, though: the minimum spec model costs £2,500. Available from mid-February.

Rock Xtreme XL8

Price: £2,500-£3,000

On sale: mid-February

Contact: Rock