Commodore returns -- as a gaming PC

Many children of the 1980s fondly reminisce about their first computer experience manning the keyboards of a Commodore 64, Vic-20 or Amiga. Now Commodore is coming back to the United States, this time as a premium gaming computer.

Commodore Gaming, as it is called, has already launched in Europe and plans to launch in the United States on the Commodore 64's 25th anniversary (the Commodore 64 was released in August, 1982). The line is launching with four different models, from an entry level gaming PC (Cg) to an extreme gaming rig (Cxx).

The most immediate difference Commodore enthusiasts will notice about these new systems is the operating system -- they no longer use AmigaOS; now they're Windows-based. They use Intel microprocessors and feature Corsair memory and Nvidia GeForce graphics cards capable of rendering DirectX 10 graphics (DirectX 10 is featured in Windows Vista).

All the systems feature Intel Core 2 Quad or Core 2 Extreme quad-core microprocessors and are built on Nvidia nForce motherboards. Some also feature Scalable Link Interface (SLI), an Nvidia technology that enables two graphics cards to work together in parallel.

Each machine can be customized to the customer's specification, and that includes "C-kin" painting process, which enables users to customize their computers' case designs, with everything from gaming-inspired artwork to landscape photography, graffiti-style street art, classic Commodore graphics and more.

US prices have yet to be listed. The machines currently available in the UK begin at £1,029 (US$2,083) to £2,749 (US$5,565) depending on model. The systems will first be available for online order, then will be available at retailers.

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