April 2005

The Sims 2 University Expansion Pack

Here’s your chance to act like a Van Wilder

You can play the first Sims 2 expansion pack—The Sims 2 University—any way you like: You can relive your own college experience, or you can create the experience you wish you had.

You can ditch class and lounge around your dorm blowing bubbles out of a bong until you get kicked out of school.

CH Products Throttle Quadrant

Once again, CH pushes the realism (and geek) envelope for flight sims

It won’t do a thing to soften the “GEEK!” label slapped on hardcore flight-sim junkies, but the Throttle Quadrant will make every stick-jockey’s favorite hobby immensely more pleasurable.

So what if new flight sims are few and far between these days? Every Flight Simulator, LOMAC, and Pacific Fighters pilot will be stoked by the prospect of adding six control axes to his desktop, each of which comes with two detents and 12 buttons (for engine idle and/or brake settings).The Quadrant integrates smoothly into the typical CH flight-control setup, which consists of the USB Fighterstick, Pro Pedals, and Pro Throttle (which the Quad can either work with or replace).

LG 16x Super Multi DVD Burner

No leeway for this three-way

If you have anything to say to DVD-RAM, say it now.

Asus Vento 3600 Gaming Case

Looks aren’t everything

The Vento 3600’s lusty red paint and bulging scoops are sexy enough to instill fantasies of taking it home and making mini-ATXs with it.

Thermaltake Armor series VA8000SWA

This lightweight case is heavy on features

The Thermaltake Armor is one of the most modular and customizable enclosures we’ve laid retinas on.

Western Digital Caviar SE 3200JB

Very un-Raptor like… and that’s a good thing

We all love Western Digital’s 10,000rpm Raptor drive, but its measly 74GB capacity is barely enough for our swap file.

Acoustica Beatcraft

The next best thing to a set of drums

The first drum machine I ever bought, a Yamaha RX-11, set me back a cool $1,500.

Falcon Northwest Mach V

Yeah, we’re hardware junkies. And we’re always chasing that next high. But as with any other addiction, the highs are harder and harder to come by.

BenQ LightScribe DVD ReWriter

Burn, flip, burn. Hip!

Month Reviewed: May 2005
Verdict: 8
URL: www.benq.com

The death certificate for Yamaha’s ill-fated Disc T@2 technology, which let you burn text or images onto the recordable side of an optical disc, attributed its demise to two factors: the shame of its absurd moniker, and the fact that the process consumed recordable space.

April 2005

Analog to Digital--and Beyond
Watch as Maximum PC mercilessly tames even the trickiest of PC tasks: taking analog video and putting it into digital form.