Can you get Ferrari performance for the price of a Camaro? That’s the
question we asked when we uncrated Falcon Northwest’s small formfactor
FragBox II. Falcon, the recognized father of the modern gaming PC's,
normally throws us lustworthy $9,000 gaming rigs. At $1,500, the
FragBox II is no such home wrecker.
January 2004. DirectX 9 had just shipped. SCO had begun its ultimately
futile crusade against IBM. And Hypersonic’s brightly colored Sonic
Boom, featuring Intel’s newest processor, was smacking our benchmarks
Our first thought upon opening AVADirect’s new Core 2 Duo SLI Gaming
System was, “Wow, this is heavy.” Our second, “Oooh, but it’s pretty!”
was followed shortly by a third, “It’s bleeding!” A cursory
inspection revealed that the system was shipped without one of its two
CPU-cooler hose clamps, and was indeed leaking AVA’s “bloody red”
coolant into the machine. Disconcerting, to say the least. We notified
AVADirect of the problem, and they dispatched a tech to fix it.
Thereafter, despite some red residue on one of the 8800’s DVI ports,
the rig worked perfectly.
Boom. Boom. Boom. The 800-pound gorilla has arrived. Dell’s
latest XPS system, the 720 H2C, packs some serious power and plenty of
extras, but its balls-to-the-wall approach doesn’t completely
overshadow its proprietary roots.
Label us Luddites for resisting Windows Vista, but there’s no arguing
the point that the new OS currently offers very little you can’t get
faster with Windows XP. That goes double for games, which is why we’re
baffled by HP’s decision to run Vista Ultimate on the groundbreaking
Blackbird 002 gaming rig it sent us.
Sometimes you go to war with the hardware you have, not the hardware
you’d like to have, and that’s what newcomer Project War Machine does
with its M1 Elite, making controversial trade-offs in the name of
One thing we respect about Overdrive PC is that it’s never predictable.
These guys seem to always take the path of most resistance.
In this case, Overdrive PC has constructed a rig whose sole purpose
seems to be smashing our benchmarks. The company’s theory: Why go with
a quad-core setup when you can push a dual core to higher speeds and
guarantee stability? Since the overwhelming majority of applications
aren’t multithreaded for quad core, why not push the hell out of a dual
Welcome to another edition of Maximum PC Theater. For our main
attraction this evening, we’re featuring a play by Vigor Gaming
entitled Force Recon QXN. There’s a scene in act 1 in which the
computer utterly fails to run in any useful capacity… it brings tears
to our eyes. Be sure you don’t miss it.
When HP designed the TouchSmart IQ770, it must have been thinking of that old saying, “No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like the kitchen best.” This PC is tailor made for serving up—and scarfing down—digital media in the kitchen.