Our look at great gadgets and smart software continues, with gear from three distinct areas of the Mac universe. First, we look at hardware aimed at Mac gamers, followed by clothing designed with Mac users in mind. And because there’s a whole wide world of gadgets out there, we look at electronica beyond the Mac that’s sure to appeal to the geek in us all.
Gear for Gamers
None of these items will help you rack up high scores on the latest shoot-’em-up. But they’ll certainly make your gaming experience a lot more pleasant.
Gear for less than $30:
World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
Gear for $61 to $150:
Gear for $151 to $300:
Radeon X1900 XT upgrade kit
A little rubdown with your fragging?
The worlds of massage and Mac gaming don’t often intersect. But HoMedics, a maker of health-care and therapeutic products, has applied its massage-chair know-how to creating a game seat—a chair featuring built-in speakers and some subwoofer rumble.
For people who find the graphics performance in their
a little wanting, Apple offers a
Radeon X1900 XT upgrade kit
that should satisfy even the most demanding gamer. With twice the memory and about four times the memory bandwidth of the Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT that comes with the
standard Mac Pro configuration, ATI’s Radeon X1900 XT makes Quake 4 and Doom 3 run a lot faster. But Mac users don’t live by frame rates alone—the Radeon’s improved OpenGL performance also pays off if you’re using Apple’s Motion motion-graphics tool, Autodesk’s Maya 3-D-animation tool, or any other applications that leverage OpenGL or OS X’s Core Image technology. The Radeon X1900 XT has two dual-link DVI interfaces, giving it enough oomph to drive a pair of 30-inch Apple Cinema HD displays. And if you just move that GeForce 7300 GT card down a slot, your Mac Pro can have
simultaneously connected displays.—PC
Radeon X1900 XT upgrade kit: $399;
World of Warcraft Trading Card Game: $15;
Upper Deck Entertainment
When it comes to digital video recorders (DVRs), there isn’t much Elgato’s
can’t do—it lets you watch analog TV broadcast via cable or satellite, as well as digital terrestrial television broadcast over the air in your area. (And you get all this from a device that’s barely larger than a pack of gum.) Thanks to the EyeTV software, you can rewind and fast-forward programs, record shows to your hard drive, export shows to an iPod, and use a built-in programming guide to find shows you want to watch. The EyeTV Hybrid even works with the Apple Remote, included with many Macs these days. “Interesting,” you say. “But what does this have to do with gaming?” Well, if you want to use your Mac as a display with your favorite game console, the EyeTV Hybrid can help; it features composite-video and S-Video inputs with an included cable adapter. Best of all, this setup won’t introduce lag time into your game play, unlike some other third-party DVRs I could name.—PC
EyeTV Hybrid: $150;