WHAT'S HOT: While it looks like a sedate, beige office PC, the Systemax Venture-SU24 is a capable entertainment system. Thanks to the Geforce4 Ti 4600 graphics board, game play was smooth in Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament, even up to 1600 by 1200 resolution on the 19-inch Systemax H996-BYM monitor. The monitor delivered rich colors and realistic flesh tones in our DVD and photograph tests. Text was legible, with only a slight fuzz, on our test document.
WHAT'S NOT: Systemax ships minimal documentation with this PC. The manual contains a section on setting up the system and on basic usage, but it doesn't provide much advice on troubleshooting or upgrading. The system's rear ports were not labeled. Only a single PCI slot is available for expansion, though our test system came well equipped.
WHAT ELSE: While 2.53-GHz P4 processors are getting all the attention lately, the 2.4-GHz P4 still gets the work done. With the latter CPU and 512MB of 266-MHz DDR memory, this Systemax Venture-SU24 earned a score of 119 on our PC WorldBench 4 tests--average for similar systems, but a high mark nonetheless. A color setup poster aids in system assembly.
UPSHOT: A well-rounded system that only looks basic, this Systemax Venture-SU24 offers solid performance and multimedia features.
By Joel Strauch