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No Speed Limit
AMD Continues to Push Athlon Clock Speeds With These... 
Xi MTower 800
MHz Dream Machines


 
By Ken Feinstein
(2/7/00)

 

 

Editors' Choice - Xi MTower (AMD Athlon 800 MHz)  

Xi Computer 800MHz Athlon Workstation

Xi MTower (AMD Athlon 800 MHz) 
If you want the best-performing home PC you can get, this is it. Its high-quality, name-brand internals make it a gamer's dream machine. Beyond the fast CPU clock speed, this PC separates itself from the pack of high-end systems with 32MB of DDR RAM on its Nvidia GeForce-based graphics card, giving it the fastest benchmark scores we've seen. 

@Xi Computer Corp. knows how to excite geek lust.
All components that are consistently cited as "the best" can be found in Xi's MTower. There are no trade-offs with this system: its CPU, DVD drive, and sound and graphics cards make this a techno dream machine. Of course, with all these high-end components those who will get the most out of this machine are gamers. 

A battle rages at the core of the computer world. 
Upstart AMD is challenging entrenched heavyweight Intel for a piece of the PC-processor market. And AMD is proving to be a fierce competitor, with almost monthly broadsides of higher-clocked versions of its Athlon chip being fired at the Intel leviathan. 

Get What You Pay For
At $2,799, the MTower justifies its price with awesome brand-name components. In addition to the 800-MHz AMD Athlon CPU, the MTower features 128MB of SDRAM and a huge 25GB, 7,200-rpm hard drive. These combine to deliver outstanding business performance; in fact, its scores are currently the best of any PC that CNET Labs has tested. 

Amazing Games Performance
This system performed even more impressively on games, earning one of the best scores in our
standard games tests. In tests using Quake III (1,024-by-768, 32-bit color), the Hercules 3D Prophet
graphics card (featuring Nvidia's GeForce 256 chip and 32MB of high-end DDR memory) delivered an
astounding 61.7 frames per second (fps). By comparison, the 800-MHz, Athlon-based Polywell Poly
800K7-800, equipped with a graphics card using the GeForce chip but standard SDRAM memory,
achieved only 39.3 fps. 

An 8X DVD-ROM drive ensures an excellent movie experience, and the Sound Blaster Live Value PCI
sound card offers exceptional 3D audio support that gamers will appreciate, as well as clear, vibrant
playback for music and DVDs. The Optiquest Q95 19-inch monitor (18-inch viewable) displayed rich colors and crisp, clear text even at high resolutions. 

Creature Comforts
The MTower case exhibits a bit of flair with bright-blue molded plastic on the front, and the internals
are easily accessible through a tool-free case design. The solid Logitech Internet Keyboard includes
a slew of Internet-specific keys that may be somewhat more gimmicky than useful. But the Logitech
Mouseman Wheel's hand-conforming shape should provide a smooth ride for hard-core work or play. 

With the fastest CPU and graphics card currently available, the 800-MHz MTower is nothing less
than a gamer's dream machine. Users with more mundane needs, however, would be advised to drop
down a speed grade or two for a much better bargain.

CNET Editors' Choice Awards - recognize computing products of the highest quality, design, and service to users. Products bearing the CNET Editors' Choice graphic have been rigorously tested and carefully evaluated by our panel of expert editors and writers. We are committed to making the CNET Editors' Choice seal the hallmark of good product design, performance, quality, and value.

For A In-Depth And Full Review - No Speed Limit
AMD Continues to Push Athlon Clock Speeds With These 800-MHz Dream Machines

By Ken Feinstein
(2/7/00)

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