Pros: Speedy; ships
with Soft Engine.
Cons: none significant.
Thanks to its name Xi
Computer always ends up at the end of our reviews. In this case, it's
We've saved the best for last. As it has for the past five
years, Xi dominated our annual review with
The Xi Pro400 NTower DP
arrived in a giant tower case with ten drive bays and two 2GB hard drives,
meeting our review specification for 4GB of storage.
Xi selected Hercules'
Dynamite 128 graphics card (4MB) for its 2D configuration ($4,299) and
Intergraph's Intense 3D card (16MB) for the 3D configuration ($8,299). Our
testing showed these were excellent choices. Both the 2D index (6.32) and 3D
index (10.18) earned top honors.
I'd like to point out
that Xi is the only company in this review that bundles Vibrant Graphics'
Soft Engine driver. It's also one of only two companies that opted for the
new CPU with 512KB L2 cache. You can save $800 per CPU with the standard
If you're looking for the
fastest AutoCAD workstation you can get your hands on, for
either 2D or 3D work, start with Xi Computers. Its Xi Pro400 NTower DP
delivers the goods at a good price.
Side note - Soft
Xi Computer is the only company in this review that bundles Vibrant
Graphics' Soft Engine driver with its AutoCAD workstations. Because of the
tremendous performance boost Soft Engine affords, nobody else had a chance
against Xi's system in a fair fight. So we cheated... sort of. We tested
each system with a Soft Engine. As well as with AutoCAD's WHIP driver and
any vendor-supplied driver.
A.L. - CADalyst