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XI NetRaider 532P2: All beefed up now, A gigabyte of RAM and a muscular controller make this 
Dual Pentium II machine much faster

Price: $17,999
RAM: 1,024 MB
Processors: Two 266MHz Pentium IIs
PCI Slots: 8
ISA/EISA Slots: 0/4

In the confusion surrounding the introduction of Intel Corp.'s new Pentium II processor, we had the impression that it could address no more than 512MB of RAM. This was a mistake, as @Xi Computer Corp., supplier of our first Pentium II server (see "Server Watch," May 12, Page 28) was quick to point out. XI volunteered to send us its NetRaider 532P2 server equipped with 1GB of RAM, the most its motherboard can hold, to run through our benchmark tests.

Now we are convinced that you can run more than 512MB of RAM - and you should, at least if database-server performance is important to you.

 XI also sent an Americal Megatrends Inc. MegaRAID controller stuffed with 128MB of RAM and six IBM 4GB drives.

This combination proved to be a winner, beating all servers except the six-processor Advanced Logic Research Revolution 6x6 (See "Server Watch," July 21, Page 46) and the quad-processor Dell Computer Corp. PowerEdge 6100 (See "Server Watch," April 28, Page 78).

Especially significant is the XI machine's query performance, which is much better than the Dell's, though not as good as the astonishing ALR's performance. Transaction testing also showed the machine holding its own against the bigger systems. The only area where the beefed-up XI NetRaider lagged was in network I/O. Overall, this is an excellent bargain on a hot machine. Out test also shows the potential benefits of customizing a server purchase.

Tom Stearns, Lantimes