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Xi Computer consistently ranked at or very near the top of the price/performance curve in our last eight major reviews of workstations for AutoCAD, stretching back to May 1992. In addition, it managed to grab top performer honors in seven of those reviews. A quick glance at the price/performance chart on p. 48 shows that the tradition continues.
     
The Xi 800 MTower DP sports dual sockets for Intel Pentium II processors. As requested, our system arrived with a single 400MHz CPU installed. With a simple change of a DIP switch, the system also supports the new 450MHz version of the Pentium II processor.
     
Xi Computer configured our workstation with a SuperMicro P6DBE motherboard, 128MB of memory, Seagate Cheetah 9.1GB SCSI hard drive, Teac 32X CD-ROM drive, U.S. Robotics 56K modem, three-button Logitech mouse, and Matrox Millennium G200 graphics card with 8MB of memory. The Millennium is based on the next-generation Matrox graphics accelerator, the MGA-G200. It supports true-color (24 bit) at all resolutions to a maximum of 1600x1200 with at least a 75Hz vertical refresh rate. You'll be hard pressed to find a monitor that this card can't handle.
     
As for raw 2D performance, the Xi 800 MTower DP's benchmark score of 8.76 running AutoCAD Release 14 with standard driver was good enough for a three-way tie for second place among our review systems. And one of the systems it tied with enjoyed the advantage of a 450MHz processor.
     
The really nice part of the Xi 800 MTower DP is its low price of $2,899- more than $200 below the average price in this review. That's for the fully configured workstation described here. It's getting harder and harder to justify not upgrading your 
AutoCAD workstation.
     
In case you're wondering if Xi Computer has lost a step or two in the performance race, think again. Check out the box on p. 62, which compares two identically configured Xi systems: one based on a 450MHz Pentium II, the other a 450MHz Pentium Xeon. The benchmark results for both systems are the fastest ever recorded at CADALYST Labs. It's nice to know some things never change.  --- Art Liddle, Cadalyst

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