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
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
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,