An Xi system was our
pick for best price/performance value in our last
review, so we had high expectations this year. It achieved average
scores in our 2D test and was a strong
performer in 3D. Because of its low price, it offers a
good price/performance combination again this year. However, it doesn't
offer the added benefits of the bundled management software and setup
routines that are found on the faster performing, albeit much more
expensive IBM and Compaq systems. The system does have some nice
design points, though. Opening the case to add
components only requires the removal of two screws and the left side
panel--as opposed to a full three-sided case on most other mid-tower
It also has a sliding panel that covers the external drive bays, power
switch, and reset switch, providing protection from unintended system
The Xi was about average in the 2D and strong in the 3D performance
Amazing, you can pick one up at about half the cost of a Compaq.
Value is the name of game here. More for
We figure that anyone can get a hot-rod PC if given a blank check.
Overall value for 2D. PCs that end up near the bottom right represent
best values. IBM's performance in 2D will justify its cost. Xi
and is priced low enough that, even though not the
fastest systems, it provides real value.
Overall value for 3D. Xi finds
in the sweet spot of the value chart for 3D users.