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AMD-Powered Workstation
April 2001, p.32, by Ron LaFon and Art Liddle



TXi 1200K MTower SP

Xi’s MTowerSP PC2100 266MHz DDR RAM

5 stars out of 5

The Xi 1200K MTower SP featured 384MB of DDR RAM, filling the three RAM sockets on the motherboard with 128MB SIMMS of PC2100 266MHz DDR RAM. Using other SIMMS, you can populate the Gigabyte motherboard with up to 1GB of RAM.

The 1200K MTower SP is housed in Xi's standard compact and sweptback case, which is easy to open without tools. Other cases, including tower cases with lots of expansion room, are available. A broad array of other configuration options covers almost any component area you'd choose to mention.

The Xi 1200K MTower SP incorporates two ATA100 30MB hard disks from IBM in a RAID arrangement, in this case attached to an Iwill controller. Filling one of the five PCI expansion slots is a NetGear FA 310TX 10/100 network card. Sound is integrated in the motherboard. A Microsoft Intellimouse and a Logitech Internet keyboard are standard.

Warranty coverage for the Xi 1200K MTower SP includes three years on system hardware parts and labor (FOB Xi) and a one-year onsite hardware service contract by NWC that you can expand to longer time periods.

For the system we tested, Xi Computer chose a SONICblue FireGL 2 graphics card, which sailed through the CADALYST benchmark tests. Compare the results of this system with those of the virtually identical Polywell system—which was supplied with an ELSA Synergy III graphics card—and you'll see how much difference in performance a fast graphics card can really make.

Performance is on a par with the Pentium 4 systems, though not quite as fast as the previous Xi 1.2GHz Athlon system we tested. This is likely the result of new Windows 2000 graphics card drivers rather than Windows NT 4 and variations in the bus speed of individual systems.

The Athlon-based Xi system is somewhat less spendy than its Pentium 4 counterparts, making it an attractive option (check current price). Though this isn't the least expensive system this time, it is the least expensive system that offers such top-notch performance. Highly Recommended. — R.L.

This review first appeared in the March 2001 CADALYST Magazine

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