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Xi  AMD-Powered Workstation
This review first appeared in the January 2001 CADALYST Magazine.

 p.46, by Ron LaFon

Xi 1200K MTower SP

Xi’s 1200K MTower SP keeps the pace with a 1.2GHz Athlon Thunderbird processor.

Based on a 1.2GHz AMD Athlon Thunderbird processor, the Xi 1200K MTower SP is a speedy and moderately priced system. As the accompanying charts show, this Xi system either equaled or excelled the scores of the Pentium 4 systems— significant when you consider that the Pentium 4 systems were running 300MHz faster and using a front-end bus speed that was twice as fast.

With the exception of the 2D component of CADALYST’s C99 test, the AutoCAD test scores were the highest of the three systems reviewed here, as were the OpenGL scores tested by the ViewPerf ProCDRS 02 test. The MAXBench test scores were somewhat slower. AMD has produced a processor and chipset that can turn the heads of CAD users. With the 1.2GHz AMD processor performing so well against the initial Pentium 4 offerings, it will be interesting to see what happens when faster Athlon processors arrive.

The system we reviewed was housed in Xi’s stylish, swept-back case that simplifies access to the interior. Xi uses quality components throughout the entire system, including a speedy ATA 100 hard disk controller. Multiple-drive capability is available from Xi Computer with an ATA 100 RAID controller. Networking is provided by an integrated Netgear FA 310TX 10/100 controller. Sound is likewise integrated into the motherboard, and the given price includes a set of Altec Lansing ACS21 speakers. You can configure Xi systems with a very broad range of peripherals— check out the various options at their Web site. All systems are backed by a 36/36/12 (labor/parts/ on-site) warranty.

At $3,095, (check current price) which includes the somewhat pricey FGL Graphics FireGL 2 that accounts for approximately a third of the cost of the system, this is a great bargain for a truly high-performance machine that might very well change the minds of many “Intel only” customers. Xi has produced a definite winner with this system.

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This review first appeared in the January 2001, p.46, by Ron LaFon CADALYST Magazine

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