who've followed our testing of systems based on dual
AMD Opteron processors know that their performance
has been problematic. @Xi Computer has gotten it
right, and those past problems did not manifest
themselves in this speedy workstation.
The Xi MTower 2P64 PCIe
system we tested is housed in the well-designed
midsize tower case that @Xi has used for some time.
These cases provide ready access to drive bays and
feature a lockable swing-away drive bay cover for
security. The case measures 17.88" X 7.88" X 17.5" (hXwXd)
and is available in silver and black
The XI MTower
2P64 PCIe from @Xi Computer set a new
performance record on the Cadalyst Labs
C2001 benchmark test.
Inside the case, the Xi
MTower 2P64 PCIe system is based on an ASUS K8N-DL
motherboard that features two new AMD Opteron 252
2.6GHz microprocessors—the first such system we've
tested. The ASUS motherboard uses the NVIDIA NFORCE
Pro chipset and offers Hypertransport at 2000MT/s.
The system came with 2GB of DDR 400 REG ECC RAM,
with 4GB possible on a completely populated
motherboard. A SONY DVD-RW DW-26A Double Media
4.7/8.5GB 16X DV optical drive was also included.
The Xi MTower 2P64 PCIe
system offers ten USB 2.0 and two FireWire 1394
connectors, as well as four externally accessible
5.25" drive bays, two externally accessible 3.5"
drive bays, and another five internally accessible
3.5" bays. This largesse in expandability is
supported by a 550-watt Enermax power supply, so
there's definitely room for the system to grow.
The Xi MTower 2P64 PCIe is priced at $5,999 as
tested. It includes the somewhat spendy 16x PCI
Express PNY/NVIDIA FX4400 graphics card with 512MB
of onboard RAM. This isn't an unreasonable price for
a dual-processor system with 2GB of RAM and a
high-end graphics card, but it may be too expensive
for some. With the PNY/NVIDIA FX3400 installed
instead of the FX4400, you'll give up a couple of
points on the C2001 Benchmark Total Index score, but
save about $700 on the overall cost of the system.
If you don't need 2GB of RAM, the system can be
configured with 1GB for further cost savings.
@Xi Computer is noted for its fast CAD
workstations, and this system is no exception. On
the Cadalyst Labs C2001 benchmark test, it achieved
a total index score of 170.89—the fastest score
we've ever seen. Scores were similarly high on
MAXBench4 run with 3ds max 7 with Service Pack 1
installed, where we were able to achieve an average
high/low score of 139.81. With the proe-03 viewset
of the SPECviewperf 8.0.1 benchmark, the system
produced a score of 57.57—not quite the highest in
this roundup, but an excellent score. All these
results are excellent. It's hard to believe the
improvement in performance in only a few brief
months since the last Cadalyst Labs workstation
roundup in March. Highly Recommended.