Xi PowerGo 2Duo XT
The Xi PowerGo 2Duo XT laptop is a mobile workstation for
those with decidedly large laps, because it measures 15.6" x
11.5" x 2.3" (H x W x D) and weighs 8.9 lbs with the lithium
ion battery installed. The PowerGo is decidedly geared
toward high-performance mobile computing. The unit
Cadalyst received for review was based on a full-blown,
dual-core processor — the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 — running
at 2.66 GHz, rather than a chip specifically intended for
mobile systems. @Xi Computer noted that the system is also
available with the Extreme Edition of the processor that
runs at 2.93 GHz, but that such a system — while offering
approximately 6% better benchmark numbers — is roughly $850
more expensive due to the premium price that Intel charges
for this processor.
As requested, the Xi PowerGo 2Duo XT
system arrived with 2 GB of DDR2 800-MHz RAM installed and
included an 80-GB Hitachi hard drive. The system is
available with hard drives as large as 200 GB and will
accommodate as many as three hard drives in total. It
supports SATA-150. The Xi PowerGo has a built-in four-in-one
Flash memory reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO), and a USB external
3.5" 1.44-MB floppy disk drive is an available option. This
system supports RAID in 0/1/5 modes.
The system I received was very
attractive and well-designed, finished in high gloss (Piano)
black and matte black, and featured a wide-aspect-ratio 17"
screen with a native resolution of 1,680 x 1,050. The
display panel provided excellent quality and was very crisp
and bright. In this case, the display was driven by an
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX graphics card with 512 MB of
memory installed. The installed NVIDIA graphics driver was
dated 1/5/2007 but was unnumbered. Other graphic card
options are available when ordering this system. The system
supports dual graphics cards in an SLI configuration.
There are lots of amenities
incorporated into the Xi PowerGo 2Duo XT system: a built-in
camera, a Kensington Lock Port, Intel Pro Wireless
802.11a/b/g, a 56K V90 modem, Bluetooth interface, and a
10/100/1000 Ethernet connection. The system was quiet in
operation but did generate some heat, as one would expect in
a mobile system that uses a conventional microprocessor
rather than one intended specifically for mobile systems.
The conventional microprocessor paid
off in terms of performance when I ran the various
benchmarks on the Xi PowerGo 2Duo XT system. Using AutoCAD
2008, I ran the Cadalyst C2006 benchmark in two
different configurations — OpenGL and Direct 3D — using the
default AutoCAD drivers. The C2006 total index score with
the OpenGL driver was 176, and the system generated a speedy
C2006 total index score of 289 with the Direct 3D driver.
These are the best performance numbers to date for a mobile
workstation system in Cadalyst Labs.
I ran the MAXBench4 benchmark with
Autodesk 3ds Max 9, testing in two different configurations
(no accelerated driver is available for the GeForce line of
graphics cards) and testing both OpenGL and Direct 3D
performance using the native 3ds Max drivers. Here, too, the
Xi PowerGo system showed its muscle, producing a combined
average high/low score of 110.55 for the OpenGL component of
the test and 171.09 with Direct 3D.
The Xi PowerGo 2Duo XT has a
wide-aspect-ratio 17" screen with a crisp, bright
display. Using a conventional microprocessor, it
generated the best performance of any mobile
workstation tested in Cadalyst Labs.
The final benchmark was the ProE-04
Viewset of SPEC-viewperf 9.03, in which the GeForce graphics
card produced a decidedly slow weighted geometric mean score
of 2.688 — typical of this line of graphics cards.
As might be expected when powering a mobile workstation
based on a conventional microprocessor (dual-core or
otherwise), the run-down times for the lithium ion battery
included in the Xi PowerGo 2Duo system were not as long as
one might wish for. But the tradeoff is that you get more
work done in less time, so things even out to a degree. That
said, the idle run-down time — with polling services such as
Wi-Fi disabled — was 1 hour, 30 minutes. Running a
continuous loop of the Cadalyst C2006 benchmark, the
active run-down time was 1 hour, 18 minutes — not
As configured, the Xi PowerGo 2Duo
system I tested carries an estimated street price of $3,099.
Other configuration options — and there are many — will
cause the price to vary from this figure. This pricing
includes a 36-month warranty on parts and labor only, though
other warranty coverage options are available. Highly