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The Pro200 MTower SP ($3,749 direct) gives you an extra pair of SIMM sockets (for a total of six), bringing the total possible system memory up to 768MB. Better still for its target market—primarily engineers and designers—Xi includes an extra software package, Vibrant Graphics Soft Engine for AutoCAD, that helps the graphics card accelerate execution of CAD functions (this package can be replaced by Microsoft Office Pro at no extra cost).

The Pro200 MTower SP comes with four of the seven slots in its FIC ATX motherboard already filled. Two of its three PCI slots hold a Matrox MGA Millennium graphics board and an Ultra Wide SCSI adapter; the inclusion of a U.S. Robotics modem and a Sound Blaster 32 card left two ISA slots and one combo slot free. Mass storage includes a 2GB IBM Wide SCSI hard disk and an 8X CD-ROM drive. The motherboard makes upgrades easy with an auto-sensing voltage regulator and memory sensing that accommodates any variety of SIMM you slide in.

These components paid off for the unit, earning above- average scores on our High-End Winstone 97 test--and a tie with two others for first place—as well as on the High-End Disk WinMark 97 and CD-ROM WinMark 97 tests. The unit's other scores were average.

Strong performance and a good mix of components make this system a worthy contender.

Winn L. Rosch

Pro200 MTower SP. Direct price: $3,749. Xi Computer Corp., San Clemente, CA; 800-432-0486, 714-498-0858; fax, 714-492-6571; www.xicomputer.com.