How We Tested 200 MHz Pentium Desktops

We evaluated these 200 MHz Pentium desktopcomputers using tests designed to show their performance and feature differences

We evaluated these 200 MHz Pentium desktop computers using tests designed to show their performance and feature differences. Each of the eight scoring categories contributed some fraction of the total 1,000 possible points in the overall score.

For most scoring categories, we assigned scores ranging from excellent to unacceptable. Systems that earned excellent scores received all the points for that category; a very good score earned 75 percent of the points; good earned 62.5 percent; satisfactory scores were worth 50 percent; poor received only 25 percent; and unacceptable did not earn any points.

For price and performance, however, we calculated the number of points earned based on the benchmark score or the price. PerformanceWe used the SYSmark/32 benchmark to evaluate performance. SYSmark/32 is a product of Business Applications Performance Corp., a consortium of hardware and software manufacturers, as well as test centers run by Federal Computer Week and InfoWorld. BAPCO designed SYSmark/32 to emulate how users work in real-world business environments.

The benchmark measures how much time a computer requires to complete a series of scripts in each of eight popular business applications running under Windows 95. It combines these elapsed times to produce an overall SYSmark/32 score. Because this score is a rate (work divided by time), higher numbers indicate better performance.

We scored speed mathematically; the system with the median SYSmark/32 score received 75 percent of the 200 points possible.System Design/ ExpandabilityWe considered a wide range of features in this score. To start, we looked at how many drive bays were free after the system was configured from the factory. We looked at how easy it was for a user to open the case, access internal components and configure them. Modular systems earned extra points.

We also awarded points for security features, such as case locks or keyboard locks. We also considered the number of ports and peripherals provided, including IDE ports, SCSI ports, serial ports, and universal serial bus and infrared ports as well as the type and size of hard drive.

We evaluated graphics support by considering the included graphics memory as well as support for 3-D and real-time video.Systems that include basic multimedia and network features earned higher scores. We awarded additional points for systems with extra audio ports or with high-speed CD-ROM readers. Network-capable systems with several cable interfaces or support for faster network speeds also earned extra points.

Finally, we looked at total system capacity, including the total amount and type of RAM a system could hold as well as the total amount of video memory, and the total and type of secondary cache installed. This, along with the total number and type of expansion slots, contributed to the overall System Design/Expandability score, which had a maximum of 225 points.

Setup/Ease of Use Issues that determined this score (with a maximum of 100 points) included whether a product had bundled or pre-installed applications and whether the system included disks, a ROM-based setup, flash BIOS, an on-line system tutorial and on-line system documentation. We also looked for helpful setup utilities, such as DMI software, and we looked at whether a system came network-ready.

Another feature that added to the score was the software pre-loaded on the system.Compatibility We scored compatibility on two fronts. First, we ran our benchmark suite, and if we had minor problems with drivers for the computers, we lowered the score. We then added the number of operating systems supported by each company on each computer to reach a final word score in compatibility.

To earn points for operating system compatibility, a vendor needed to sell this operating system and be willing to support its initial installation. The maximum number of points was 50.Documentation At a minimum, documentation had to tell us how to set up and use the system and had to include accurate diagrams to illustrate the text. Comprehensive, well-organized and well-written manuals received higher scores.

We lowered the score if the manual was poorly organized, lacked a table of contents and index, did not include information on installing options or contained factual errors in the text. Certain criteria automatically triggered lower scores; for example, a missing system manual was unacceptable.

After assigning a score, we award up to 75 points assigned to this category. Support Policies A one-year warranty covering parts, labor and unlimited technical support from the vendor earned a satisfactory score. We awarded bonuses for unconditional money-back guarantees, on-site service included in the purchase price, extended support hours, on-line support—such as CompuServe—and a toll-free number. We subtracted points for no technical support, a limited support period and dealer-only support.

Systems earned up to 75 points.Technical Support We based technical support scores on the quality of service we received during multiple anonymous support calls. This score contributed up to 50 points.Price Price was scored mathematically. The median price earned 75 percent of the 225 possible points.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.