Sysorex redefines price/performance with new PC

FCW Test Center

S ysorex Information Systems Inc. has targeted volume PC buyers with the addition of IBM Corp.'s PC 300XL system to its Army PC-2 contract [FCW Aug. 4]. Recently we took the system into the FCW Test Center and put it through our rigorous testing procedures. What we found is that Sysorex offers speed and performance at remarkable prices.

For the bargain rate of $2 168 the PC 300XL provides users with the power of a 233 MHz Pentium II processor 512K of cache memory 32M of EDO DIMM memory a 2.5G hard drive a 16X CD-ROM drive PC Card support two Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports integrated video and networking and a 15-inch monitor. Users also can choose either Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 or NT for the operating system.

One thing we particularly liked about the PC 300XL was its solid sturdy design. The inside of the chassis is nicely modular providing users with easy access to the system's three DIMM modules hard drive and CD-ROM drive. The system's expansion card slots are located on a vertical riser card which holds four ISA and three PCI slots. (Three slots are shared.)

The PC 300XL is also strong in terms of its flexibility and security.

For example the system arrives pre-configured for network use with an integrated 10/100 Ethernet adapter and Wake on LAN support which makes it possible for an administrator working remotely to turn on the machine.

Users also will be able to take advantage of two PC Card slots located on the system's front panel as well as two USB ports for peripheral expansion. In addition if the system's standard 32M of memory is not enough to support your applications the three DIMM slots can accommodate up to 384M.

Rounding out a solid design is a sliding front panel that can be locked in place to prevent unauthorized access to the system's PC Card slots floppy drive and CD-ROM drive - a nice feature for the security-conscious environment.

We tested the system's performance by running it through the SYSmark/32 benchmark from Business Applications Performance Corp. which measures performance based on standard 32-bit Windows applications.

Potential buyers will be pleased to learn that the PC 300XL exceeded the average score for 200 MHz Pentium systems [IGovernment Best Buys/I July 7] by up to 20 percent. On the first run the system posted a SYSmark/32 score of 218. However we experienced a minor driver incompatibility when running one of the benchmark suites. On the second run we replaced the integrated video with a Matrox Millennium graphics card from Matrox Graphics Inc. The result was a jump of 18 points in performance to a score of 236.

Costing just less than $10 per point on the SYSmark/32 benchmark Sysorex has redefined the price/performance ratio with the PC 300XL.

This system's feature set performance and price point make it one of the best buys available today to government buyers. In fact the Pentium II-powered PC 300XL only costs $199 more than a less-capable IBM PC 350 200 MHz Pentium MMX system which also is being offered by the company. To sweeten the deal Sysorex has added a five-year worldwide on-site warranty to the bundle.

If you are planning to upgrade your agency's baseline of desktop systems this is definitely a smart place to start.

The PC 300XL also is available on Sysorex's Department of Veterans Affairs' Procurement of Computer Hardware and Software contract and on its General Services Administration schedule contract.

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