Micron revs PC to the max

Micron Electronics Inc.'s Micron PC has given us our first look at a production system using Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Inc.'s new 1.3 GHz Athlon processor. The results were, to say the least, impressive. We ran the Millennia Max XP through Business Applications Performance Co.'s suite of real-world benchmarks, and the system turned in our fastest-ever score of 216. That compares with a score of 176 for the previous record-holder, a Micron system built around the 800 MHz Intel Corp. Pentium III processor ["Micron PC blurs desktop boundary," Federal Computer Week, March 27, 2000].

The Millennia Max also performed on a virtual par with reference systems we tested in a recent comparative look at the Pentium 4 and AMD 1.2 GHz processors. This despite the fact that those reference units had — with 256M of system memory — twice the memory of the Millennia Max XP production unit we tested.

But there's a lot more that we liked about the Millennia Max XP than just the fast processor. For starters, the fast processor has to be accompanied by fast system memory. The Millennia Max series comes loaded with 200 MHz DDR (double data rate) SDRAM.

We were also impressed with the Millennia Max's easy expandability. The side is easy to remove, with snaps in the back instead of screws to lose. Inside, you'll find five PCI slots and an Accelerated Graphics Port. The two DIMM sockets can handle up to 1G of DDR synchronous dynamic RAM. And in addition to parallel and serial ports, you'll find four Universal Serial Bus ports — two of them conveniently located on the front of the minitower.

Bear in mind, however, that the Millennia line doesn't offer the built-in network interface nor the network management and energy-efficiency features of Micron's ClientPro line. Micron said it plans to bring both the Athlon processor and the faster DDR SDRAM memory to the ClientPro line by the end of the second quarter.

In the meantime, if you don't need the enterprise-oriented features of the ClientPro line, you'll find the AMD-powered Millennia Max XP a high performer at a low price.

The system we tested — with 128M of DDR SDRAM, a 40G ATA-100 hard drive, a DVD player and a CD-Rewritable drive, a 19-inch monitor and software (Microsoft Corp. Windows 2000 Professional, Office 2000 and Symantec Corp. Norton Antivirus 2000) — carries a price of $2,241 on the General Service Administration schedules.


Millennia Max XP

Score: A-

Micron Electronics Inc.
(877) 894-5694

Price and Availability: The configuration we tested is available on GSA schedules for $2,241.

Remarks: The Millennia Max XP is a high-performance computer that sports a 1.3 GHz processor. The system is highly expandable, though it lacks enterprise-level network management features.


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