Top 10 home PCs for November 1999
October 11, 1999
by Kirk Steers
(IDG) -- If you're looking for something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, PC World Online's Top 10 Home PCs serves up bargains galore. The bounty includes two inexpensive new models brimming with goodies. To sweeten the mix, four previously tested power PCs and two repeat budget systems drop their prices. Among the new machines, IDot.com's $633 333M2 V costs less than any other home PC we've seen. On our power chart, CyberMax's $1699 Enthusiast 500N nabs fifth place, thanks to fast performance and upscale hardware (including a Zip drive) for a low price.
Two new systems from Quantex barely miss this month's chart. The speedy GX500's PC WorldBench 98 score of 227 placed it a notch below the systems on our power list. At just $1699, this Quantex costs the same as the number-two Micron Millennia and the fifth-place CyberMax.
Avid gamers, videophiles, and graphics enthusiasts will welcome the GX500's fast graphics performance. In fact, its overall graphics scores beat those of any other system we've tested. Its 3dfx Voodoo3 3000 graphics card with 16MB of video memory helped it pull in the highest score on our 3D racing game.
The GX500's roomy interior includes two open PCI slots, two free ISA slots, and five free drive bays. A 12GB hard drive, a Zip drive, and a 6X DVD-ROM drive all come standard at this price. Despite the GX500's terrific hardware and performance, it still runs slower on business apps and has fewer features than the other power systems on the chart.
Quantex's M500c is virtually identical to the GX500 except that it's powered by a Celeron-500 instead of a PIII-500 and costs $250 less. As a result of the CPU choice, the M500c runs slower than the GX500, posting a PC WorldBench 98 score of 213 and a lower (though still good) graphics score. Budget-conscious buyers will find the M500c adequate for day-to-day computing and occasional gaming.
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Oakland, California, writer Kirk Steers is a contributing editor for PC World.
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