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PC World

Top 10 Windows-compatible power PCs

October 21, 1999
Web posted at: 12:43 p.m. EDT (1643 GMT)

by Alan Stafford and Andrew Brandt image

(IDG) -- Oh, for the love of megahertz. Nine of the ten systems on this month's Top 10 Power PCs chart sport processors humming away at 500 MHz or faster. Two new machines based on Intel's Pentium III-600 chip muscle onto the chart in first and fourth places, but Sys Technology steals some of their thunder with its Performance 600A, the fastest system we've seen and the first we've evaluated that's based on AMD's buff Athlon-600 processor.

RAM prices may head back up

Prices for memory seem to have finally leveled off after a long slide. Inexpensive RAM has meant that typical midrange systems -- and many budget systems as well -- ship with a minimum of 64MB of memory these days. Among high-end computers, machines with less than 128MB of RAM are few and far between, and even systems with 256MB occasionally appear.

However, vendors may become less generous with RAM provisions once they start rolling out systems based on Rambus DRAM. RDRAM is an expensive new type of high-performance RAM that sits on a new memory bus running as fast as 800 MHz (compared to the typical 100-MHz speed of memory buses today). Systems that take advantage of the faster bus will begin arriving late this year and may cost hundreds of dollars more than those using the slower bus. Because of that premium, expect to see RDRAM, at least initially, only in expensive, top-of-the-line PCs such as those that make our power chart.

Top 10 power PCs for November 1999

  1. Dell Dimension XPS T600
  2. Compaq Prosignia Desktop 330
  3. Micron Millennia Max 500
  4. Quantex SM600 SE
  5. Dell Optiplex GX1p 550
  6. Sys Performance 600A
  7. Gateway E-4200 550
  8. IBM PC 300PL
  9. Quantex SM500
  10. Compaq Deskpro EN 6450+

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