The Fastest of the Fast

Five slightly more affordable, almost as powerful and more readily available 600MHz machines:

Dell Dimension XPS T600

Digital Star PowerPro P3-600B

Gateway Performance 600

IBM Aptiva 75A

Peripherals Plus Intel PIII 600

IBM Aptiva 75A

Distinguishing itself from the rest of the field with its stunning black appearance, and matching black peripheral devices, the IBM Aptiva 75A is a fully featured machine - coming equipped with both a CD-RW drive as well as a DVD-ROM drive. Its performance was adequate in both PC WorldBench 98 and 3DMark 99 Max, recording scores of 245 and 4220, respectively. Unfortunately, the machine as shipped with the 16MB Number 9 graphics adapter did not take too kindly to our OpenGL-based games Quake II and KingPin, and we were unable to extract meaningful frame rate results from the machine. Its 13GB hard drive, floppy, CD-RW and DVD drives sit in a solid ATX mini tower case which is easily dismantled by releasing a holding mechanism and sliding off the one-piece cover from the front.

The two 3.5in drive bays swing out to allow the easy replacement of the drives, and there is also one free 5.25in drive bay for expansion. The motherboard allows limited expansion and has only one free DIMM slot and two free PCI slots. The backing plate is non-standard, with the USB ports located above the PS/2 ports.

A very healthy software bundle is included with the machine and includes titles such as IBM ViaVoice, WorldBook Encyclopedia, Lotus SmartSuite Millennium and Quicken 98, as well as a product recovery CD and a DVD game. A 15in IBM monitor ships with the system, which costs $4299.

Configuration: Intel Pentium III 600MHz CPU, 128MB SDRAM, 13GB hard drive, 16MB Number Nine Savage4 graphics adapter.

Extra features: 15in IBM G54 monitor, DVD-ROM drive, CD-RW drive, internal 56Kbps modem, integrated ESS sound, speakers, Lotus SmartSuite Millennium, Quicken 98, IBM ViaVoice, WorldBook Encyclopedia, DVD game.

Price: $4299

Warranty: 1 year

Vendor: IBM

Phone: 1800 815 154

URL: www.ibm.com.au

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Elias Plastiras

Elias Plastiras

PC World

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