Unlike the Dell, this pre-production Gateway Performance 800xl is based on the older BX chip set, and utilises the services of regular 168-pin SDRAM. The performance of this system also cracked the 300 mark in PC WorldBench, recording an impressive 307. This score is almost 7 per cent faster than the Gateway Performance 700, reviewed in the Best Buys section of our February issue.
The machine ships with a 32MB GeForce256 card, which has TV-out and DVI-D connectors. Graphics testing achieved similar results to the Dell machine, including phenomenal frame rates once again nearing 200, at the lower resolutions of 640 x 480 and 800 x 600 in Quake II.
This 800MHz Intel processor ran with a front side bus speed of 100MHz, while an ATA66 controller card was also employed. Although performance was excellent, keep in mind that, as a pre-production sample, there is every possibility that performance in the future can be improved using a faster 133MHz front side bus in addition to using RDRAM instead of current SDRAM. The rather large full tower case with which the system ships is solid as a rock and offers plenty of space for enthusiasts to play. The case favours the technical fiddler, with the side plate detaching for easy access (although you may have a hard time getting the CPU out due to the very firm clamping arms holding it in place). Optical media can be read through the 12-speed DVD and Philips CDRW drives, while sound is pumped out to a set of bass-bumping Boston Acoustics speakers, which greatly enhance the overall DVD viewing experience as well as the gaming arena.
For the complete audio-visual experience, Gateway ships this system with an almost overwhelming 21in monitor, which has a viewable area of 19.7in. It's a heavy one, though, so a stable and permanent resting place is essential.
Gateway Performance 800xl
Configuration: Intel Pentium III 800 CPU, 128MB SDRAM, 34GB hard drive, 32MB GeForce graphics adapterExtra Features: 21in Gateway monitor, 12x DVD-ROM drive, Philips CD-RW, Boston Acoustics BA7500 speakers, internal 56Kbps modem, SoundBlaster Live! Value sound card, Microsoft Works Suite 99, Norton AntiVirus, DVD Adventure SuitePrice: No Longer Available/Superseded by 866xlWarranty: 3 years/1 year on-siteVendor: GatewayPhone: 1800 500 731URL: www.gw2k.com.au