Anybody looking for a computer that will help get critical work done, and needs superior graphics power, may want to forgo a standard desktop in favour of a different class of system, such as HP's xw4400 Personal Workstation. With the aid of its Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor, 2GB of RAM, and Nvidia Quadro FX 1500 graphics card carrying 256MB of GDDR3 memory, the unit we tested scored a 161 on WorldBench 5, better than the marks of most high-end desktops we've looked at. It also performed well on the 3D Studio Max portions of WorldBench 5, completing the DirectX and OpenGL tests in 200 and 218 seconds, respectively.
The system's interior boasts six drive bays (four of them external and two internal; on our test machine only two externally accessible drive bays were available), as well as three PCI and three PCI Express slots (only one PCI and two PCIe slots were open). The two internal drive bays contain a pair of 7200rpm 160GB SATA II hard drives configured in a striped RAID array. The design of the bays makes sliding out the drives for replacement especially easy. Our test machine came with a multiformat DVD burner and a brilliant 19-inch HP L1955 LCD. The xw4400 also offers gigabit ethernet and a full complement of ports, including seven external USB 2.0 ports and three FireWire ports. HP bundles several system tools with the xw4400. The one most appealing to workstation buyers may be the Performance Tuning Framework tool, which will analyse the computer and make sure it has the right drivers and settings to optimise performance in a number of applications including design, video editing and authoring, and 3D creation and rendering. For smaller businesses that are seeking a powerful system and need professional-level graphics, the xw4400 Personal Workstation deserves a look.
Distributed by Ingram Micro, Dicker Data, Synnex and Cellnet.
RRP: from $1500