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

Gateway Performance 600

This configuration originally appeared in Best Buys in October. Gateway sent us a new machine for this head-to-head which we put through its paces. Featuring an Intel Pentium III processor running at 600MHz, the Gateway Performance 600 comes equipped with 128MB of RAM and a 32MB Diamond Viper V770 graphics card. A 20GB hard drive handles storage requirements, while DVD-ROM and CD media can be read via the 8x DVD-ROM drive. The machine does not come with a DVD decoder card and the software DVD player that comes pre-installed is somewhat troublesome. At $3499, the machine is Internet-ready, featuring a 56Kbps internal modem.

The monitor that ships with the system is made by Hitachi and offers a splendid picture with a viewable area up to 18in and resolutions up to 1600 x 1200. As with all Gateway desktop systems, a 3-year warranty is standard and includes one year on-site service along with lifetime technical support. This was the first machine in the Best Buys to crack the 250-point mark in PC WorldBench 98, scoring a maximum of 258. Our review machine this time returned a score of 250 - making it marginally slower than the machine in the Best Buys. It is still an ideal machine for the gamer, though, and will play all of the latest and most demanding games with ease. Our frame rate tests with the resolution set to 1024 x 768 garnered 78 frames per second in Quake II and 47 frames per second in KingPin.

Configuration: Intel Pentium III 600MHz CPU, 128MB SDRAM, 20GB hard drive, 32MB TNT2 graphics adapter.

Extra features: 17in VX700 monitor, 8x DVD-ROM drive, internal 56Kbps modem, SB Live Value sound card, Boston Acoustics BA735s speakers, MS Works Suite 99, Norton AntiVirus, PIII games bundle.

Price: $3499

Warranty: 3 years/1 year on-site

Vendor: Gateway

Phone: 1800 500 731

URL: www.gw2k.com.au

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