@Xi 6400 MTower DPR

31 Mar, 2004 By: Ron LaFon

Intel Xeon dual-processor system.

The 6400 MTower DPR system from @Xi features two new Xeon 3.2GHz processors housed in a black midtower case with a swingaway drive bay door. This case, also available in putty or silver, features a clear Plexiglas panel on the tool-free removable side panel. A front panel provides easy access to a single FireWire and two USB 2 connectors, all tucked behind a port door. The back of the system offers four USB 1.x ports, two COM ports, and a standard single LPT printer port. Out of the ten total drive bays, six are exposed. With its 420W power supply, the 6400 Mtower DPR offers many expandability options.

@XI Computer's 6400 MTower DPR workstation is a good performer with excellent expansion opportunities.
@XI Computer's 6400 MTower DPR workstation is a good performer with excellent expansion opportunities.

On this system, a Logitech 2+ Wheel optical mouse and a Mitsumi keyboard handled input. I've noted before that I find this keyboard a bit mushy for my tastes, but other keyboard options are available. Also included in the system is a 200GB 7,200rpm SATA hard disk with 8MB of cache. The system also incorporates a combination CD-R/W and DVD ATAPI writer by Pioneer (16X/10X/40X/12X), an on-board Intel 82540 10/100/1Gbit Ethernet LAN, and on-board AC97 sound chip. A total of 2GB of RAM rounds out the system, which accommodates as much as 8GB of RAM on the motherboard. The system is loaded with Microsoft Windows XP Professional and an assortment of useful software such as ArcSoft PhotoStudio, PhotoImpression, VideoImpression, and Panorama Maker.

As equipped, the @Xi workstation is priced at $5,799-somewhat higher than the usual prices we see for @Xi workstations. The higher price is attributable to the system's two new Intel Xeon 3.2GHz processors with the 2MB L2 cache-these two new processors add $1,910 to the overall cost of the system. Add in another $1,457 for the speedy but also expensive NVIDIA FX 3000 graphics card with 256MB of RAM.

Typically, AMD processors offer better 3D performance than 2D, while Intel processors seem to be more even across the board-though not exceptionally high on the 3D components. This system's benchmarks held true to that, with good scores throughout on all components, but not as high on the 3D components. On the Cadalyst Labs C2001 test, this system earned a score of 124.45. SPEC ViewPerf 7.1.1, using the proe-02 component, returned a score of 33.23. For the 3ds max MAXBENCH4 test, the averaged high and low frame rate was 60.51. I did run the MAXBENCH4 test using the new MAXtreme 6.00.04 driver from NVIDIA, but there were some anomalies, so I decided not to use those scores until I determine that the anomalies don't impact test performance in any way. I'm working with NVIDIA to figure that out. I also used this system to benchmark the new ATI FireGL 256t graphics card (watch for a First Look review in an upcoming issue).

The @Xi 6400 MTower DPR system is a very good performer. The only drawback is its cost, which reflects the expensive Intel processors and graphic card.

About the Author: Ron LaFon