Dell's Pricey, Packed PIII-1000

SAN FRANCISCO (05/26/2000) - In this age of budget computers, you can still splurge on a PC. Dell Computer Corp.'s latest Dimension, the XPS B1000r Special Edition, has a 1-GHz Pentium III processor--and a $3769 price.

A shipping model of the Dell running Windows 2000 with 128MB of RDRAM (so memory upgrades won't come cheap) earned a PC WorldBench 2000 score of 178--the best we've seen for a PIII-1000 Windows 2000 box (Windows NT 4 desktops hold the top scores). It's less than 5 percent faster than a similarly configured $3199 PIII-866 Dell--no appreciable difference in business applications. But the extra $570 should buy a significant performance boost for games and high-end graphics.

Your investment buys more than the fastest processor on the market. Dell includes a 8X/4X/32X CD-RW drive, a 40GB hard drive, and excellent multimedia.

Assisted by an NVidia GeForce 256 graphics card with 64MB of speedy DDR memory, the Dell UltraScan P991 19-inch monitor delivers vibrant colors and sharp text.

The Harman/Kardon HK595 three-speaker set booms out crisp, loud audio through the Sound Blaster Live sound card. Playing Unreal Tournament on this machine should be like stepping into your own private arcade.

For the business end of things, Dell offers an Aztech V.90 modem and an ethernet card plus Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business Edition. The company's superb record for customer service and reliability backs the whole package.

A price near $4000 makes this system unsuitable for some budgets. And the PC's $3179 PIII-866 sibling should exceed most people's needs. But if cost is no object in your pursuit of top performance, Dell's 1-GHz PIII delivers.

Dell Dimension XPS B1000r Special EditionPro: Fastest Windows 2000 system we've tested.

Con: Expensive.

Value: Best performance money can buy for high-end users.

Street price: $3769

Dell Computer


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