Speed to Spare With Polywell's 1-GHz Athlon

SAN FRANCISCO (05/01/2000) - The race to 1 GHz was fast and furious, but systems packing that heat have been slow to arrive on store shelves. However, 1-GHz Athlon systems are available now, and to judge from our tests, they live up to expectations. The most recent model we've examined, the $3388 Polywell Computers Inc.'s 800K7-1000, is the fastest we've seen. It posted a sizzling PC WorldBench 2000 score of 162, which is a negligible 3 points slower than our reigning WorldBench champ--a preproduction 1-GHz Intel Pentium III-based IBM Corp. Aptiva machine.

Polywell's silver-colored case has no screws to hinder access to the interior--press two release levers on the sides and the entire cover slides off easily. There's plenty of room to add memory and PCI cards. One external 5.25-inch drive bay and one internal 3.5-inch bay are available as well.

This richly configured system offers a very generous 256MB of SDRAM as well as a Promise RAID card that controls a pair of 20GB IBM Ultra DMA 66 hard drives for mass storage. The two drives are treated as a single 40GB unit (RAID 0), effectively doubling bandwidth and increasing sustainable throughput. The setup is overkill for most users, but it costs little more than a single 40GB drive; and if you're using data analysis programs or other disk-intensive apps, you'll get an edge. The unit also has a fast ELSA AG Erazor X2 3D graphics board, a combination 8X DVD-ROM/40X CD-ROM drive, an Iomega Zip 100 drive, a sharp 19-inch ViewSonic monitor, and a V.90 modem.

Polywell provides a three-year warranty on most--but not all--parts. The system also comes with standard 24-hour tech support for the first year.

Considering its opulent features and killer performance, the 800K7-1000 is a great value at $3388--especially if you're working with intensive graphics or engineering applications. If your power needs are less extreme, consider the same 800K7 with a slower, but still muscular 700-MHz CPU--for $940 less.


Polywell 800K7-1000

PRO: Top-notch performance, loaded system.

CON: Not cheap; may be more power than most users need.

VALUE: Great if you need the bleeding edge.

Street price: $3388

Polywell Computers



Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

More about DMAElsaIBM AustraliaIntelIomegaPolywell ComputersViewsonic

Show Comments