SAN FRANCISCO (08/28/2000) - Home is where the power is: Dell Computer Corp.'s Dimension XPS B866r fends off new systems from Hewlett-Packard Co. and ABS to remain our number one power system. The Dimension's chart-best PC WorldBench 2000 score of 158 is likely a product of its quick PIII-866 processor rather than its expensive RDRAM--PC World tests have shown RDRAM doesn't have a substantial effect on speed at current processor clock ratings. The new ABS Performance 1 is US$8 less than the Dell and two points slower on our PC WorldBench 2000.
Our number three power system, HP's Pavilion 8700I-933, is the first home PC we've seen with Intel's 933-MHz Pentium III. Despite its higher clock speed, its PC WorldBench score of 154 is just two points better than the Pavilion 9600A-850.
Dell's new Dimension 4100 debuts at the top of the midrange list. It's the first Dimension to adopt Intel's new 815E chip set, which accommodates faster PC133 SDRAM. The 4100 series will eventually replace Dimension XPS-T models.
Meanwhile, the fourth-ranked NuTrend Athlon Special 2 is nearly as fast, for $340 less.
More changes will come as vendors adopt the 815E chip set, faster Celeron chips, or AMD's new budget processor, the Duron. And stay tuned for Microsoft's new Windows Millennium Edition OS.
Kirk Steers is a contributing editor for PC World.