SYS Performance AX-500P3 Pentium III PC
When we received SYS Technology's invitation to evaluate their 500MHz PC, P3-powered computer, we gladly accepted the offer. With Intel's recent ad campaign touting their new Pentium III chip's ability to open up the Internet and computing world for consumers, we were interested in seeing what it could do for educators.
This Windows-based workstation comes with 128MB of SDRAM, expandable to 1024MB. A Creative Labs 6X DVD drive with hardware decoding enables you to use the latest software, and a Diamond Monster MX-300 sound card enables serious sound playback. The system's Diamond Viper V550 video card with 16MB of RAM offers excellent graphics capabilities, and a 512K L2 cache provides speedy performance with high-end applications. Altec Lansing ACS-48 speakers, an 18' viewable monitor, a 10GB 7,200rpm hard drive, a WinModem 56K V.90 modem with voice and Microsoft Office 97 round out this very complete package.
SYStem setup was quite simple Ñ in the past that was an impressive statement, but it seems most firms are learning how to accommodate first-timers as well as experienced users. Performance, as you can imagine, is blistering. While we don't have the ability to run benchmark tests in testing labs, we were very impressed with the jump in system performance compared to various other systems we have in the office (several Pentium II's and Macintosh G3's).
While our system came installed with Windows NT, we ran a dual-boot setup with Windows 98, since many educators use Windows 95/98. The AX-500P3 ran flawlessly under both operating systems, connecting to our NT LAN without a hitch. Educators using programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel DRAW will be quite happy with the system's ability to quickly draw multiple complex graphics. During our review, we never had a problem with drives of any kind, video/sound cards or pretty much anything. In short, the AX-500P3 is probably most reliable PC we've reviewed.
Besides offering a great product, SYS Technology's warranty is quite good: the CPU and memory are covered for six years, labor is covered for five years, and parts are covered for 3 years. Additionally, technical support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
While instructors involved in the graphic arts will obviously benefit from the AX-500P3's exceptional power, so will CAD, architectural and statistics instructors. Although most educators will do just fine with a slightly more modest computer, those who need serious number-crunching ability and graphics power would do well to consider SYS Technology's Pentium III-powered computers.
SYS Technology, Inc.
Online Reader Service #701
SYS Technology offers a two-percent discount on single systems to educational institutions and their employees. The company works with educational institutions nationwide; approximately 200 primary, secondary and higher education facilities are supported by SYS, including UCLA, LA Community Colleges, Cal State and Irvine School District, among others.
The AX-500P3 as tested lists for $2,199. SYS uses Intel Financial Services (www.intelfinancial.com) for leasing services, which may be used for 70% hardware/30% software. Volume discounts are available, please call the company for more information.
This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1999 issue of THE Journal.