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8/96 Reviews Systems: Quantex QP5/200 SM-2

Listing of August 1996 Reviews

Power, Performance and a Low Price

By James Alan Miller

Before you look at its price, check out what the Quantex QP5/200 SM-2 offers: 200MHz Pentium power, quality components and room to grow. Now sit down and look at its price: $3,099. Now start making room on your desk.

Despite its price, the QP5/200 SM-2 performs right up there with other 200MHz Pentium systems. On our Wintune tests, it earned a CPU score of 361MIPS, an excellent video score of 18Mpixels per second and a more-than-satisfactory hard disk throughput of 3.4MB per second. The system performed equally well on our application test, zipping through the Word and Excel macros with eye-catching times of 11.33 and 9.67 seconds, respectively.

When you peek inside the QP5/200 SM-2's mini-tower case, you'll find wall-to-wall name-brand peripherals. The system has the largest IDE hard disk currently available-a massive 2.5-gigabyte Western Digital drive. The QP5/200 SM-2's CD-ROM drive is a speedy Toshiba 8X model that doesn't require a disc caddy.

An earlier Quantex system that I reviewed suffered from a disorganized internal layout. Not so with the QP5/200 SM-2. Quantex has managed to improve the layout while still using an AT-style motherboard design. Two serial ports were moved; in the previous Quantex design, the ports blocked the PCI slots. The QP5/200 SM-2 has 32MB of EDO RAM, expandable to 128MB. The system's 200MHz Pentium processor is aided by a 512KB secondary pipeline burst cache.

The QP5/200 SM-2 offers good drive bay expansion with three free 5.25-inch external and two available 3.5-inch internal bays.

The system has a total of seven expansion slots: three PCI, three ISA and one shared ISA/PCI slot. One ISA slot holds an Ensoniq Vivo Wavetable sound card, and a PCI slot is occupied by the Matrox Millennium 64-bit video card with 2MB of WRAM. A Diamond SupraExpress 28.8Kbps modem sits in the single shared slot.

Just in front of the expansion slots, the 200MHz Pentium CPU is mounted underneath a fan with a surrounding heat sink. The CPU currently restricts one of the expansion slots, limiting it to a short card. Quantex says it's working on this problem.

A set of good Altec Lansing speakers with a subwoofer and a microphone rounds out the sound system. Quantex includes a 17-inch MAG InnoVision DX17T monitor. This solidly built monitor offers good performance and a tight 0.25-millimeter dot pitch. It has an adequate range of controls covering all basic monitor adjustments, as well as some more sophisticated controls.

Quantex complements the QP5/200 SM-2's excellent hardware with a generous software bundle that includes Windows 95, PerfectOffice, and many other productivity and recreation titles.

Quantex doesn't cut any corners with the QP5/200 SM-2. If you're looking for a 200MHz Pentium system, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better value.

-- Info File --
Quantex QP5/200 SM-2
Pros: Price; RAM; hard disk
Cons: CPU location
Quantex Microsystems
800-632-5022, 908-563-4166
WinMag Box Score 4
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