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-- by Serdar Yegulalp
MidWest Micro's 200MHz MMX Home PC is aimed at the family, but it's not just for fun and games. With its robust configuration, and a good bundle of entry-level productivity programs and multimedia titles as well as games, it can handle business and productivity tasks along with leisure-time activities.
The Intel MMX 200MHz processor comes seated in a motherboard with its single SDRAM slot filled with 32MB of RAM. Four 72-pin SIMM slots stand empty for future upgrades, while four PCI slots (three open) plus four ISA slots (two open) provide plenty of upgradability. The deployment of drives on the inside of the easy-off thumbscrew case is clean and makes access easy. The Quantum Fireball 3.8GB EIDE drive is formatted with the FAT32 file system, and the rip-roaring Mitsumi 12X CD-ROM is an EIDE model with a drawer, not a caddy slot.
The comfortable, sloped keyboard and Microsoft mouse make both typing and pointing a pleasure. Also included is the new Microsoft SideWinder game pad. MidWest Micro's own 17-inch monitor is bright and easy on the eyes, with on-screen programming and plenty of ergonomic controls.
There's been little skimping on the multimedia side. For sound, there's a Creative Labs AWE-32 card, but speakers don't come with this model. The machine has been equipped with the ATI ProTurbo PC2TV, and loads of games to make the card and system strut their stuff.
The system comes decked out with just about every Microsoft entertainment program available, plus Microsoft Works 4.0. There's also a preinstalled America Online client.
Wintune scores were topnotch: 392MIPS, a video speed of 19Mpixels per second and an uncached disk throughput of 2.1MB per second. Word and Excel macros executed in average times of 10 and 22 seconds, respectively. With Intel's MMX benchmarks, the Home PC racked up a good score of 170.02; with the Intel Multimedia Benchmark, it scored 252.47, also quite respectable.
Good as it is, this performance isn't enough to outdo our currently recommended systems. Still, its MMX capacity, games, game controller and ATI 3D graphics board are strong selling points. The combination of games and productivity tools make the MMX 200 Home PC a good starting platform for an MMX-juiced family PC.
Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media