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-- by Deborah K. Wong
Sometimes good things come in big packages. Gateway 2000's G6-200XL is an example, with its large (24-by-9-by-16-inch) case packed with performance and software.
My evaluation machine came with 64MB of EDO RAM (expandable to 128MB). It had a Quantum Fireball 3.8GB EIDE hard disk, 256KB of level 2 write-back cache and a 12X ATAPI CD-ROM drive. To complete the component count, add an Ensoniq Vivo 90 16-bit wavetable sound card, an STB ViRGE/VX 3D graphics accelerator (4MB of VRAM and 4MB of EDO DRAM), and a U.S. Robotics Telepath 33.6Kbps data and 14.4Kbps fax modem.
The included monitor is a 17-inch (15.9-inch viewable area), 0.28mm-dot-pitch Crystal-Scan 700 unit.
The included software bundle is truly awesome: Microsoft Office & Bookshelf, Microsoft Golf 2.0, Mayo Clinic Family Health, Cash-Graf Home Office and Encarta 96.
The G6-200XL's CPU performance compared favorably to that of the Pionex Elite Pentium Pro 200 on our Recommended List. It boasted a whopping average score of 421MIPS on the CPU test, a few points better than the Pionex. Its uncached throughput was far less impressive, however, at 2MB per second compared to 3.13MBps for the Pionex. The G6-200XL's average times to execute application macros were 10 seconds for Word and 6.66 seconds for Excel (compare these to the Pionex numbers: 8.33 seconds for Word, 7.33 seconds for Excel). Though the G6-200XL is feature-packed and a good performer, the Pionex performs a tad better and costs some $300 less, which keeps the Gateway 2000 off our Recommended List.