Pioneer Xfinity PC

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Though this Labs is based on performance and not value, the Xfinity’s pricetag of $4999 makes this the third most expensive machine, whilst in performance it is bottom of the pile. So, gaudy looks, le

Price
Price: $4999
> Pricing info
Specs
Vendor Pioneer
CPU model/brand AMD Athlon 64 3800+
Memory capacity 1GB

One of the most striking things about Pioneer’s entry this month is the cosmetics: it’s 24hr karaoke bar meets street-racing BMW. And lots of blue LEDs! And these LED’s can get a little annoying – especially the super bright “headlight” LED’s. They shine directly ahead, and at desk height they beam straight into your eyes. There is also a large, illuminated ‘Xfinity’ etched into the front door of the case. Suffice to say this case won’t be to everyone’s taste. But otherwise, the rest of the externals are OK – the top mount houses two of the six total USB ports beneath a tidy flap, and a large power button with a good action.

One of the most striking things about Pioneer’s entry this month is the cosmetics: it’s 24hr karaoke bar meets street-racing BMW. And lots of blue LEDs! And these LED’s can get a little annoying – especially the super bright “headlight” LED’s. They shine directly ahead, and at desk height they beam straight into your eyes. There is also a large, illuminated ‘Xfinity’ etched into the front door of the case. Suffice to say this case won’t be to everyone’s taste. But otherwise, the rest of the externals are OK – the top mount houses two of the six total USB ports beneath a tidy flap, and a large power button with a good action.

Cosmetics aside, the build quality is excellent. The case window exposes some very good cable management and the internals are likewise very tidy. The only problem we encountered was the blue cathode tube, it had come off the side of the case where it was taped and had been jostling around inside. As a result it no longer worked.
As far as expansion possibilities, there is space for an extra fan in the front, two spare RAM slots, and the ability to add two extra IDE drives. The expansion of PCI cards is somewhat limited, however, as the graphics card is quite large, and its heatsink takes up a total of three slots.

And speaking of graphics, another thing letting this system down is the ATI X800 Pro card. While still a very good card, our benchmarking demonstrated that it struggles against heavyweights like its bigger brother the Radeon X800XT, and the current king of cards, the GeForce 6800 Ultra.

The benchmarks bear this out: while it achieved very playable scores of 42.3 fps in Doom 3 and 60.5fps in the FarCry Treehouse level, the Pioneer consistently came last in all benchmarks. Not even the relatively speedy Athlon 64 3800+ could save the bottlenecking effect the graphics adaptor had on the CPU.

Though this Labs is based on performance and not value, the Xfinity’s pricetag of $4999 makes this the third most expensive machine, whilst in performance it is bottom of the pile. So, gaudy looks, less than cutting edge performance, and a high price mean the Pioneer takes out the wooden spoon in this roundup.
 
 

This Review appeared in the January, 2005 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

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