PCs with 3DNow technology go to extremes

With the battle cry of “more bang for your buck,” Unicent Technologies of
Aurora, Ohio, has introduced its Extreme series of PCs.


The beating heart of the systems is American Micro Device’s K6 chip with MMX
technology and K6-2 chip with 3DNow technology.


With CPU speeds ranging from 266 MHz to 350 MHz, the computers are well armed for
cruising the Internet, using multimedia capability and doing tasks required by business
applications.


Depending on your priorities and needs, the Extreme Series likely offers a machine to
fit the bill. Prices range between $899 and $1,999 for the Extreme X- and Z-class PCs.
Price differences between the two series are generally clock speed, monitor size and hard
drive size.


The X-Class offers CPU speeds from 233 MHz to 300 MHz with MMX technology, 32M of
synchronous dynamic RAM, up to 256M of memory expansion, a 14-inch or 15-inch monitor, and
Ultra ATA hard drives of up to 8.4G.


The higher end Y-Class is powered by 266-MHz to 350-MHz CPUs and comes with standard
64M PC-100 SDRAM memory expandable to 384M, a 17-inch or 19-inch monitor, and Ultra ATA
hard drive of up to 16.8G.


The Extreme X266 with MMX heads up the entry-level spot at $899.


The X266 comes with 32M of DRAM, a 512K pipeline burst cache, Flash BIOS, a 4.3G Ultra
ATA/33 hard drive, 32X Toshiba CD-ROM drive, standard 31/2-inch internal floppy drive and
a K56Flex PCI-Voice/modem with V.90-compliant speakerphone.


It also includes Matrox Productiva 4M AGP Video and Ensoniq PCI Wavetable Sound.


The PC comes loaded with Microsoft Windows 98, an Internet start-up kit, Lotus
SmartSuite and McAfee Antivirus. A 15-inch monitor, 104-key enhanced keyboard and mouse
come standard.


At the high end lies the Extreme Z350 3D, which sports the faster K6-2 350-MHz
processor.


The well-stocked $1,999 machine features many upgrades over other Extreme models.
High-end features include 128M PC-100 SDRAM, an 11.5G Ultra ATA/33 hard drive, a Toshiba
third-generation DVD-ROM drive, Creative Labs AWE 64 Wavetable Sound, Altec Lansing
ADA-305 Digital PowerCube Universal Serial Bus speakers with subwoofer, Microsoft
Intellimouse and a 19-inch flat-screen monitor.


All machines come with a three-year warranty and one-year on-site service.


In September, Unicent Technologies launched its Federal Sales Division to support the
government agencies’ purchase of desktop and notebook PCs, servers and peripherals.


It has applied for a General Services Administration schedule contract.  


John McCormick, a free-lance writer and computer consultant, has been working with
computers since the early 1960s. E-mail him at powerusr@penn.com.

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