SiSoft Sandra MAX3
MAX3 is the latest benchmarking application from
SiSoftware, purportedly to replace Sandra 2003.
The new metric includes multi-platform benchmark
results (across different architectures), support for
the latest processor and chipsets from Intel, support
for 64-bit architectures such as IA64 and AMD64, and
support for USB 2.0 controllers, among other things.
MAX3 shows the Mini DRAGON, with its 2.8GHz Pentium 4,
processing at roughly the same level as a 2.66GHz
processor. Further, memory performance is far
below what we'd expect from a DDR333 module with a
theoretical ceiling of 2.7GB per second.
put forth a valiant effort with its Mini DRAGON.
Unfortunately, in a market that is quickly saturating
with compelling choices, valiant just isn't enough.
At the end of last year, SOYO was intending to ship
this product during Q1 of 2003. Even then, the
Mini DRAGON would have been a tough sell.
However, now that Intel, SiS, VIA and even ATI all
have chipsets validated to run with an 800MHz system
bus, a box that tops out at 533MHz is tough to
endorse. And that isn't even the last of the
Mini DRAGON's problems, either. Its external
power supply may be a boon to cooling, but it is an
inconvenience in every other way. The Mini
DRAGON also suffers from a few maturity issues.
that we couldn't get a 3.5" hard drive to boot in
conjunction with a CD-RW drive in the secondary
enclosure is a major disappointment. Also, the
fact that the RADEON 9700 Pro wouldn't render several
3D applications properly, even with the latest AGP and
chipset drivers, isn't acceptable. And finally,
without PS/2, parallel, or serial ports, many users
may find themselves looking to buy new input devices
and printers. All of these issues, on top of an
MSRP that looks to be nearly $300, may be just a
little too much for SOYO to ask.
hasn't struck out completely with the Mini DRAGON,
however. By including power connectors for
demanding AGP cards and making use of USB 2.0
connectivity for the secondary enclosure, it shows
dedication to providing a platform for gamers to tote
around. But for this version of the DRAGON, it
is just a day late and a dollar short. Next time
around, it would be good to see SOYO include a more
modern chipset, AGP 8x support and Serial ATA
functionality. With all of the first-round bugs
worked out, the Mini DRAGON would then be an
attractive SFF system.
- Once running,
several fans help ensure stability
design, even if some parts are somewhat chintzy.
- System suffers
from a few design bugs
considering included hardware
- External power
supply contributes to wire mess
issues with RADEON 9700 Pro
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