|Page (1) of 1 - 11/16/05||email article||print page|
Mid range system performs on par with others in its class
|The front of the system. Notice the big on button|
It came equipped with a 3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm 500 graphics card with 256MB memory, 1GB DDR400 ECC system memory, and two 10,000rpm SATA hard drives, a 30GB system drive and a 120GB media drive striped in a RAID 0 configuration. It features the nVidia nForce4 Professional chipset with support for PCI Express for AMD platforms and SATA 3Gb/s hard drives.
The front of the system features a Sony 16X DVD+/-RW dual layer drive and a Sony 52x32x52 DVD/CD-RW combo drive, a 1.4 inch floppy drive with built in memory card readers for CF, MD, Smart Media, Memory Stick, and SD/MMC, two USB 2 ports, speaker and microphone port, and a 6 pin IEEE 1394 port. the system also features onboard 7.1 surround sound, and onboard gigabit Ethernet. This system is built with the digital artist in mind. Not only does the front of the system sport every conceivable flash type memory card support, it also features dual USB 2.0 ports as well as a IEEE 1394 port on the front. The rear of the system includes your usual assortment of connections, plus SPDIF out, four USB 2 ports, a six pin IEEE 1394 port, a complement of speaker ports, including separate bass ports.
|With the drive cages filled, a full length PCI card may not fit. Remove the bottom cage and you should have ample room.|
The system is expandable via two additional 5.25-inch drive bays, as well as support for a total of four hard disk drives. It features two free 32-bit 33MHz PCI slots and a single PCI-E x1 slot. To gain access to the internals of the system, you must remove a single screw with a screw driver and pull the side free with the provided green tabs. That is it. Not a tool-free solution, but an easy one to crack open.
|The removable drive cage can hold two hard drives per cage. The system has two cages.|
The internals are a tight fit for the most part. You may not be able to get a full length PCI card into the system dues to the placement of one of the drive cages. It could get tight. The drive cage though is one of the simplest and easiest removable cages we've seen. It sits on just two rails and no tools are required to remove the cage, which can be completely removed (with a simple pinch) from the chassis to make more room, for say a full length PCI card.
The system features six memory slots. One bank of slots sits off to the side next to the power supply and is easily accessible. The second bank of four slots sits in the middle of the motherboard, also in a fairly accessible location. A single main fan is located next to the power supply to provide cooling, while a smaller motherboard fan is located under the graphics card. The internal wiring is zip tied into a big bunch. It is not pretty but not overly done.
We've run our usual suite of DMN benchmarks on the Polywell PolyStation 2050A. The results are below. If you wish to view another systems with the same CPU/RAM configuration that we tested in May 2005, please click here . The Polywell, when compared to the similarly configured Alienware system, ran neck and neck in terms of the DMN benchmarks. One note that is worth mentioning is the Alienware system was running NVIDIA's top of the line workstation card, the Quadro FX 4400 at the time of the tests. The Polywell was running 3Dlabs' mid range offering, the Wildcat Realizm 500, which costs about half that of the Quadro FX 4400.
The Polywell PolyStation AMD dual core system ($3599 as configured. ) performed on par with the other similarly configured AMD and Intel based dual core workstations that we've looked at DMN. Test results for the Polywell sit right around the middle. It isn't the fastest offering from the company, nor is it the fastest system that we've tested here, but rather, it is decent system with a price point that puts it squarely at the mid range for DCC class workstations. Filling the second processor slot would add an additional $855, which bumps the price into the mid $4k range.
The system features some nice touches to it, such as the completely removable hard drive cage and second processor slot, a good feature to have especially when you wish to add that second CPU as prices go down. Adding the second CPU six months or even a year down the road will give you a like new performing system without spending a lot of money. Another positive is the fact that it is a quiet system. It is one of the quietest systems that we've looked at. It doesn't sport the flashy colors or fit and finish of some of the other systems that we've looked at, but it does perform competently for a system in its price point. For more information, visit www.polywell.com
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at email@example.com