capsule review

Polywell Poly 939N-FX55

At a Glance
  • Polywell Poly 939N-FX55

Polywell Poly 939N-FX55
Photograph: Rick Rizner

If gaming power is what you desire from a PC, then look no further than the Polywell Poly 939N-FX55. Using a 2.6-GHz Athlon 64 FX-55 processor and 1GB of DDR400 SDRAM, the Poly 939N-FX55 notched a 113 in our WorldBench 5 tests--the fastest result we've noted to date. The review unit we saw performed equally well in our gaming tests, blazing through Return to Castle Wolfenstein at 1024 by 768 resolution at 161 frames per second--again, among the fastest results we've seen.

Consumers are ordering PCs with LCDs more often than with CRTs these days, but at the Polywell we reviewed included a 19-inch ViewSonic E90FB CRT display. Text in small 8-point fonts looked crisp, and our test photo of kids showed rich, fully saturated colors and great detail. A Star Wars DVD looked great as well--playback was flawless. The sound rendered by the seven Creative Inspire T7700 speakers was very satisfying, with easily discernible, richly-nuanced high and low tones.

We also liked the 939N-FX55's elegant black-and-silver minitower case--it has a conservative style, but it's pleasantly different from many of the run-of-the-mill designs around today. The 939N-FX55 has two USB and FireWire ports at the bottom of the front panel, along with audio jacks. The center of the front cover contains a media card reader and a floppy drive. The back of the case has the standard gamut of ports as well as additional USB and FireWire ports, along with two connectors for gigabit ethernet. All ports are color-coded and labeled for easy identification.

Opening the case entails using a screwdriver, but to add or remove expansion cards and drives you just push or pull release latches. The inside of the case is roomy, but the plethora of cables made access to some components troublesome. For example, when we took out the hard drive and then put it back in, one of its power cables got snagged on the edge of the graphics card.

If you're looking for a system capable of handling today's top games, or a machine to do extensive video and image editing, the Poly 939N-FX55 should be on your short list.

Andre Kvitka

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At a Glance
  • Polywell Poly 939N-FX55

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