Although this inexpensive system offers an admirable combination of performance and features for its price, CybertronPC's Xercom 2920 reveals that the company misses some of the finer points of PC assembly. All in all, this system has too many problems; we can't recommend it in its current configuration. Although this inexpensive system offers an admirable combination of performance and features for its price, CybertronPC's Xercom 2920 reveals that the company misses some of the finer points of PC assembly. All in all, this system has too many problems; we can't recommend it in its current configuration.
Price and performance are right
First, the good news: The $999 Xercom 2920 is one of the fastest systems that we've seen in its price class. Powered by a 2.26GHz Pentium 4 based on Intel's 845E chipset; 256MB of PC2700 DDR memory; and a 7,200rpm, 60GB hard drive, the Xercom delivers performance right in line with that of its more expensive competition, such as the 2.26GHz-based Compaq Presario 6000T and the 2.2GHz-based Gateway 500X. Although the Xercom's 3D scores trailed those of our favorite budget performer, the Atlas Micro CS 8000, they nevertheless impressed us. Return to Castle Wolfenstein ran smoothly, though we experienced a noticeable degradation in gameplay with antialiasing enabled.
Cybertron also bundles some nice peripherals with the machine. Particularly noteworthy is Lite-On's 40X/12X/48X CD-RW drive, a speedy burner for a budget PC. Cybertron also includes a 16X DVD-ROM drive, which plays movies without a hitch, even while multitasking. Logitech's Internet Navigator keyboard and optical mouse are also nice additions. The 17-inch Futura monitor is no worse than other models that you'll get in this price range, though we did find the onscreen controls particularly frustrating.
There's little room for upgrades within the system. Its plain, beige case is easy to open--just remove two screws--and contains two front-accessible 5.25-inch bays and one front-accessible 3.25-inch bay. Inside, however, cables and wires fill the smaller bay, making it difficult to add a floppy drive. Only one of the system's six PCI slots is occupied, but another is blocked by an expansion bracket that holds two of the six USB ports (two are also side-mounted for easy access). The 2920 lacks an Ethernet card, so plan on using one of those empty slots for the $15 upgrade if you're into high-speed Web surfing.