by March 1, 2000 0 comments

Oscar Multimedia Power System

Multimedia Home PC. Rs 55,285 
Features: Standard and composite video inputs on the video card.
Pros: Good overall performance.
Cons: Poor gaming performance; low hard disk capacity.
Source: KCD
Dugar House
9 Princep Street
Calcutta 700072. 
Tel: 33-2362423/24 
Fax: 2363477 
E-mail: kcd@satyam.net.in  

A multimedia PC aimed at the home segment, the Oscar is equipped with a
PIII/500 on an Intel 440BX-2 motherboard. The cabinet is spacious and the front panel with its power and reset controls, looks sleek and impressive. 

Apart from this, it comes with 64 MB RAM, 4.3 GB Seagate U4
HDD, Samsung 48x CD-ROM drive, and a standard 3.5” floppy drive. It has a SiS 6326 AGP graphics card with 8 MB
VRAM, and an Aztech PCI 168 AP(W) sound card with Samsung 60W amplified speakers. This is accompanied by a Logitech three-button mouse and a Samsung keyboard. 

We checked the PC for movies, music, games…and routine work.
We used WinBench 99 to test its sub-system performance (CPU, hard disk, etc). The overall results were good and comparable to other machines of its class. The
CPUmark, which gives a rating for the CPU performance, was 37.9. In FPU
WinMark, which tests the floating-point capabilities of the processor, it scored 2,550. Floating-point capabilities decide how well the processor can handle the physics and geometry calculations in graphics and games. 

Its hard disk performance is good, and it showed fast access times and transfer rates in our disk inspection tests. The drive was able to sustain transfer rates of 14,300-16,600
kB/sec. It doesn’t put too much load on the CPU either, clocking its utilization at 3.95 percent. 

Finally, we checked what these sub-system level tests translate to when you actually use the PC. For this, we ran Business Winstone 99 for common productivity applications, such as office suites and Web browsers. The Oscar scored 19.6 Winstone units, which is very good. 

The system’s video playback quality is pretty smooth. We played VCDs in full screen at a resolution of 800×600 dpi and didn’t experience any frame drops. The video card has inputs for both standard and composite video signals for capturing video. This lets you connect other video sources, for example a VCR or a video camera, to it. 

Though the display card is good for video playback, it didn’t perform too well in games. We tried playing Quake II at various resolutions. The display driver didn’t support OpenGL, so the frame rates weren’t very good. They dropped from 80 fps at a resolution of 320×480 to 23 fps at 800×600. It didn’t score too well in our gaming benchmark (3DMark99 Max) either, managing only 667 3D marks. 

Overall, the PC is a good performer when it comes to running movies and productivity applications. But what would really pack a punch would be a good gaming card and a higher-capacity hard drive. 

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