How To Sort The Pc Speedsters From The Laggards

There may be no market today more competitive than the IBM-compatible PC business. It's flooded with hundreds of different models, and new ones arrive every day. But how to choose the right one for the right job? Corporate buyers in the market for as few as 10 PCs are about to get some automated help from a new software package.

It's SYSMark93, supplied by a nonprofit consortium of PC makers called Business Applications Performance Corp. The program simulates the functions of typical word-processing, spreadsheet, and data-base programs. Running the program on a specific PC generates a numerical score that can be used to compare the machine's speed in each of those areas relative to competing models. One common source of variation: a PC's graphics circuitry, which can slow even an otherwise fast computer's ability to draw images and text on its screen. Versions of SYSMark93 for Microsoft Corp.'s MS-DOS or Windows will be available in August for $390 a copy.

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