Joined on 02/09/06
Dream Machine with the X2 4200+
Pros: I’ve been building computers for more than ten years and this is, by far, the most powerful, well balanced system ever. In fact, It’s AWESOME!! The CPU and motherboard temps have never been higher than body temperature and performance is through the roof! I built the system primarily for producing and editing video with Vegas 6. The bottleneck with any non-linear video editing system is the time required to render video after the editing session is finished. I tested my old system vs the new system with and without the dual core processor. The results were mind-boggling. My old system (Asus A7N-8X, Athlon XP 2500+) rendered 13m 10s of wmv video to avi in 3h 31m 0s. The new system (A8N-SLI Deluxe) with an Athlon 64 3200+ rendered the same video in 0h 32m 55s. By upgrading to the X2 4200+ processor my render time decreased to 0h 15m 27s!! It’s render speed is almost as fast as the playback speed. Now that’s impressive!
Cons: None, but here are a few words of wisdom to those contemplating an upgrade to an X2 processor. First, the speed of the X2 4200+ with 512K of L2 cache is only about 8% to 10% slower than the X2 4400+ with 1Mb of L2 cache. Spend a lot less money to buy 90% of the processing power. Next, before you install the dual core processor it is essential that you flash the most recent BIOS. Be careful that everything is right (correct BIOS for the exact motherboard, correct BIOS flash program, etc.). If you screw up the BIOS flash you’ll have a nightmare on your hands. Finally, install the latest chipset drivers from the chipset manufacturer (Nvidia for the nForce 4, etc.). When you finish this step then, and only then, install the X2 processor. Here’s the BIG secret to success - after you successfully boot into Windows XP you should reinstall the chipset drivers. This will eliminate lingering chipset driver conflicts that will cause strange problems with some, but not all, software.
Overall Review: The DREAM Machine – Get yourself one of these! Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (Overclocked to 2.42 GHz) ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe nForce4 BIOS rev 1016 THERMALRIGHT XP-90 Multiple Heatpipes Cpu Heatsink RAM 1Gb (2x 512Mb) Corsair CMX512-3200XL (2 – 2 – 2 – 5) 36.7 Gb Western Digital Raptor (WD360GD) 10,000 RP SATA Boot Drive 500 Gb RAID 0 array (2 x Maxtor MaxLine III 7L250S0 250GB SATA) 250 Gb Maxtor MaxLine III 7L250S0 250GB SATA 300 Gb Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L300R0 300GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache ATA133 NEC Black ND-3550A 2M Cache CD/DVD Burner SAMSUNG Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Model SFD321B/LBL1 ATI ALL-IN-WONDER Radeon X800XL 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card ViewSonic VX2025WM Black-Silver 20.1" 8ms Widescreen LCD Monitor Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro 7.1 24-bit 192KHz PCI Sound Card Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Speaker System GIGABYTE 3D AURORA GZ-FSCA1-ATS Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case Antec True 550 EPS 12v 550w Power Supply