Parallel processing has long
been around in high end workstations and servers equipped with multiple
processors. With entry level workstations and desktop PCs, using more than one
processor up until now has not been necessary. Both Intel and AMD are now
looking towards using multiple processors to usher in a new era of computing, so
we're all going to see a lot more dual, quad, or even oct processor
configurations in the future.
With all the interest surrounding dual core processors,
it's actually the business world that will get the biggest boost initially,
mainly because its programs are built to work on muli-processing environments.
If the applications that you use are not written to use more than one processor,
you will not get any performance
benefit... but nor will there be a performance penalty either. AMD has been
quite forthcoming about this information, and that is why it recommends gaming
enthusiasts stick with single core CPUs, as does PCSTATS. For the most part,
dual core processors are a waste in gaming systems since the vast majority of
games are single threaded applications.
The Canada Computers Content Creator X2 + SLI
Bundle is definitely the ultimate machine for the multimedia user involved in
creating content. Based around the powerful AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ processor, the
system is an absolute powerhouse. The supporting hardware Canada Computers
assembled into this PC is equally impressive; an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
motherboard, two Gigabyte GV-NX68T256DH (6800GT) videocards running in SLI, 2GB
of OCZ PC-3200 DDR RAM, and a pair of 250GB Western Digital Serial ATA II HDDs
are all enclosed in the monolithic black Antec Titan 550 Server case.
The Content Creator X2 is a very impressive machine and
with a retail price of $3400 CDN, you really do get the best components on the
market. Please keep in mind that this machine is built for multimedia purposes
rather than gaming performance, that is why the benchmarks are more
"office/workstation" centric. The build quality of the Content Creator X2 is
very high and it is more than simply using high quality parts. Looking inside we
see that Canada Computers has done an excellent job with cable management and
tying up loose ends.
While we are very pleased with most of the system and
how it performed, we do have a few qualms with how Canada Computers set the
system up. First considering how important data is on workstation PCs, we were
surprised to see that Canada Computers set up the HDDs in a RAID 0
configuration. A RAID 1 array would have been more appropriate. Data integrity
is vital in the business world after all! Next and also with the hard drives,
the Content Creator X2 would probably benefit from running through the native
NF4 Serial ATA II channels instead of the Silicon Image Sil3114 Serial ATA
I/RAID controller which goes through the PCI bus.
On the whole, the performance of the Canada Computers Content Creator X2 + SLI Bundle system
was outstanding, it is easily the fastest system we have ever tested period.
Hardly suprising given the thoroughbred hardware used to build it! In the office
style benchmarks like SYSmark 2004, Content Creation 2004 and Business Winstone
2004 we see huge numbers. Other 3D programming-centric benchmarks like Maya and
Cinebench 2003 show that running with a dual core processor really does increase
performance nicely over previous platforms. The key point being that the
software must be SMP compatible, of course.
If you are in the market for the ultimate multimedia
machine, Canada Computers can definitely deliver the goods with the Content
Creator X2. It's a wickedly fast computer packed with the top of the line
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