With the Content Creator X2 designed for multimedia
purposes Canada Computer has equipped the machine with two large Western Digital
Serial ATA II "JS" 250GB hard drives. This much storage is certainly going to
benefit the end user since programs and files are growing in size almost
everyday, however we do have some qualms with how Canada Computers setup the
hard drives in the system.
Rather than hooking up the two HDDs to
the SATAII compatible nForce4 controller, we found that the hard drives were hooked up to the
other (older) Silicon Image Sil3114 SATA generation one controller on the board. The Sil3114 passes
through the PCI bus which means the hard drives are limited to a maximum theoretical speed
of 133 MB/s.
Something else I don't agree with was how Canada Computers set up the
HDDs to run in a RAID-0 array. RAID-0 will increase data access performance, but considering
the type of work that this system is intended to do, a RAID 1 array seems
much more ideal.
During testing the Western Digital 250GB HDDs were moderately warm
to the touch, so those front case fans are
really not that necessary after all. Another nice touch was that the drives were
very quiet. During the benchmark process, there was not audible sound of
HDDs outside the case.
Canada Computers Content Creator X2 system has plenty of 3D power thanks
to its twin Gigabyte GV-NX68T256DH Geforce 6800 videocards running in SLI mode. Both
cards have dual DVI outputs which means you can use up to four digital monitors at the same time!
That's great for
multimedia users who consistently run out of desktop space.
Gamers please note that when playing
games, only the primary monitor will display an image.
its GV-NX68T256DH videocards with an awesome looking heatpipe cooler, similar to the one we saw with
the GV-RX80L256V. This time around though, the heatsink on the back is equipped with a 45mm
fan which enhances the cooling performance of the entire thermal solution. While
temperatures of the videocard in an enclosed case sat around 40 degree Celsius,
load temps came in the mid 50s which is pretty good for a set of high
This videocard cooling power does come with a
high price in terms of noise however... the two Gigabyte GV-NX68T256DH cards
can be heard quite easily. I also appreciated how Canada Computers
equipped the Content Creator X2 system with
a full 2GB of OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Edition memory. If you regularly work with
large files, your system make good use of that RAM. To top
things off, the timings that the memory are set to run at by default
(2-3-2-5) are aggressive, which further boosts performance.
About the only thing I
would add to the Content Creator X2 system is a hardware sound card.
The onboard Realtek ALC850 AC'97 codec comes with SPDIF outputs, but it really isn't
built for audio recording. Prospective users of a system like this would be better served with a dedicated hardware sound card.