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Canada Computers Content Creator X2 Workstation System Review

Canada Computers Content Creator X2 Workstation System Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Built around a e 2.4GHz dual core Athlon64 X2 4800+ CPU, and pre-installed with Microsoft WindowsXP Professional, the system should have plenty of potential pixel kicking power.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Computer / SFF PCs Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Canada Computers Aug 31 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Computer / SFF PCs > Canada Computers Content Creator X2

HDD Configuration and SLI Graphics

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.

The 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.

Gigabyte equips 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 performance videocards.

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.

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Contents of Article: Canada Computers Content Creator X2
 Pg 1.  Canada Computers Content Creator X2 Workstation System Review
 Pg 2.  Content Creation Power House: Up Close and Personal
 Pg 3.  Hardware Selection in the Content Creator X2
 Pg 4.  — HDD Configuration and SLI Graphics
 Pg 5.  The Heart of the CCx2 - Athlon64 X2 4800+
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004, Winstone 2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Super Pi, Hexus piFast, Cinebench 2003
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: ScienceMark 2.0, POVRay, SPECviewperf 8.0
 Pg 9.  64 Bit Benchmarks: Maya Render Test, AMD DiVX Encoder Benchmark, Minigzip
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2005, PCMark04, PCMark05
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, 3DMark05, UT2003
 Pg 12.  Final Verdict on the Content Creator X2

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