My Experience: Building a Computer

So, how well does my new computer perform? Well, I can run my N64 emulator without lag for almost all the time, and the system passed 8 hours of torture testing without problems. I also ran a bunch of popular benchmarks to measure its performance.

3DMarks 2001SE Score: 9516
Not exactly an impressive score, seeing that an older Ti4200 will beat it, but at least it is within range of what an FX5600 should achieve. And for about 90 bucks after rebate, this is pretty good performance for the price.

Aquamark 3 score: 18544
Within the range of an FX5600 too.

Sisoft Sandra Benchmarks:

Sandra CPU Arithmetic benchmark
Sandra CPU Arithmetic benchmark
Sandra CPU Media benchmark
Sandra CPU Media benchmark

These two tests benchmarks the processor of the system. As you can see my system (TONY on the list) is about even with the Pentium 4 2.66 Ghz, which is pretty good considering that the P4 costs a lot more than my Athlon. Of course, the 2400+ actually beat my 2500+ in all categories. This is the fault of the AMD ranking system. However, none of these processors comes close to matching the power of the P4 3.6Ghz Prescott with HT enabled.

Having a 2500 Barton and a Nforce2 board is a tempting combination for overclocking. Even though I’m a newbie at overclocking, that didn’t stop me from trying. I overclocked my processor to a 3200+ (2.2 Ghz) without much problem. I also tried overclocking my video card with the Coolbits registry hack. Here are the benchmarks.

3DMarks 2001SE Score with video card overclocked to 372 core and 646 memory (from 325 core and 550 memory), processor at stock: 10244
3DMarks 2001SE Score with video card at stock and cpu at 2.2Ghz (up from 1.83Ghz): 10280
3DMarks 2001SE Score with both cpu and video card overclocked: 11127

Overclocking increased my score by about 1500, which isn’t bad at all.

Aquamark 3 score with video card overclocked: 21307
Not a bad increase also after overclocking. Note that I didn’t overclock the cpu because this was an update. I’ll try overclocking the cpu when I get a better heatsink.

Let’s see the Sandra benchmarks.

Sandra CPU Arithmetic benchmark overclocked
Sandra CPU Arithmetic benchmark on CPU overclocked to XP3200+
Sandra CPU Media benchmark overclocked
Sandra CPU Media benchmark on CPU overclocked to XP3200+

Now my processor is pretty much the same with the Athlon XP 3200+ (since they are nearly identical 11×200= 2.2 Ghz) and even with the P4 3.2C that costs a lot more. Of course, the 3.2’s score was with HT disabled, but still not bad for a cpu costing a tad bit over $100.

My overclocked processor can run almost everything stable, except for the Prime95 torture test. So I decided to go back to stock settings. I probably need to buy a better heatsink fan for my cpu before my computer can run 100% stable at 2.2Ghz.

These tests indicate that my system is a middle range system, which isn’t bad for a computer costing about $560 with tax. I’m pretty sure my computer can beat most computers in this price range in terms of performance at the time of writing. Of course, I got nearly all my parts on sale, and got a free hard disk, so that’s why the price is so low. Now I start thinking that if I paid $150 more I could have had an Athlon64 system with many more features and more performance than even the XP 3200+. Oh well. I don’t regret my purchases and I think I got a computer that can do anything I throw at it. It will play all current games and probably games in the near future. Thanks for reading my article.

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