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Isn't a AMD Athlon 64X2 4200 supposed to be faster than P4?

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October 31, 2006 10:24:49 AM

Hy, this is my first post here.

I have recently got an AMD 64 X2 4200 based PC, i used to have a P4 3.4.
But isnt the amd supposed to be faster? I used to be able to do several things at once, but with the AMD i have now when i do 3 or 4 things, it slows untill it freezes.

Here are my specs:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200
Asus A8N-E Motherboard
2 Gigabyte DDR
Leadtek Geforce 7800 GTX 256MB
Creative Soundblaster live 5.1
Enermax PSU 600 Watt

I am awaiting a new gpu (club3d x1900rx 256mb), and i am planning to get me a creative x-fi card.

Does anyone have any ideas what the problem might be? Thanks.
October 31, 2006 10:37:57 AM

Without physically being there with your pc these problems can be difficult to diagnose.
Have you updated all your drivers...
Do you have an abundant amount of programs running in the background...
Have you double-checked your BIOS settings...
Did you create a paging file...
Have you ran disk-check and defrag...
You mentioned that are using DDR RAM, are sure it's not DDR2...
Hope this helps..!
October 31, 2006 11:19:04 AM

go to AMD's website and make sure you install the dual core optimizer.
my 4400 dual core is awesome in multiple tasks!
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October 31, 2006 11:24:59 AM

My x2 4200 rocks I run Adobe Indesign and Illustrator while jaming to my ituens all the time.. and much more..

Conflict5
October 31, 2006 11:29:16 AM

The 4200+ essentially has two Athlon 64 3500+ CPUs in it. When I say essentially, I mean that there are two cores in the die with a 2.2 GHz clock rate and 512KB L2 cache, like a 3500+. Unlike the Pentium Ds, which actually *did* simply have two Prescott or Cedar Mill P4 chips stuck under the heat spreader, the X2 has them all on one single monolithic piece of silicon. Look for a picture where somebody popped the IHS off of a Pentium D and an X2 and you'll see what I mean.

So since the 4200+ is two 3500+'s, 32-bit application performance is supposed to be similar overall to a 3.5 GHz Pentium D, which is pretty much is. The performance of the 4200+ is pretty similar to the performance of the Pentium D 950 (3.4 GHz) overall. As a result, in single-threaded 32-bit apps, your Pentium 4 3.4 GHz will perform rather similarly to the 4200+.

I happen to have a 4200+ and it runs very nicely under multithreaded loads, so your system configuration must be goofed up. Here's what I'd do (I assume you're running Windows, if you're running Linux, I can help you even more- just reply and say so.)

1. Open up the device manager and see if it says "ACPI Multiprocessor PC" in it. If it does not, then only one core will be used and that will cause the 4200+ to not really be much faster than the P4.

2. Keep an eye on the RAM usage in the task manager. If you are running short of RAM while doing a lot of stuff, the system will get slower and slower as it swaps until it just locks when all RAM + swap is gone.

3. Check to see if there is a virus or a memory-leaking hanging process/driver by keeping an eye on the task manager. I've seen this with Windows before, and the app will just eat up CPU cycles and RAM until it kills the system.

4. Keep an eye on the CPU core temp. If it gets too hot, it will throttle and eventually shut off when it gets too hot. Ditto for the chipset- you'll need something like Motherboard Monitor 5 to see that temp. Hot chipsets can act flaky too.

5. Did you install AMD's Dual Core Optimizer and have Cool 'n Quiet set correctly?

6. Try to look for a BIOS update as a really flaky BIOS can do weird things to a system.

Between the suggestions maddog and I said, you should be able to fix your system. If it doesn't, then perhaps taking it to a real professional (a mom and pop kind of store as they generally are the most knowledgeable) would be in order.

And to maddog, DDR and DDR2 are *not* slot-compatible, so you can't physically put DDR in a DDR2 socket and vice-versa as they will not physically fit.
October 31, 2006 12:34:01 PM

Hy, first thanks for the really quick replies.

In device manager it does show 2 cpu cores, and it also says "acpi multiprocessor".

I did not have the dual core optimizer and cool n quiet installed.
I have cool n quiet turned on in the bios, but i can't find any drivers for it on the amd website, only for linux. (I'm running winxp).

The dc optimizer does seem to have an effect however.

Right now i have firefox open, explore, unpacking 2 movies, playing an mp3, and am downloading with newsleecher at 800kbps.
My cpu temp is at 43C

In my taskmanager it says cpu usage at 7-30% memory is at 354 of 3939MB, so it looks like its ok, but only time will tell i guess.

Could someone point me to where i can get cool n quiet and how to configer it? Thanks again.
October 31, 2006 12:51:18 PM

AMD CPU frequency monitor here. and verify that clock shifts indeed happen (you need to use something other than 'maximum performance though). The same page also contains the actual driver that works on WinXP/2k3: right there.
With both of these, you should get better cooling, but also slightly higher performances (without driver, Windows can at most make use of a K7). Enjoy!
October 31, 2006 12:57:04 PM

I find that most extreme performance issues are related to HDD not running in the wrong mode due to driver issues.

This is the 1st place I would look.
Running in the wrong mode can really drive up CPU usage and hence throw you off track.
!