Summary: I recently was faced with the task of either buying a new computer or rebuilding one that had bit the dust. For several reasons I chose the latter. As part of the rebuild I chose to upgrade to a dual core processor. I chose this unit for two reasons.........features and price. My original chip as a single core at 2.4G with a 512K L2 cache and rated on the cpubenchmark scale at 592.
Summary: This processor makes the job of running several programs at once easier to deal with than what I was used to with previous processors. The 2mb cache helps with that so don't settle for the 4200+. Gaming has been better, clearer, and more stable, but there still could be room for improvement. The down side is that it takes alot of computer skill, with the OS and the hardware, to run it properly.
Pros: Speeds up load times when running multiple programs; 64-bit processing; Lower heat output; Good for gaming
Cons: Alot of windows configuring needed to utilize full potential; Tricky to overclock
Summary: The future of CPUs is undeniably multi-core. Obstacles such as heat have forced both AMD and Intel to begin devolping CPUs with multiple processing cores, opening up a new world of possibilities. Multitasking becomes far more time-efficient as the power of two CPU cores is brought to bear on multiple programs. At 2.2 Ghz, the 4400+ sacrifices very little in terms of clock speed.
Summary: This CPU is one of the best processors out for multi-tasking. It is a great value for your hard earned money. If you mainly do only one thing on your computer at a time, you would be better off with a single core Opteron processor, but if you're like me and are ripping CD's in the background and want to continue using the computer for other things such as playing games, surfing the internet, or any other task, this processor is for you.
Summary: With this processor installed, my system never slows down. As a side benefit, it runs cool and doesn't consume much power. Even the stock cooler keeps it under 50 degrees load, which is impressive. For those wondering whether dual core is worth the upgrade, the answer is "it depends." If you do non-trivial multitasking you'll see huge performance games. By multitasking I don't mean running Word, Excel, and Winamp at the same time - any computer can do that.