The overall performance of the AMD 4200+ X2 is very good. In most tests, it reported high performance while in many cases, it outperformed Intel's D 840. With the PCMark2004 and 2005 benchmarks, we saw that the D 840 is better in multitasking with specific tasks, such as File Encryption or File Decryption, while in others the AMD is faster (File Compression/Decompression, Audio Compression). 3DMark2001 and 2003 give a better score to the AMD 4200+ X2 while the 3DMark2005 reported a higher score for the D 840.
While all these benchmarks are good and provide a controlled testbench with which to gauge overall performance as well as provide comparisons with other systems, we believe real life tests under actual conditions, with common, everyday tasks such as Audio and Video Encoding, in many cases can provide a clearer picture that most of us can relate to. The AMD 4200+ X2 is much faster in Audio Conversion while in Video Encoding (DVDShrink) it reported similar performance to the D 840, although the D 840 can handle more frames per second (Deep Analysis). There was similar performance for both the 4200+ and D 840 in DivX encoding, with the 4200+ being only slightly faster. In Data compression with WinRAR, the AMD processor is faster while in extraction, similar times with the D 840. In games, there is no doubt that the AMD 4200+ has the great advantage. 30~40fps higher performance than the Intel D 820/840.
In multitasking, the performance, according to our scenarios, was similar for all the processors. However, overall the AMD appears to be better since it retains its low times. Better with games and Audio Conversion, negligible percentage difference in comparison to the D 840 in Video encoding.
Overclocking with the 4200+ is easy. We chose a "safe" overclocking profile by setting the FSB to 230 from the default 200, without changing the multiplier. The Core Speed increased from 2.2GHz up to 2.53GHz. The difference in performance was more than satisfactory in all tasks we tried. Even in games, we got 25fps more at low resolutions while in high, close to 10fps.
A very strong advantage of the AMD 4200+ X2 is its low operating temperature. 21°C in idle state while under the Prime95 stress test, just 28°C. The very efficient cooling system from Thermaltake helped with this, but if we compare it to the temperatures that our AMD 3500 reported (29°C to 39°C), with the same cooling system, we can conclude that the temperature levels of the 4200+ are fantastic. Such low temperature levels are no comparison for the Intel D series, where the levels are almost twice as high.
Price is always a major factor of which processor is the best buy. At the time of this review, the prices were US$239 for the D 820, US$400 for the 4200+ and US$539 for the D 840. The cost of the D 820 excuses its lower performance and it is indeed the cheapest Dual Core processor currently. On the other hand, the D 840 is too expensive and its performance was not overall, better than that of the 4200+. So, if you need a powerful processor at a reasonable price, then the AMD 4200+ X2 may be just the thing.