PCNut Custom Pro Crusher Jr.

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Humphrey from PCNut said he was sending me an Athlon system to review, I never dreamed it would be as awesome a performer as it is! Read on…

System Specs: (As reviewed)

  • Athlon 500 overclocked to 800! (Yes, 800!!) With custom heatsink.
  • K7M Athlon Motherboard (No onboard sound)
  • 128 MB Corsair PC100 Memory
  • IBM 22GXP 13.5 Gig UDMA 66 7200 RPM Harddrive
  • Toshiba 40X UDMA CD-ROM
  • Leadtek GeForce 256 Video card
  • Soundblaster “Live” Soundcard
  • TEAC Floppy Drive
  • PCNUT NutCase Jr. Mid Tower Case w/250W

You can see if you check the specs of the "normal" Crusher Jr. HERE a couple of things have been added to this system that are not a part of the normal "Crusher Jr.". The Leadtek TNT2 Ultra has been replaced by a Leadtek GeForce, the MSI 6167 Motherboard has been replaced by the K7M, and the Athlon 500 modified to 750 was replaced by an Athlon 500 Modified to 800!

First Impressions:

I’m always impressed with the build quality and attention to detail that comes out of the PCNut Shop. Every wire and cable is neatly wire tied as not to impede airflow. The Floppy and CD-Rom cables have been cut and wrapped to make them as small as possible.

The “Nutcase JR” is an awesome case in my opinion. Lots of room to work and very easy access by removing one screw, sliding the top off and lifting the sides up and off. It has 4 5 ¼ drive bays and 2 exposed and 1 hidden 3 ½ bay. There is an 80mm fan in the front of the case and also a space for another 80mm in the back behind the processor.

 

Click on images for larger image

The processor is an AMD Athlon 500 Modified to 800 with a 1/3 divider for the cache. The core voltage was showing 1.95 with Motherboard Monitor 4.12.

After plugging in the system and hitting the power switch, I was totally amazed when I had a full Windows 98 desktop in less than 20 seconds! At this point, I knew this was going to be one awesome performer!

Benchmarks:

I couldn’t wait to run some Benchmarks on this system. First one I did was Quake II. All Timedemos were ran at 16 Bit color, here are the results:

Quake II Timedemo
  1024×768 800×600 640×480
Crusher 91.7 100.7 100.7
Massive 1 118.0 155.6 163.7
Demo1 126.2 182.9 208.9

(I re-ran Crusher many times and came out with the same results. Seems the demo was maxed out)

Next I ran Quake 3 Test. I used the "Custom" setting and 16 Bit color.

Quake 3 Test 1.08
  1024×768 800×600 640×480
Q3 Demo 1 88.2 128.1 144.7

SiSoft Sandra scored 2636 Mips and 1049 Mflops.
Click here for screenshot.

3Dmark 88 Max scored 6878 3D Marks and 12151 CPU 3D Marks

Some notable ZD Winbench scores are:

ZD Winbench 99
CPU Mark 99 68
FPU WinMark 4380
Business Disk WinMark 5570
Business Graphics WinMark 343
High End Disk WinMark 17300
High End Graphics Win Mark 1040

Wintune Scores: (These have been entered in the Online Database)

Wintune 99
CPU Integer 2438.215 MIPS
CPU Floating Point 1001.466 MFLOPS
Video 2D 168.6579 Mpixels/s
Direct 3D 240.2551 Mpixels/s
OpenGL 197.0587 Mpixels/s
Memory 1840.904 MB/s

*All benchmarks were run with the GeForce card at 120 Core and 166 Memory and Nvidia Detonator 3.53 drivers (Not the Athlon Version).

Conclusion:

Incredible! That’s about all I can say. Even with a "Normal" Crusher system at 750 Mhz, there won’t be much difference. Stability was awesome. I had none of the problems that have been reported with the GeForce cards and Athlon systems. Seems Leadtek did their homework and released a GeForce that will run with the Athlon processor. This system ran Quake II and Quake 3 looped for 12 hrs each and ran Prime 95 for 2 days straight. Even though the power supply was not on the AMD approved list, it proved to be more than adequate for this highly overclocked processor with the power hungry GeForce.

Heat from the processor was not a major problem even running at 1.95 core voltage. The “Custom” heatsink did its job well and even fits on the K7M with dual 60x25mm Fans!

 

Click on images for larger image

I did have one minor problem with the system, which I attribute to the way over spec core voltage. When powering up the system, you would get an annoying “siren” sound from the PC Speaker. Many others have reported this with the K7M board and the fix is to just turn off ALL the system monitoring in the Bios and use Motherboard Monitor to keep track of the system. Hopefully, a bios update will cure this minor annoyance.

I would definitely recommend this system to anyone who wants to get into an Athlon system now. The price is right and the performance is awesome! This is definitely an Intel Killer!

Many Thanks to Humphrey from PCNut for sending this system my way. It has definatly been a pleasure!

Update 11/25/99: A reader kindly pointed out to me that the power supply in the Nutcase Jr. is definitely on the AMD Approved list under Superpower SH250ATX. Guess that’s why it worked so well!

 
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This review and comments are just my personal observations and
opinion. As with any products and services, please research throughly
before making any purchases. The reviewer and overclockers.com shall not
and will not be held liable for any damages cause by products reviewed in
this article.


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