SB51G - poor video performance

I've just upgraded from a dual P3-1000 to a P4-2400/533 (a natty little Shuttle SB51G system) and am seeing only a modest improvement in Aces High offline (haven't tried online yet). I run AH at 1600x1200x32.

Both systems use EIDE and Gf4-4200 video cards. Drivers are Detonator 43. Both machines have 1 GB RAM. Both systems run XP Pro, clean installs, and are fully updated as per WindowsUpdate. Neither machine is overclocked.

In AH, I load the Trinity map, and take a C205 to an enemy vehicle base. I get 60-80 fps along the way, but this drops to 50-60 fps when attacking, and < 30 fps when I fly through the smoke.

If I enable Quincunx FSAA, those figures are cut by 2/3.

I've tried 3DMark 2003: my P3-1000 scores 1009, which is about right, but my P4 only scores 1296.

I've read about nVidia's concerns, so I benchmarked UT2003 at 1024x768 (fresh install and unpatched - haven't Epic heard of DVDs?), no tweaking, and my P3-1000 scored 82 on Flyby and 31 on Botmatch, whereas my P4-2400 scored 136 and 56 respectively.

I've gone through the BIOS tweaking where necessary - e.g. telling the computer that the memory is DDR333, not DDR266 with little effect.

3D Mark 2001 result is 7888 (1024x768, noFSAA, default settings). CPU temp is 49 degrees C.

I note that 3DMark says that Fast AGP writes and Sideband addressing are both supported but disabled. I cannot find where to turn them on, either in the BIOS or in XP.

Extrapolating from the Tom's Harware review of this system with a Gf4 4600, I should be getting a 3d Mark 2001 score of well over 10,000.

I've tried replacing the video card with another Gf4 4200 without improvement.

How can I correct my poor video performance?

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  1. get a R9700...

    Seriously though,
    your memory bus is DDR266 anyway (533/2)... I doubt that DDR333 memory will improve things more than 5% at best unless the processor & memory run synchronously

    try aces high at a lower resolution, GF4 arent great in FSAA when compared to what you see now with the latest & greatest... this card will give better performance at 1280x1024x32, only a GF-FX or a R9700 would afford totally playable games at your resolution
    be happy with 10000 in 3dmark2001se... my Xp2000+R9700Pro gets me 12000...

    All GF4s get low 3dmark03s they are not new enough, yet again only the latest Nvidia & ATI will give much higher scores (my 9700pro gives 'only' 4270)

    RE: P3-1000 scored 82 on Flyby and 31 on Botmatch, whereas my P4-2400 scored 136 and 56 respectively. you have gnear doubled your botmatch score & at least 60% increase in the flyby rate... dont knock it, that is good performance in my book unless you need fps in 100's of frames per second...

    Hmmm, wonder if I can get a valid page fault ???
    these invalid ones are far too commonplace...
  2. Yo Q,

    I am having a hard time understanding, why you think, that your CPU, Chipset & Ram Type were your biggest bottleneck, in a Video/Graphics card benchmark. You do understand, even if you overclocked your cpu in either system, it wouldn't help your 3D marks score much. For Video performance, you need a better Video card. Also, the SB51G(or any SFF systems) are not known to be Great Gaming Platforms. IMHO, you do not have any problem, you just have made some choices, that are not in the best interests for a Gaming Speed Demon...............Life is a series of compromises.


    I'm a man in a Box
  3. I think that my motherboard is not talking the the video card correctly. The performance I'm getting is nowhere near what others are getting. I read up on THG before getting the system and the 3D Mark 2001 score with a Gf4 4600 was double what I'm getting.

    I've done some more delving and it appears that the video card is operating in PCI mode. I have disabled the onboard video.

  4. That usually means your AGP drivers were not installed or were installed wrong. Check the board driver CD or board manufactuer website and (re)install them.

    Contrary to what you might guess, this makes a big performance difference, a friend of mine went from 7200 to 9500 3dmark2k1 score when i noticed his new card was in PCI mode and told him to reinstall his AGP driver.

  5. Yo Q,

    DUH! My bad! Have you tried running SiSoft Sandra to confirm this PCI/AGP mode problem? Does your Bios give you the option of running/forcing the Video Card to run in 4X AGP? Also are you running the lastest AGP drivers from the Shuttle Website? Good Luck, sorry about the 'tude, bad day at work.


    I'm a man in a Box
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