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Overclocking and HDD Performance

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
March 20, 2002 5:24:11 AM

I recently decided to overclock my computer. I don't have the latest and greatest so bear with me. I have a question regarding ONE aspect of these tests.

I have the following:

Windows XP Home
Motherboard ASUS P2B-F SLOT1 Intel 440BX Chipset
CPU Intel PIII 800 SLOT1 PLAIN no E or B
Memory 2 256meg 100MHz Crucial DIMMs total of 512megs
HDD Western Digital 30 gig HDD 7200RPM Ultra ATA 100 Partitioned into 10gigs @ NTFS and 20 gigs @ FAT32
Controller Card Maxtor Ultra ATA 100 SCSI Controller Card
nVidia Geforce2 MX 400 AGP @ 2x AGP

The MB has the ability to change Front Side Bus and Multiplier on board, not in the BIOS.

I Tested with SiSoft Sandra 200,2 the following results were recorded: AVG of THREE TESTS

Before Overclocking I had the following settings: 100.3 MHz FSB (33.43 MHz PCI Bus) 8x Multiplier (MY CONTROL SETTINGS)

CPU Arithmetic: ALU 2126 MIPS FPU 1076 MFLOPS
CPU Multimedia: Integer 4339 it/s Floating Point 5309 it/s

C Drive Benchmark 21570
Benchmark Breakdown:
Buffered Read: 79mb/s
Sequential Read: 31mb/s
Random Read: 6mb/s
Buffered Write: 36mb/s
Sequential Read: 31mb/s
Random Write: 7mb/s
Average Access Time: 9ms

D Drive Benchmark: 19482
Benchmark Breakdown:
Buffered Read: 80 mb/s
Sequential Read: 27 mb/s
Random Read: 6 mb/s
Buffered Write: 36 mb/s
Sequential Read: 28 mb/s
Random Write: 7 mb/s
Average Access Time: 8ms

Memory Bandwith Benchmark:

RAM Bandwidth Int Buffered iSSE: 490 mb/s
Bandwidth Efficiency: 61%

RAM Bandwidth Float Buffered iSSE: 599 mb/s
Bandwidth Efficiency: 75%
Again those are my control settings.

My first setting I overclocked to was this: 124MHz FSB (41.33 MHz PCI Bus) 8x Multiplier

Tested with SiSoft Sandra 2002 the following results were recorded: AVG of THREE TESTS

CPU Arithmetic: ALU 2640 MIPS FPU 1336 MFLOPS
CPU Multimedia: Integer 5390 it/s Floating Point 6595 it/s

C Drive Benchmark 3426 *****NOT A MISTYPE*****
Benchmark Breakdown:
Buffered Read: 79 mb/s
Sequential Read: 3526 KB/s *****NOT A MISTYPE*****
Random Read: 2402 KB/s *****NOT A MISTYPE*****
Buffered Write: 43 mb/s
Sequential Read: 6 mb/s
Random Write: 3482 KB/s *****NOT A MISTYPE*****
Average Access Time: 8ms

D Drive Benchmark: 19559
Benchmark Breakdown:
Buffered Read: 83 mb/s
Sequential Read: 28 mb/s
Random Read: 6 mb/s
Buffered Write: 44 mb/s
Sequential Read: 28 mb/s
Random Write: 8 mb/s
Average Access Time: 8ms

Memory Bandwith Benchmark:

RAM Bandwidth Int Buffered iSSE: 672 mb/s
Bandwidth Efficiency: 68%

RAM Bandwidth Float Buffered iSSE: 674 mb/s
Bandwidth Efficiency: 68%

My second setting I overclocked to was this: 124 MHz FSB (31 MHz PCI Bus) 8x Multiplier

Tested with SiSoft Sandra 2002 the following results were recorded: AVG of THREE TESTS

CPU Arithmetic: ALU 2639 MIPS FPU 1335 MFLOPS
CPU Multimedia: Integer 5388 it/s Floating Point 6592 it/s

C Drive Benchmark 8771 *****NOT A MISTYPE*****
Benchmark Breakdown:
Buffered Read: 76 mb/s
Sequential Read: 11 mb/s
Random Read: 4017 KB/s *****NOT A MISTYPE*****
Buffered Write: 35 mb/s
Sequential Read: 14 mb/s
Random Write: 5 mb/s
Average Access Time: 10ms

D Drive Benchmark: 19348
Benchmark Breakdown:
Buffered Read: 79 mb/s
Sequential Read: 27 mb/s
Random Read: 6 mb/s
Buffered Write: 36 mb/s
Sequential Read: 27 mb/s
Random Write: 7 mb/s
Average Access Time: 8ms

Memory Bandwith Benchmark:

RAM Bandwidth Int Buffered iSSE: 691 mb/s
Bandwidth Efficiency: 70%

RAM Bandwidth Float Buffered iSSE: 735 mb/s
Bandwidth Efficiency: 74%

Ok, now that you have the data available to you. Assuming that you actually read it, could someone please tell me the reason my HDD is having such a problem with the overclocking? I would love to be able to OC my computer but cannot justify losing so much performance with my HDD vs gaining 190 MHz and better memory bandwidth. I originally thought that it was because I was raising the PCI Bus Speed but after dropping it only 2.42 MHz in my 3rd test as opposed to raising it 8.1 MHz in my 2nd test I still see a significant drop in performance for my HDD. Does it maybe have to do with the page file XP is storing on the C Drive? And WHY is my second partition remaining constant?

Very confuzzled here. Someone please advise.

SMooTH
March 20, 2002 7:30:30 PM

Can you double check your DMA settings are enabled?

<b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
March 20, 2002 10:52:05 PM

I don’t think that DMA enabled or disabled would make that big difference.
Thinking in a program issue, why don’t you check the performance with another benchmarking program such us Pcmark 2002? It will show you scoring for CPU, Memory and HDD, so you will be able to compare before/after overclocking.
Pcmark is free at <A HREF="http://www.majorgeeks.com" target="_new">http://www.majorgeeks.com&lt;/A>
Related resources
March 20, 2002 11:03:42 PM

Just from experience. A pal's system went from 5200s to 36000s with DMA. His CPU was bubbling at 80% or so, and it went down to 40%.

<b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
March 21, 2002 12:05:16 AM

Interesting... so since this is a relatively old chipset do you think that it’s not capable to make a good “resources management” with DMA disabled?
Did your experience happen in a old system too?
March 21, 2002 4:54:20 PM

Nope. K7S5A & XP1600+. 3 months old.

1 x 60GB 60GXP if it matters.

I reckon with the CPU utilisation drop, the overall scores improve, because the drive isn't relying on it as much to perform.

IMHO.

<b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
March 22, 2002 7:30:33 AM

Checked for DMA enabling in Device Manager under SCSI Controllers and the HDD but cannot find it. Took your advice and used PC Mark 2002 and found that it was infact that stupid Sandra Program. OCed and doing fine. Thanks all. Still though, why do I get better performance from my HDD when I lower my PCI Bus Speed?
April 30, 2002 5:47:35 PM

Not too sure why the sudden drop, but I DO know that running partitions on a HD will significantly decrease performance. FAT32 as well, if you are running XP, I would reformat in 1 partition in NTFS.
August 8, 2002 6:21:41 AM

Where did you find out about HDD performance going down with added partitions. I'm fairly new and I and my brother use lots of partitions for many reasons (ie. easier to defrag, reinstall OS without losing everything etc.).

:eek:  Who needs heatsinks and fans, I have an igloo :eek: 
August 8, 2002 2:58:47 PM

You are splitting up a physical drive to get multiple partitions, the HD head is bouncing all over the cylinder trying to access data from your 2 or more logical drives. Performance suffers. I tried this once and immediatly noticed a considerable decline in my load time on games.
August 9, 2002 4:01:24 PM

Hmm that could be interesting for me... do having more partitions badly effect HDD performance (Nero says I is getting 30,000KBps on my DMA100 IBM HDD (spindle speed unsure of) and with each following partition I get worse & worse figures...)
but saying that Fat32 is pretty much rubbish compared to NTFS...

There are no stupid questions... just lots of inquisitive idiots...
August 9, 2002 4:51:02 PM

FAT32 is actually faster than NTFS.

<b><font color=blue>~ Gotta question? Tried searching the boards first? Good! Ask away! ~<font color=blue></b> :wink:
August 11, 2002 4:02:06 AM

The HD head would only be bouncing around if the programs running are in 2 different locations though. As long as all your system files and programs are in the same partition, and the other partitions are storage only it shouldn't make a difference right??

:eek:  Who needs heatsinks and fans, I have an igloo :eek: 
a b V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
August 11, 2002 11:51:47 AM

ALL PIII 800's have a E, they are either 800E or 800EB. The E is assigned to ALL COPPERMINE core CPU's even slot 1! And the only core available from 667MHz to 1.0GHz was the Coppermine!

When you push your PCI clock too high, certain things happen with the hard drive controller that can cause performance problems and data integrety issues. I had a Western Digital drive that would fail any time my PCI bus exceeded 41MHz, but a Maxtor drive that strangely enough worked fine with the PCI bus at 45MHz!

Your best option is 133MHz FSB, if your CPU can handle it. That gets you 1066MHz, and would require around 1.95v (give or take a tenth) to get there.

<font color=blue>By now you're probably wishing you had asked more questions first!</font color=blue>
!