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CPU Bottleneck or Faulty X800 XT

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 23, 2006 5:02:27 PM

I recently purchased an ATI AIW X800 XT as a replacement for my ATI 9800Pro.
While it is a noticeable improvement over the 9800Pro, the 3DMark05 scores I'm getting are rather low.

My system specs and 3DMark05 score:

3.06 GHz Celeron D 346
Biostar P4M800-M7A (v7)
1GB PC3200 400MHz DDR
WD 160GB HD (8mb cache)
ATI AIW X800 XT 256MB AGP (500/500)

3DMark05 - 4500


Do the scores I'm getting look on par with the system I'm using the card in?
They seem to be 20-25% lower than benchmarks I'm seeing on the web (depending on the test system they used, of course)

My initial guess is that I've made the mistake of pairing a "big" video card with a "small" CPU.
My Biostar motherboard documentation says it supports Dual-Core and Hyper-Threading Pentium 4/Celeron D LGA775 processors.
Should an upgrade to one of these other processors yield better results?
Am I overlooking another component as the culprit to the low performance?
Am I expecting too much from this budget system?

I apologize for all the questions and admittedly have to plead ignorance when it comes to the nuances of "pairing" system components. I realize this is considered a budget machine, but the purchase of this video card is a rather large expense to me and I just want to make sure the PC/CPU is the bottleneck and not just a faulty video card. If simply upgrading the CPU at a later date will boost performance further then I'm cool with that.

As a comparison, I also tried this card in my second PC. Here are the specs and 3DMark05 score:

2.8 GHz Pentium 4 (northwood)
Dell Dimension 8100 motherboard (intel?)
512MB PC800 RDRAM
Maxtor 160GB HD (8bm cache)
ATI AIW X800 XT 256MB AGP (500/500)

3DMark05 - 4800


Thanks for your time. I appreciate any input/advice you can offer.

-brian
August 23, 2006 5:07:29 PM

I only got a 4500 on 3DMark 05 with my set-up listed below except with a X800GTO instead of my current X850XT. Your GPU is better than the X800GTO but I'd assume your processor is keeping you down.

With my current set up (with the X850XT), I'm only getting 6500 I think. On the processor tests, I only get about 7-8 FPS.:lol: 
August 23, 2006 5:48:31 PM

Quote:
With my current set up (with the X850XT), I'm only getting 6500 I think.


That's a pretty normal score for an X850XT.

Quote:
On the processor tests, I only get about 7-8 FPS.:lol: 


That's also normal because the CPU is doing the rendering instead of the GPU.

To the OP: Your score is low because your Celly IS bottlenecking your graphics card. Try overclocking the CPU; you should be able to reach close to 4GHz, if not more.

It makes sense that the PC with the P4 is scoring more than the Celly (is the P4 an 800MHz bus??) because there's no real bottleneck on the GPU.

If anything, try reformatting your HDD and reinstalling Windows just to make sure that there's no viruses or spyware slowing your system down.
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August 23, 2006 6:23:17 PM

Regarding the CPU score in 3DMark05, I think it's averaging 1.5-2

I need to get deeper into overclocking. Using Biostar's WarpSpeeder program I could only hit 3.3GHz before crashing. Doing it by hand may produce better results.

I'm pretty sure the Dimension 8100s have a 400MHz FSB.
August 23, 2006 7:27:37 PM

It's better to overclock through the BIOS than through any software utility. Also, what brand is that RAM? The RAM might be what's holding back your overclock. You should use a memory divider to set it at DDR333; it might not be stable over 400 MHz.
August 23, 2006 8:03:26 PM

I've got 2 x 512MB sticks of Ultra RAM. From what I read it's half decent, but not very overclockable.

You lost me on the memory divider comment. Sorry, I'm just getting into this overclocking thing.
August 23, 2006 11:12:37 PM

Quote:
I've got 2 x 512MB sticks of Ultra RAM. From what I read it's half decent, but not very overclockable.

You lost me on the memory divider comment. Sorry, I'm just getting into this overclocking thing.


In your BIOS, it should give you the option to set the speed of the RAM. It will show a speed, and the ratio of the RAM speed to the FSB speed. Set the RAM at DDR333 (or 166 MHz), and then try raising the FSB. You should be able to overclock higher, because your RAM isn't running over its rated speed
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2006 11:20:15 PM

3Dmark05 is somewaht CPU dependant. So you are right, your overall 3dmark score is being hurt by the Celeron. Pair the card with an A64 and it would be way higher. If I get a chance, I'll run my AIW X800Xt through 3dmark05 as it's currently paired with a P4 2.6C.
August 24, 2006 3:46:00 AM

Quote:
3Dmark05 is somewaht CPU dependant. So you are right, your overall 3dmark score is being hurt by the Celeron. Pair the card with an A64 and it would be way higher. If I get a chance, I'll run my AIW X800Xt through 3dmark05 as it's currently paired with a P4 2.6C.


I'd be willing to bet it'd score higher than that Celeron.
a b U Graphics card
August 24, 2006 12:15:10 PM

I don't know, there were these faulty 9800's they put SE on the end. They ran slower. :tongue:
August 24, 2006 12:15:28 PM

Alright, I managed to get it from 3.06GHz to 3.5GHz before it refused to boot.

Odd thing is, even at 3.5 my 3DMark CPU and overall score remained relatively unchanged.

Frustrating.

Any other ideas?
Can you suggest a possible replacement processor (Pentium 4 vs. Pentium D) for the Celeron?
August 24, 2006 1:59:34 PM

Quote:
Alright, I managed to get it from 3.06GHz to 3.5GHz before it refused to boot.


Did you set the RAM to DDR333 in the BIOS?
August 24, 2006 2:00:12 PM

Hey Wait a second ,some one in these forumz have the same problem ,and his problem was his PSU ,3DMark 2005 is a Graphic Card Limited Program ,maybe the PSU is your problem too... try to get a new good PSU before you do the OverClocking... :evil: 
but its just recommandation :wink:
August 24, 2006 2:12:52 PM

I don't mean to intrude, but I have the same problem.

I recently upgraded from a socket 754 3000+ to an Opty 144 socket 939. I thought that would help my frames with my card but nope!

I use an AGP X800 XT Platinum Edition running at 520/560. I have my processor OC'd to 2.5GHz (from 1.8GHz) but still get really awful frames in 3DMark05. My RAM is 1GB (2x512) of Corsair XMS running at about 178MHz 2-3-3-6.

What's the deal? I thought that this processor would eliminate any bottleneck. Is it my RAM or is my processor still not good enough? Sig has full specs.

Thank you all so much in advance for help/advice!
August 24, 2006 2:19:52 PM

As an addition, I can run BF2 and Oblivion fairly nice but am just wondering why 3DMark05 is breaking my machine...

I want a decent score!! :x
August 24, 2006 2:58:21 PM

Your benchmarks are perfectly normal, a Celeron is really not designed for gaming and 3Dmark just doesn't like that.

With a Pentium 4 Northwood 2.8Ghz HT, 1024MB ddr333 of RAM and a Radeon X800XL, I get 4800 3Dmarks, the exact same score as you with your Pentium machine.

So your card is obviously not faulty.
August 24, 2006 3:07:33 PM

Quote:
I use an AGP X800 XT Platinum Edition running at 520/560. I have my processor OC'd to 2.5GHz (from 1.8GHz) but still get really awful frames in 3DMark05. My RAM is 1GB (2x512) of Corsair XMS running at about 178MHz 2-3-3-6.

What is your current 3DMark 2005 Score ??
and what is your Power Supply ??
August 24, 2006 3:15:03 PM

Yes, I set the DDR Clock to 166MHz and then started pushing the CPU Frequency up (133-165MHz range on the motherboard). Got it to around 150MHz before it started having problems. It's sitting stable around 3.4GHz.
August 24, 2006 3:32:52 PM

Quote:
I use an AGP X800 XT Platinum Edition running at 520/560. I have my processor OC'd to 2.5GHz (from 1.8GHz) but still get really awful frames in 3DMark05. My RAM is 1GB (2x512) of Corsair XMS running at about 178MHz 2-3-3-6.

What is your current 3DMark 2005 Score ??
and what is your Power Supply ??

Haven't had the patience to sit through the test but will post results this evening. Averages less than 9 fps though...

I use an Antec 420 Watt PSU. Currently have 2 PATAs, 2 SATAs, Samsung DVD burner and 2 Thermaltake 120mm fans pulling power directly from PSU in addition to what's in my sig. Need more then 420 perhaps?
August 24, 2006 3:49:11 PM

Quote:
I use an AGP X800 XT Platinum Edition running at 520/560. I have my processor OC'd to 2.5GHz (from 1.8GHz) but still get really awful frames in 3DMark05. My RAM is 1GB (2x512) of Corsair XMS running at about 178MHz 2-3-3-6.

What is your current 3DMark 2005 Score ??
and what is your Power Supply ??

Haven't had the patience to sit through the test but will post results this evening. Averages less than 9 fps though...

I use an Antec 420 Watt PSU. Currently have 2 PATAs, 2 SATAs, Samsung DVD burner and 2 Thermaltake 120mm fans pulling power directly from PSU in addition to what's in my sig. Need more then 420 perhaps?

I'd highly doubt that it's a power supply issue. IMO, you should try reinstalling Windows to rule out a software issue. If that doesn't work, then you know that it's a hardware issue.
August 24, 2006 4:05:00 PM

Just did a fresh reinstall a few weeks ago when I got my new mobo/cpu.

Thanks for the advice. Fresh installs usually do help things!

All my mobo drivers are up to date. I am kinda upset at my my machine's low performace :cry: 

Then again, if it does run BF2, FEAR and Oblivion decently who cares about 3dMark?

Any suggestions for RAM upgrade? I was gonna get another set of the same matched 512's that are in there now. Anyone know of any RAM that likes to be overclocked? :twisted: It would be nice to have it running at DDR400 or higher.

Thanks in advance!
August 24, 2006 4:37:00 PM

Quote:
Haven't had the patience to sit through the test but will post results this evening. Averages less than 9 fps though...

I use an Antec 420 Watt PSU. Currently have 2 PATAs, 2 SATAs, Samsung DVD burner and 2 Thermaltake 120mm fans pulling power directly from PSU in addition to what's in my sig. Need more then 420 perhaps?

2 SATAs,DVD Burner,2 PATAs,2 Thermaltake 120mm Fans & a X800XT & only 420Watt ??
i say its 100% your PSU !!
change it B4 its too late ... :evil: 
August 24, 2006 4:39:26 PM

Yeah. Pretty bad I guess.

Any suggestions for a new one, both brand and power rating? I've always been partial to Antec but am open to any brand.
August 24, 2006 4:55:40 PM

I'm only pulling 1.5-2 FPS on 3dmark05

I realize that the X800XT is "small" by todays standards, but it would be a mistake to buy and even better card to pair with the Celeron, right? Plus the X800XT is a decent step up from my 9800Pro (4500 vs. 2500 in 3dmark05)

I'm not looking to run 16x12 & max AA/AF with this budget machine, but if a Pentium 4/D processor upgrade will let me squeeze even more out of the X800XT then that's what I'll do.



Quote:
My initial guess is that I've made the mistake of pairing a "big" video card with a "small" CPU.


Your calling a X800XT a big video card?? hehe
Id say your video card is "smaller" than your cpu.
The combination of a weak prescott celeron and a very low range video card is the reason for your low score. What is your cpu score?
Why arent you using 3dmark 06?
a b U Graphics card
August 24, 2006 8:02:28 PM

With a P4 2.6C and AIW X800XT both at stock speeds and dirver default settings, I got 5007 3dmarks and 3381 cpu marks.
August 24, 2006 9:02:40 PM

Quote:
With a P4 2.6C and AIW X800XT both at stock speeds and dirver default settings, I got 5007 3dmarks and 3381 cpu marks.


Thanks for taking the time to test that. I appreciate it. Gives me a good basis for comparison.

-brian
!