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First build ever. 3dmark06 results. Thoughts?

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May 13, 2008 9:13:44 AM

Finished my first build today, got all the new drivers and updates I needed, then installed and ran 3dmark06.

I feel a bit disappointed with the number, but only because i've been hearing such higher scores.

My system is in my sig.

I got 11,870 3Dmarks.

I've been hearing such higher scores with similar setups to mine. nearing 15k.

I am however using stock coolers and stock speeds on the CPU, vid card and RAM. Might this be the difference?

* What are your thoughts on the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro for CPU cooler (when i get a paycheck...). The stock HSF idles the CPU at core 45 degrees...

*Does anyone know how to change the voltage to the RAM? It supposed to run at 1.9, ut the mobo is giving it 1.8 and I can't figure it out in BIOS.

Does this score look low, odd or incorrect to anyone? Feedback appreciated. Also It was my first build ever, so please let me know any tricks to testing the system to make sure everything is error free. Memtest or something like that? Thanks.
May 13, 2008 9:15:10 AM

oh forgot some specs.

I'm running on Vista Business 32-bit (got for free from school...).

Also, memory timings are 5-5-5-18
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2008 9:54:58 AM

That looks about right, exp. for Vista.
Once you overclock a bit you should be able to get closer to the 15K mark.

The AF7 is a decent cooler that should treat you well.

There is a trick to adjust settings on Gigabyte MBs.
Never owned one myself but your manual should tell you how to acess it.
Something to do with a key combo after you enter the BIOS...

As for testing...
Memtest 86+ and Prime 95 are what I use for memory and CPU overclocking.
Riva tuner and Ati tool seem to work good for GPU overclocking.
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May 13, 2008 9:58:24 AM

The one nice thing about stock settings though...you spend more time actually enjoying the use of your computer and less time screwing with it...plus if you keep it for years untill it's old and crusty (like I do), it won't die on you at stock :) 

Congrats on your build, oc'ed or not :) 
May 13, 2008 10:12:05 AM

Alt + F1 should do it :) 
May 13, 2008 10:15:08 AM

BTW, I get about that with my 3GHz E6600 and 9800GTX (I think it's around 14k). It seems as though 3DMark06 is CPU dependent, but it shouldn't be. I overclocked my card and only gained 600 points. My CPU overclock netted me a lot more gain. Perhaps our dual-core CPUs are the bottleneck then? I'm using XP Pro and I think I need a reinstall. Another thing I've noticed with my CPU is that my cache performance is rather low compared to other CPUs at the same speed, according to Sandra's benchmark. I think I'm going to get a quad soon. And I'm running the GA-965P-DQ6 board...kinda old chipset, but my memory is 4-4-4-12. Going through the Tom's benchmarks on RAM, timing has very little effect on performance these days. You might gain 1-2fps in a game...not really a deal breaker for 3DMark06.
May 13, 2008 12:01:45 PM

It's [CTRL + F1] in the first BIOS screen for Advanced BIOS Options.
Voltage settings are under Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker or M.I.T.

The default DDR2 voltage setting is Normal 1.8V
For 1.9V you need ot set DDR2 Overvoltage to +0.1V.
The board overvolts the RAM abit so don't overdo it.

Good luck.
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2008 12:26:15 PM

About normal for your setup. The CPU test is demanding, people with overclocks, especially quad cores will score considerably higher. Leo2kp said it well, don't really understand why they make a 3D graphics benchmark that hits so hard on the CPU test, but it is what it is. Maybe they need to for some of the flight simulators, which can be CPU demanding compared to most games.
That's why I say don't rely too much on trying to hit big numbers in 3D mark 06, how does your rig hold up in the games you play....that's what matters.
May 13, 2008 12:52:26 PM

royalcrown said:
plus if you keep it for years untill it's old and crusty (like I do), it won't die on you at stock :) 

Tell that to my Cyrix 686-166+!
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2008 1:06:21 PM

^ Oh man, if I only still had my Cyrix 166+ on a Biostar board. What a piece of **** that was.....lol.
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2008 1:16:25 PM

I have a Q6600 and started with 1 EVGA 8800GTX ANS3 card and was scoring 13,500. I went SLI and jumped to 15,700. I think you are on track with your score. If you go Quad you will see another jump in your score.

I agree with jitpublisher, what matters is your gaming performance. If it makes you go "wow" over what you were using before this setup then you should be happy. Benchmark numbers are what they are, numbers. But it is fun trying to get them higher. ;) 
May 13, 2008 3:13:07 PM

Wow thanks for all the replies!

Oh, overvoltage, thanks, ill give that a try.

Also, I was convinced through many forum discussions to go with the e8400 over the q6600. Did I make a mistake? The q6600 was only $30 more. I was told for gaming the Duo actually outperforms. Especially at stock.

I probably should have went with my gut and gotten the quad huh? During the CPU tests in 3dmark06, the one that looks like a battle in the desert or something, I was getting 1 FPS....

Oh well, too late now I guess. Returning the e8400 would dock me $30 restocking fee and then the q6600 is an extra 30 ontop, plus I still need a cooler at some point.

Havn't actually gotten around to installing my games back yet. Thats the next mission.
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2008 3:32:35 PM

No, not really.
The e8400 is a great CPU.
It has higher stock speeds than the Q6600 and overclocks much further.
The only down side to it is that it only has 2 cores.
That being said, almost no games take advantage of more than 2 cores.

Also, keep in mind that 3dMark doesn't really count for ****.
All that matters is that you can play your games with decent eye candy and frame rates.
a c 203 à CPUs
May 13, 2008 5:14:26 PM

When you get right down to the gaming more often that not, stock or overclocked, the performance tends to look like these charts.

(HD 3870 used for those benchmarks) When the graphics quality is cranked up the difference in CPUs and levels of OC'ing dont make that great an impact.
There are always exceptions of course. Supreme Commander runs best on Quads. MMORPGs like WoW and CS:S run on a single core and CPU clock is king there. E8400 is an excellent all-round multi-core, multi-tasking choice.

a c 203 à CPUs
May 13, 2008 5:52:26 PM

xrome said:
I got 11,870 3Dmarks.

I've been hearing such higher scores with similar setups to mine. nearing 15k.

I am however using stock coolers and stock speeds on the CPU, vid card and RAM. Might this be the difference?

That 3DMark score on your $732? new system at all stock speeds is actually a very good bang for the buck.
Even with the stock coolers you should be able to bump up the CPU and video cards a bit just to see the scores climb if you want.
Also do your own benchmarks in the games you play. Compare what OC'ing the CPU and GPU give you in terms of extra performance.
That should give you a good idea of how far you want to take the OC's.

a b à CPUs
May 14, 2008 4:17:07 AM

The Q6600 and E8400 has been debated for a long time. Either chip is a win-win scenario in my opinion.

And, your 1fps on the cpu benchmark is normal. You could get the 1500.00 cpu and get 2fps. Hardly worth it and what does it matter anyway. The little man on the left is showing us what it matters right now...
May 14, 2008 4:32:10 AM

WR2 said:
That 3DMark score on your $732? new system at all stock speeds is actually a very good bang for the buck.
Even with the stock coolers you should be able to bump up the CPU and video cards a bit just to see the scores climb if you want.
Also do your own benchmarks in the games you play. Compare what OC'ing the CPU and GPU give you in terms of extra performance.
That should give you a good idea of how far you want to take the OC's.



hey again!

The system totaled $860
- $50 gift card = $810
- (hopefully) $70 rebates = $740

so yeah, all in all im happy with the system so far (CoD4 and Oblivion. We'll see how things go after crysis hehe)

And cool, I didn't know 1-2 FPS was normal on the CPU test, thanks.

~xRome
a b à CPUs
May 14, 2008 5:04:39 AM

Not a problem. Little things make you feel disatisfied with your hardware and its good to know when something is normal or really doesnt matter.

You do have a very good system for the money. Be proud. ;) 
!