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Reasonable 3dMark06 Score for OCd CPU and GPU? Possible Bottleneck?

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November 8, 2009 5:05:26 AM

My Specs:
OS: Windows 7 64-bit Professional
Memory: 4GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) - 4 x 1GB
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (Overclocked to 2.889GHz from 2.5GHz)
GPU: NVIDIA XFX Geforce 7950GT 256MB (Overclocked to Core/Memory of 670MHz/800MHz from 570MHz/730MHz)
HDD: Seagate 250GB HDD @ 7200RPMs
Monitor: LG 22" Widescreen running at 1600x1050

My 3dMark06 Scores:
Score: 5867
SM 2.0: 2470
SM 3.0: 2418
CPU: 1914

Now my questions are:
  • Is this a reasonable score for such a setup?
  • Does the fact that my CPU score is lower than my GPU score mean that my CPU is the bottleneck at this point?
    a b à CPUs
    a b K Overclocking
    November 8, 2009 6:08:36 AM

    Dude, no offense, but your system sucks balls.

    Its time for an upgrade.

    I would reccomend testing with 3dm01 because that will give you a more acurate score with such low end hardware. And no, a higher cpu score than GPU score does not mean that the GPU is a bottleneck.

    I would call it a reasonable score, but that is some old ass hardware.
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    November 8, 2009 6:58:12 AM

    overshocked said:
    Dude, no offense, but your system sucks balls.

    Its time for an upgrade.

    I would reccomend testing with 3dm01 because that will give you a more acurate score with such low end hardware. And no, a higher cpu score than GPU score does not mean that the GPU is a bottleneck.

    I would call it a reasonable score, but that is some old ass hardware.


    lol I know it's old. I built it in the Summer of 2007 as a budget gaming rig (whole thing cost me $600) and the fact that I can still run games decently makes me happy. Those $600 have gone a long way :D 

    However, now I am running into issues with games that have been running fine until recently. Team Fortress 2 is one example. When it came out it ran very smooth with all settings to the max. Now, not so much. I am not sure if over time they have updated the game with new graphic technologies that my card cannot handle or what, but I find it really weird. Even when I set everything to the lowest quality and resolution, I still get shitty performance. That is why I am overclocking now and looking at my CPU as a possible bottleneck.
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    a b à CPUs
    a b K Overclocking
    November 8, 2009 7:30:03 AM

    I would reward yourself with a new pc for christmas....

    but for now i would defrag your hdd and re-install tf2. But it's probably game updates that have caused this.
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    November 8, 2009 8:46:25 AM

    overshocked said:
    I would reward yourself with a new pc for christmas....

    but for now i would defrag your hdd and re-install tf2. But it's probably game updates that have caused this.


    lol I need to reward myself with a car first so I can get to work and get paid (to fund future rewards).

    It is not my HDD nor my TF2 installation since I have already reformatted my drive and thus also reinstalled TF2. I think it's either the updates or the updated drivers. I think video card companies do it on purpose. The more you update your drivers, the less compatible they are with your aging card and therefore, the crappier the performance. Whoever said to keep your drivers up to date works for NVIDIA :D 

    Anyways, back on track... so does this score look okay? My motherboard only supports AM2 sockets and so I am pretty much at a dead end as far as upgrading my cpu is concerned. If I were to upgrade my CPU I would also have to change my motherboard. I think I will squeeze maybe one more year out of this rig before I build a new one.
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    November 8, 2009 10:43:23 AM

    939 socket system?

    Did this issue start before of after you upgraded to windows 7? I think if I were you I would revert back to XP and play it out for the next year until you are ready to build a new system...
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    November 8, 2009 1:57:16 PM

    it is an am2 system

    i had athlon x2 4800+ that was socket 939 but was forced into an upgrade 3 months ago when the motherboard failed. It was a really good processor and I had intended it last me for another 2 years. I ran games at screen res 1600 x 1200.

    I now have q6600 which of course is much better, but would preferred to have retained my athlon x2 4800+ for another 2 years (for cost reasons)
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    November 8, 2009 7:49:04 PM

    englandr753 said:
    939 socket system?

    Did this issue start before of after you upgraded to windows 7? I think if I were you I would revert back to XP and play it out for the next year until you are ready to build a new system...


    No it is an AM2 socket. The issue started while I was on Windows XP and has continued on over to Windows 7. I didn't intend for this thread to be about my game issues. Rather, just a discussion about whether the 3dMark06 score was reasonable for my setup and if the CPU could be a possible bottleneck.

    I want to know whether my next upgrade should be a video card or if I need a new motherboard altogether in order to get a new CPU.
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    November 9, 2009 2:29:12 AM

    Tbh your cpu and video card is a fair match up. It wouldn't be a worthwhile upgrade unless you did your mobo, cpu, ram, video card and probably power supply depending on which one you have.

    You just have to ask yourself if its worth spending 600+ bucks to get more frame rates. It's definitely not worth it if getting your benchmark higher is all you are concerned about IMO...
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    November 9, 2009 3:09:04 AM

    Quote:
    I noticed you overclocked the cpu. Did you do anything with your ram?


    I did but i don't think I messed with the timings just because I didn't understand it too much. I may have changed clocks and voltages.

    As for upgrading for the sake of benchmark scores... that is not what I am after. I want real life performance. If it wasn't for the fact that I am not getting playable framerates in my games, I would not even consider upgrading. I guess I will just stick with my current setup until a game I absolutely must play (Starcraft 2) comes out and my computer cannot play it correctly.
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    a c 103 à CPUs
    a c 239 K Overclocking
    November 9, 2009 10:46:20 AM

    I 2nd englandr753s suggestion to roll back to XP, if you were already having issues before Win7 then you could have some corrupted GPU drivers or have upgraded your Nvidia drivers past your cards capabilities.

    Even though new Nvidia drivers can be used on your GPU doesn't mean your GPU will perform its best with them, I had 2 7800GTX that were real finiky about the drivers you used with them.

    Nvidia has a driver archive and I suggest drivers that were released optimized for your particular GPU takes some research on your part but will yield good results for you.

    Your 3DM06 score is normal for your hardware configuration but it will improve if you find the perfect GPU driver release for your hardware and roll back to WinXP, even though you can run Win7 on your hardware, doesn't mean it will perform well at all.

    What is the performance score Win7 is rating your computer at?

    That should tell you something right there!

    Upgrading is a whether you can afford it or not, and seems from your statements its not a priority to you at this time, so getting by until you can upgrade makes the most sense to me.

    I would roll back to WinXP period and go back with the GPU drivers on your GPU instalation disk, then look in the nvidia driver archives for drivers probably 90 series and below for your best performance, you can always upgrade later.

    Getting your games working again should be your priority, it would be mine, 3DM06 favors Intel over AMD anyway so don't put too much stock in that, your gaming is what matters.


    Performance Tip; If WinXP is the 32bit OP/SYS you'll get better performance dropping your RAM configuration back to 2G in the primary slots, 4G 4 x 1G configuration occupying all 4 slots is not a WinXP 32bit sweet spot, 2G is.

    Running WinXP 32bit 4G 2 x 2G in primary slots works good but 4G 4 X 1G is a performance killer, that is from my own experience testing the setups running WinXP 32bit both ways.

    Also get rid of all built up dust bunnies, and make absolutely positive your OC is stable.
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    November 9, 2009 5:32:35 PM

    The problem was occurring under XP 32-bit as well. I get a performance score of 5.9 in Win7. I thought that was good since the max is 7 but correct me if I am wrong.

    As for rolling back to an old driver that gives better performance: it's funny because I was just mentioning that to my friend last night. This is probably what I will do today. I thought this was a problem since the drivers the NVIDIA site was telling me to download for my 7 series card was turning out to be the same drivers that users with other series card were being told to download as well. Therefore, the driver I was getting was almost a generic/general driver that was most likely optimized for the newer cards.

    If an OC being stable means it can run Prime95, Memtest, and 3dMark06 without excessive temps, failures, or artifacts then yes my OC is stable.

    Thank you for your post. Now that someone else has mentioned rolling back my drivers after me thinking the same thing, I will go ahead and do that.

    One question though: If I were to want to keep my Win7 64-bit OS, would going back to an older driver cause problems since it wasn't made for Win7?
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    November 9, 2009 6:45:24 PM

    Most likely so. It means it hasn't been tested for the current OS and is not known. You may or may not have issues but most likely would. If you are going to go back to XP what do you have to lose to try and install the older driver just to see what happens?..
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    November 9, 2009 6:48:17 PM

    englandr753 said:
    Most likely so. It means it hasn't been tested for the current OS and is not known. You may or may not have issues but most likely would. If you are going to go back to XP what do you have to lose to try and install the older driver just to see what happens?..


    Well to be honest I don't really want to go back to XP. I would rather stay with Win7. Therefore, I will try resolving the issue with Win7 and if not then I will just give up gaming until I can upgrade (there aren't any games that I MUST play just yet so its okay).
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    a c 103 à CPUs
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    November 9, 2009 10:23:57 PM

    I understand your Win7 desire if you've already spent your money and purchased a copy of it, but if you're running the Win7 RC [Release Candidate], its a dead end road anyway, that free ride will end.

    Anyhow if you're determined to stay the Win7 course and you're running the 64bit version, disregard my memory performance tip and run the full 4G setup of memory you have, 64bit will take full advantage of the 4G even 4 x 1G modules.

    That tip was for WinXP 32bit OP/SYS, since you're going to stay the Win7 course, best of luck to you.

    By the way nvidia archived drivers will not work with Win7, so disregard that suggestion too.

    Quote:
    GPU: NVIDIA XFX Geforce 7950GT 256MB (Overclocked to Core/Memory of 670MHz/800MHz from 570MHz/730MHz)
    Monitor: LG 22" Widescreen running at 1600x1050

    However, now I am running into issues with games that have been running fine until recently. Team Fortress 2 is one example. When it came out it ran very smooth with all settings to the max. Now, not so much. I am not sure if over time they have updated the game with new graphic technologies that my card cannot handle or what, but I find it really weird. Even when I set everything to the lowest quality and resolution, I still get shitty performance. That is why I am overclocking now and looking at my CPU as a possible bottleneck.


    Obviously your monitor is a late comer to the party, an LG 22" LCD with a 1600x1050 default resolution, seriously trumps a 7950GT w 256mb memory, even OC'd.

    I would guess your problems actually started after you got your new monitor and started trying to game at those resolutions with a 7950GT graphics card, but thats just a wild guess.
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    November 9, 2009 10:31:58 PM

    4Ryan6 said:
    I understand your Win7 desire if you've already spent your money and purchased a copy of it, but if you're running the Win7 RC [Release Candidate], its a dead end road anyway, that free ride will end.

    Anyhow if you're determined to stay the Win7 course and you're running the 64bit version, disregard my memory performance tip and run the full 4G setup of memory you have, 64bit will take full advantage of the 4G even 4 x 1G modules.

    That tip was for WinXP 32bit OP/SYS, since you're going to stay the Win7 course, best of luck to you.

    By the way nvidia archived drivers will not work with Win7, so disregard that suggestion too.


    Yeah I purchased Win7 Pro 64-bit and am liking it so far and thus do not want to go back to XP. I am sticking with the 4GB and you are right, the archived drivers don't work with Win7.

    That being said, am I better off just upgrading my video card or will my CPU bottleneck my system and not really let me benefit from a new card?
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    a c 103 à CPUs
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    November 9, 2009 10:55:28 PM

    By all means with the monitor you now have upgrade the graphics card.
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    November 10, 2009 12:49:43 AM

    I would get a good video card and be done with it. I would suggest maybe the ATI 5750/5770 due to it's dx11 capable, cheaper than the other dx11 cards and will be plenty of power for your current system. You could get an AMD 6000 X2 for about 55 bucks and sell your 4800 on ebay. This would give you a little boost on the cpu end without breaking the bank.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Get an aftermarker cpu cooler of your choice.

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    November 10, 2009 1:26:23 AM

    englandr753 said:
    I would get a good video card and be done with it. I would suggest maybe the ATI 5750/5770 due to it's dx11 capable, cheaper than the other dx11 cards and will be plenty of power for your current system. You could get an AMD 6000 X2 for about 55 bucks and sell your 4800 on ebay. This would give you a little boost on the cpu end without breaking the bank.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Get an aftermarker cpu cooler of your choice.


    Well I can only go with NVIDIA cards.

    As for the aftermarket cooler, when I decided to overclock I bought a Xigmatek (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and it works beautifully (dropped CPU temp by about 10 degrees C)

    Thank you for your suggestion. Seeing as it is only $55 I may consider it... not sure yet. I kind of don't want to put any more money into something that I will have to get rid of in my next upgrade step (like if I get a new motherboard). A video card can go from one motherboard to the next with no problem which is why I will most likely go that route.
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    November 10, 2009 1:55:00 AM

    No problem. If you did get the 6000 x2 you could get 30 bucks for yours on ebay no problems so that would only be about 25 bucks for a slight upgrade that could get rid of a few hickups even with the new video card.

    At least get the new video card as you stated to start with then you can consider the 6000 x2 if you still have some issues...
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    November 10, 2009 2:03:01 AM

    So now the question is what video card should I get? I know nothing of the new GTX 200 series.
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    November 10, 2009 3:18:13 AM

    Are you familiar with the 8 series cards? The GTX 275 is equal to 3 8800 GTX Ultras. So even 1 GTX 260 is a pretty powerful card. The GTX 220 is meh and the GTX 210 is basic video and thats about it. The lowest card you want to go in the 200 series will be the GTX 260.

    Why can you only go Nvidia? SLI? Don't let that make you stay with Nvidia if theres a good deal on a comparable ATI card. I think single card solutions are better anyway and I have had tri sli so I do know a little about what I'm talking about with that. HD 5770 or HD 5850...
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    November 10, 2009 3:38:44 AM

    englandr753 said:
    Are you familiar with the 8 series cards? The GTX 275 is equal to 3 8800 GTX Ultras. So even 1 GTX 260 is a pretty powerful card. The GTX 220 is meh and the GTX 210 is basic video and thats about it. The lowest card you want to go in the 200 series will be the GTX 260.

    Why can you only go Nvidia? SLI? Don't let that make you stay with Nvidia if theres a good deal on a comparable ATI card. I think single card solutions are better anyway and I have had tri sli so I do know a little about what I'm talking about with that. HD 5770 or HD 5850...


    Well I just assumed that having an NVIDIA nForce 590 motherboard would get along better with an NVIDIA card than an ATI card. To be honest, until now, I thought I couldn't use ATI with my motherboard but now that you got me thinking about it, that assumption had no basis on anything.

    However, I have had ATI before and they have left a sour taste in my mouth in the past so I may just stick with NVIDIA.

    With that said, does it matter that my motherboard is not PCI Express 2.0? I know I can technically still use PCI-E 2.0 cards since it's backwards compatible but will that cause another bottle neck (in bandwidth)? And I see that some GTX 200 series cards say they support OpenGL 3.0 and other says OpenGL 2.1. Should I be worried about this? For example, there are two cards on newegg, both of which are GTX 250's and one says OpenGL 2.1 and the other OpenGL3.0.

    Sorry if this thread is getting off topic. But thank you all for your time and input.

    EDIT:o h and I have an Enermax 500W PSU... does this need upgrading as well in order to use such a card? Better yet, can someone tell me how to figure out how much wattage you need in a PSU depending on your components? How do you figure that out?
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    November 10, 2009 11:02:47 AM

    1st off don't overlook ATI as they have a lot of great choice cards to fit most any budget. Being that you are using Windows 7 its kind of a shame to buy a dx10 card when you could get a dx11 but only from ATI for now.

    The PCI 2.0 backwards compatibility question is no issue. I wouldn't worry about that.

    Here's a psu tier list ranging from top tier to bottom tier. I think your psu is fine unless you go dual cards.

    http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

    Here's a power supply calculator that lets you select your current components to give you an estimate of your power needs:

    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    Hope that helps... ;) 

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    November 10, 2009 11:04:03 AM

    Best P/S rule of thumb according to Johnny Guru is, if the P/S has all the necessary connectors you need for your setup without using any adapters, the P/S is designed to handle it.

    For EX, a 260GTX takes 2 6pin PCI-E, if you're stuck on Nvidia I wouldn't go any lower than a 260GTX, but does your P/S have 2 6pin PCI-E connectors?

    ATI will work just fine with the Nvidia chipset, in a single card setup, as englandr said, if you get a better deal for your money with an ATI card? Well its your money.

    If Nvidia is your choice just make sure the P/S can handle it, or the upgrade road gets longer.
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    a c 103 à CPUs
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    November 10, 2009 11:22:07 AM

    @hugoender

    No offense man but you're actually creating these problems for yourself, you already stated getting a car was your highest priority, so a computer wasn't the highest priority, but you now want to run Win7 and you're getting yourself trapped in this upgrade cycle.

    Its amazing how this website encourages people to spend their money they may not be ready or even need to spend, I still say you could go back to WinXP and save your money, get your car, and then worry about the computer end of things.

    You can always install Win7 later, I did the same thing with Win Vista at least you don't have to buy the operating system later you already have it.

    So thats just an additional caution from me and I'm through, you'll do what you want anyway, but the very first responses to you were attacking your machine, so those responses may have set the platform for the decisions you're thinking about now.

    Thats all, I'm just trying to help you, as I said No Offense! Ryan
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    November 10, 2009 6:01:54 PM

    4Ryan6 said:
    @hugoender

    No offense man but you're actually creating these problems for yourself, you already stated getting a car was your highest priority, so a computer wasn't the highest priority, but you now want to run Win7 and you're getting yourself trapped in this upgrade cycle.

    Its amazing how this website encourages people to spend their money they may not be ready or even need to spend, I still say you could go back to WinXP and save your money, get your car, and then worry about the computer end of things.

    You can always install Win7 later, I did the same thing with Win Vista at least you don't have to buy the operating system later you already have it.

    So thats just an additional caution from me and I'm through, you'll do what you want anyway, but the very first responses to you were attacking your machine, so those responses may have set the platform for the decisions you're thinking about now.

    Thats all, I'm just trying to help you, as I said No Offense! Ryan


    No offense taken Ryan. You are right that my priority is my car but Christmas is coming and people are going to ask me what I want (they never accept "I want money!" as an answer) and that is why I am entertaining the idea of an upgrade. I love doing research about computer parts and performance so a lot of times I look at a bunch of different upgrades, do a ton of research, and then end up buying only one. It's how I work :D 

    In the past couple of days I have learned quite a bit about the new generations of cards and CPU's as well as good upgrade practices.

    I know the best thing would be to go back to WinXP but I have been using XP since it came out (I have always disliked Vista and so never upgraded to it) and have been dying for a new OS. So much so that I bought a MacBook a while back and have been loving OS X (it is my operating system of choice except for gaming but that is another matter). Windows 7 seems to come very close to OS X in terms of ease of use, functionality, and polished look and that is what I have been waiting for from Windows for a while. I think I would rather spend a little money on an upgrade than go back to XP.

    Still I appreciate the time you and others have put into replying to my thread. Thanks.

    EDIT: Oh and yes, my PSU does have 2 PCI-E 6 pin connectors. Thanks for the links englandr.
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    November 10, 2009 9:43:22 PM

    You're welcome... ;) 
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    a c 103 à CPUs
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    November 10, 2009 11:33:42 PM

    Thats cool man so I'd suggest if you're really going for a new graphics card go big enough so when you do get to do a full upgrade, another new graphics card won't be needed.
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    November 10, 2009 11:37:28 PM

    4Ryan6 said:
    Thats cool man so I'd suggest if you're really going for a new graphics card go big enough so when you do get to do a full upgrade, another new graphics card won't be needed.


    I am looking into the ATI HD 5850. What do you guys think? I know they are hard to find but I like all the good reviews. I do not like the supposed lack of official drivers but by the time I get it that will probably be sorted out. Should I go with this or wait?

    One thing I have not been able to figure out is when new cards are released (and old ones lowered in price). Is there a set date to wait after which cards drop in price and new ones are released or is it random and whenever the company (NVIDIA, ATI) decide to release?
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    a c 103 à CPUs
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    November 10, 2009 11:47:53 PM

    They should be plentiful by Christmas time go for it!
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    November 11, 2009 1:06:54 AM

    Thw 5850 will be sweet. I do know that I am having nightmare issues trying to get an up to date driver from ATI or XFX for my 5770. Twice I have gotten an error message saying that no hardware has been detected to support my driver. This is from the XFX website which was a nightmare in itself to log back onto an old account to register my new card and get access to the drivers.

    ATI doesn't even have the HD 5700 series listed in the download menu. It skips and goes right to the 5800 Series.

    Wierd...
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    November 11, 2009 1:13:25 AM

    englandr753 said:
    Thw 5850 will be sweet. I do know that I am having nightmare issues trying to get an up to date driver from ATI or XFX for my 5770. Twice I have gotten an error message saying that no hardware has been detected to support my driver. This is from the XFX website which was a nightmare in itself to log back onto an old account to register my new card and get access to the drivers.

    ATI doesn't even have the HD 5700 series listed in the download menu. It skips and goes right to the 5800 Series.

    Wierd...


    Remember when I said ATI had left me with a sour taste in the past? It was cuz of their drivers! So hearing people say this doesn't surprise me. For me it was more like they had drivers for my card but they were pretty bad. Back when I used to play WoW (glad I kicked that addiction) there was a tunnel that would cause everyone with an ATI card in the raid to disconnect because their screen would go black and their computer would lock up. It was amusing, to say the least, until it was my turn to go through that tunnel lol

    I will give ATI another chance but if they do me wrong again...
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    November 11, 2009 2:05:35 AM

    Understandable.

    I'm currently running XP but am planning on installing Windows 7 obviously for dx11. The only drivers I can seem to get to work is the old ones on the cd that came with it. I never liked using the drivers from the CD...
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    December 5, 2009 11:15:53 AM

    Well I just bought an XFX ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB. While my computer performs considerably better in games now (I can turn all the eye candy on and get playable frame rates), I still feel like my computer is being held back.

    I am not getting as high a framerate as I should given the GPU I just bought. It is because of this that I strongly believe my CPU is the culprit. Just wanted to update this thread now that I was able to upgrade my GPU and narrow down the cause of my not so optimal setup. Now I am going to have to find a new mobo/cpu combo to unleash the full power of my new card :D 
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    December 26, 2009 8:44:23 PM

    I would like to update this thread.

    I got an ASUS Crosshair III AM3 motherboard, AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz cpu, and 2x2GB DDR3 1333 GSkill ram for Christmas. I put it all together last night and ran 3dMark06 again... here is what I got:

    Score - 16407
    SM 2.0 - 6434
    SM 3.0 - 7858
    CPU - 4488

    Still not as high as I thought it would be but it is a definite improvement. I also ran MW2 maxed out (with VSync on) and recorded with Fraps and ran at 60fps constant the whole time so I am more than happy. My CPU was DEFINITELY the bottleneck.

    Thank you all for your responses... have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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    December 27, 2009 3:49:31 AM

    What video card do you have again?...
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    December 27, 2009 4:28:24 AM

    englandr753 said:
    What video card do you have again?...


    XFX ATI Radeon 4890 1GB
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