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Low 3DMark06 Score w/ MSI 4890 OC

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July 21, 2009 1:19:47 AM

Hi,

I recently purchased MSI 4890 OC video card (factory OC)
I ran 3DMark06 at default setting (my first time running it ever), and I got a very low score compare to others, about 12000.

CPU: Q6600@ stock
RAM: 4gb
PSU: 600W GameXtream OCZ
GPU: MSI ATI HD 4890 OC 1gb ram

One thing is that, on GPU-Z, whatever I am doing (even when I was running the 3DMark06), the clock speed was fluctuating like every second from 250mhz to 880mhz...

Is that normal? Fluctuating core clock, which happens every time regardless of what I am doing.
When I am watching a movie and skipping around, it responds pretty slow as well (for 720p movie).
I think my ATI Catalyst driver is up to date.
Could it be the driver issue?

Or should I return it? I think it hasn't been 30 days... maybe little past 30days, might have to contact ATI
July 21, 2009 1:31:01 AM

Overclock your cpu.
July 21, 2009 1:42:40 AM

Based on your stock CPU speed, the score sounds normal to me. Have you tried OC the CPU to see how it affects the score?
Related resources
July 21, 2009 2:36:01 AM

but is it normal for the core clock to fluctuate constantly?
July 21, 2009 5:11:54 AM

I have had something wierd like that with my Sapphire 4890. It does not seem normal to me. I will write more later when I have time.
July 21, 2009 6:13:55 AM

Perfectly normal to see the clock change like that. It's like Intel's Speedstep and AMD's Cool'n'Quiet for CPUs. When the card is not under load, it's clock speed and voltage will drop significantly to save power and reduce heat. It'll speed up to full power when needed.

I just built a machine with an HD4890 (XFX "Extreme" model) and I'm under-impressed so far. I haven't benched it in Crysis, FarCry2, or anything else yet, but it's performance in synthetics hasn't been the amazing improvement I expected.

Old system: X2 5000+ @ 3.2, MSI K9A2-CF-F, 4GB DDR2-800, 8800GT 512, on-board audio, and WinXP 32.
New System: Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.625, Gigabyte MA790X-UD4P, 4GB DDR2-1100 (OC), the 4890, HT-Omega Striker audio, and Vista-64.

3DMark06 difference? About 4400 marks (~11.7k to 16k and change). I figured this one would score a little better... Mind you, this is with 900/1000 (very, very mild OC) settings on the card. I know I could push it more, but the damn thing gets pretty hot already (70C+ under load) unless I take control of the fan and set it to 50% or so, which takes it down to ~62C under load. It starts to sound like a leaf blower above 45% or so.

Anyways... I just installed it today. (I finally got a working one from Newegg - first had that annoyingly loud choke "whine" or whistle.) I guess I've still got some growing pains to go through with it...


Oh, and I threw that 8800GT512 into another machine... Biostar TA790GX 128M, Phenom II X2 550 @ 3.612, 4GB DDR2-1100, Vista-64 and it scored 12.8k at stock clocks (600/1500/900). Kinda makes me wonder just how much better this 4890 really is than it's nVIDIA counterparts. Sucks that 3Dmark seems to favor nVIDIA hardware...
July 21, 2009 11:27:57 PM

I see. Thank you for the great inputs~

I recently purchased cooler master haf 922 + tuniq tower 120 to try OC for the first time, and I hope it works well (I hope I get a good result without the need of lapping)
July 22, 2009 12:44:17 AM

I have said this before in a couple of other threads, I think that a lot of folks are little quick to throw in the towel on the good ol' 8800GTS 512 G92 cards.
My PII 920 system, with the processor clocked at 3ghz, and the 8800 core set at 775mhz, which it will run quite easily without the fan making too much noise, will hit right at 15,000 in 3DMark 06. It will get up around 15,250 but you have crank the core to about 825, but the card starts getting hot and the fan does get loud.
Benchmarks are not everything. How the card actually games is more important, and a seemingly low 3DMark score can be misleading.
July 22, 2009 3:51:22 AM

Sorry, Jit. I should have said something about the difference between the two at lower resolutions, as 3DMark runs at 1280x1024. I realize that the real benefit of my 4890 will show itself in today's modern games when played at the actual resolution I play them (1920x1080 monitor).

Still, it was surprising to see just how well my 8800GT performed on an improved base platform. With some tweaking, I'm pretty sure I could get 13-14K out of it. Of course, I might be able to get 17K or so out of the 4890, too.

I did notice some stuttering on the 4890 today after installing GRID while running at Max settings. I'm going to try connecting a separate PCIe power cable to it from my Antec EA750, rather than use both of the connectors on the single line. It may help to draw power from separate rails.
July 22, 2009 6:41:58 AM

I ran the 3Dmark06 without any changes
Still at

CPU: Q6600@ stock
RAM: 4gb
PSU: 600W GameXtream OCZ
GPU: MSI ATI HD 4890 OC 1gb ram

but the score still seems really low (even just the 2.0 and 3.0 scores) compare to other people who post their 3Dmark06 scores on different forums.

SM2.0 score: 4799
HDR/sms3.0 score: 5910
cpu score 3705

These are what I get...
at 880mhz/999mhz (which is @ factory OC, very mild one)

Are those 2.0 and 3.0 scores normal? I have catalyst 9.6...

Also, when I'm playing Sacred 2: Fallen Angel @ Elite quality with AA on, even when I am on the menu, if I constantly move the mouse, the cursor stops in between for a very short moment.
I think this is also related to the issue: when I am watching a movie (720p), and if I am skipping around, it is not smooth, it stutters and the responds little slowly...

Is it a physical GPU problem?
July 22, 2009 7:10:52 AM

I am worried about the 2.0 and 3.0 scores, not the CPU scores... or does CPU affect 2.0 and 3.0 GPU scores at all?

and could you confirm this:

Also, when I'm playing Sacred 2: Fallen Angel @ Elite quality with AA on, even when I am on the menu, if I constantly move the mouse, the cursor stops in between for a very short moment.
I think this is also related to the issue: when I am watching a movie (720p), and if I am skipping around, it is not smooth, it stutters and the responds little slowly...

Is it a physical GPU problem? Is my GPU a defect and should i RMA it?
July 22, 2009 7:33:12 AM

What operating system and how old is the install of it? Have you tried reinstalling DirectX? Are you sure you're using the most recent 3DMark06 build?

You scores are definitely lower than mine, but I had my "cripple-core" bumped up quite a bit...
July 22, 2009 7:54:25 AM

I'm running on XP pro 32bit. The card was installed less than a month ago, and the OS was installed like 4 months ago after a clean format.

I checked the DirectX, and it says it's the newest version, and yes, I am using the most recent 3DMark 06 build....

Could it be that my card is defect?
July 22, 2009 8:34:05 AM

Use tuneup utilities and do everything there is. Then update your drivers and codecs. Sounds like a too slow hdd to me.
July 22, 2009 6:01:38 PM

^LOL ...just noticed that "Fastest system"'s rig...pretty crazy OC
July 22, 2009 11:46:37 PM

But my most important question is: Could my card be defective?
It's been about 40 days since the purchase, and if it is, then I would have to talk to MSI customer support... sigh...

[Important note] It stutters, when I am playing any game or watching movie... mouse cursor pauses for a brief second... while it's moving...
July 23, 2009 5:21:50 AM

It may be under-powered... If I'm not mistaken, the GameXtream PSUs have four 12-volt rails, but two PCIe 6-pin connectors. Try swapping one of the PCIe power connectors out, using the 2x4-pin Molex-to-PCIe 6-pin adapter. Make sure the Molex connections you use are on an unused or lesser-used rail.

MSI's not so bad. I just got a K9A2-CF motherboard serviced under warranty. Turn around time from the day I dropped it off at Fedex was 11 days. 3-day shipping fee was $9. If you have to RMA it, you may want to take out additional insurance on a 4890, just in case...

I noticed mine stuttering last night, too. And yes, even on the desktop... I've been too busy putting two other systems together today to bother messing with my main gamer. However, I have already performed the 12-volt PCIe connector swap I mentioned above. (Antec EA750 Semi-Modular PSU) I simply haven't tested it.
July 23, 2009 10:12:34 PM

I tried switching to a different rail using a 4-pin molex to PCIe 6pin adapater, but the result was the same.

However, I quickly uninstalled the current ATI Catalyst driver (directly from ati.com), and replaced to the ATI Catalyst driver from the MSI website (an older version), and the condition seems to be little better for 3DMark06 score:

Before: around 12k (9k in 2.0+3.0 gpu scores)

After: around 13k (10k in 2.0+3.0 gpu scores)

I still think the score is a bit low compare to others who have ATI HD4890 cards...
Also, the Sacred 2: Fallen Angel @ Elite setting with x4 AA gives me a stutter at the main menu... When I turn off the AA or put it at x2 AA, it is smooth...

I thought that 4890 would be enough to play sacred 2 with max AA on...
Do i need Nvida card instead of ATI card for the sake of AA?
July 24, 2009 10:24:41 AM

Hmmm... TBh it still seems a tad slow to me. I have a Q6600 @ 3Ghz but that wont affect the 3DMark scores as much as the GPU. I have a 4870 1GB and get near 15K so even with a stock CPU I would think you would get at least 14K in 06.

I thought my score was low but I tested the HL2: Lost Coast, since I play Source games the most, and got more than double my average FPS in it and in the CS:S benchmark too.

AA would affect the game no matter what and to be honest if you are playing at 1920x1080 AA wont make any difference at all really. Hell when I play L4D @ 1080p turning on AA doesn't seem to affect it as much.

And out of all the tests I have seen, when AA is turned on a nVidia card seems to take a larger hit than a ATI card does.
July 27, 2009 8:19:08 PM

sorry for bad english but im from poland hehe; anyway i've just finished installing my new system with radeon saphirre 4890 OC and it seems that I have the same problem as U; I've scored 11900 in 3d mark 06 witch is obwoiusly to low for this card;
my sys is:

Vista ultimate 64
Athlon X2 6000+
4GB Goodram 800Mhz
MSI mainboard not high end - its on nforce 4 chipset
Sapphire 4890 OC

Apparently before I've had xfx 8800gt alpha dog and my scores were no too high as well - in 06 i've scored 10 300 ;/

I think that CPU is an issue here; in couple weeks time I'm changing motherboard and getting
core 2 duo E8600 so I hope that performance will change a lot after tihs upgrade; anyway keep me posted pls and I do the same for U; cheers
July 28, 2009 12:40:12 AM

I was about to buy a Msi 4890 OC edition but I think I will stick to a 4870. Which card is best bang for buck at the moment?
July 28, 2009 3:32:25 AM

krnelement: Contact MSI support or visit MSI's VGA card forums and see what they have to say. http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?board=9.0

effendi: Your card's speed seems slow, too. However, your older hardware may be holding it back significantly. If you have the chance to test the card in a friend's system with more modern motherboard/CPU/RAM, you should try it. If you still see low scores, try a different Catalyst driver version, and make sure all motherboard/system drivers are up to date as well.

pcangeldust: That depends on where you live, as prices around the world fluctuate constantly.
July 28, 2009 10:07:05 AM

I Will in UK, The prices here a sort of high compared to the US.
I need it to play crysis warhead on enthusiast setting on 1680x1050 smoothly.
July 28, 2009 4:27:11 PM


effendi: Your card's speed seems slow, too. However, your older hardware may be holding it back significantly. If you have the chance to test the card in a friend's system with more modern motherboard/CPU/RAM, you should try it. If you still see low scores, try a different Catalyst driver version, and make sure all motherboard/system drivers are up to date as well.

thank u for the input; there is no point for me to go and test the card somewere else because - as i said before - my 8800gt scored only 10 300 in 3dmark06 and normally ive seen scores around 12000 on others people machines so it is not possible that both my cards were damaged; anyway this is my 2nd 4890 because the 1st one had cooler damaged and they gave me new one witch was tested to be sure that I recive 100% working product as they failed 1st time; I have the lastest catalyst drivers and mobo drivers (nforce) and for me it is 100% CPU issue; one guy on wrote me msg that he has 18 500 in 3dmark06 on the same video card but hes system runs on core 2 duo overclocked to 4.2 Ghz so that makes a lot of diffrence; anyway after 10th of august (pay day:)  I'm getting Core 2 Duo E8600 and crossfire mobo because i'm aiming to have 4890 OC in crossfire :D 
July 30, 2009 2:04:32 AM

effendi360 said:
thank u for the input; there is no point for me to go and test the card somewere else because - as i said before - my 8800gt scored only 10 300 in 3dmark06 and normally ive seen scores around 12000 on others people machines so it is not possible that both my cards were damaged; anyway this is my 2nd 4890 because the 1st one had cooler damaged and they gave me new one witch was tested to be sure that I recive 100% working product as they failed 1st time; I have the lastest catalyst drivers and mobo drivers (nforce) and for me it is 100% CPU issue; one guy on wrote me msg that he has 18 500 in 3dmark06 on the same video card but hes system runs on core 2 duo overclocked to 4.2 Ghz so that makes a lot of diffrence; anyway after 10th of august (pay day:)  I'm getting Core 2 Duo E8600 and crossfire mobo because i'm aiming to have 4890 OC in crossfire :D 


You're welcome. And it sounds like you're going to have a very nice system soon. I also own an 8800GT and mine would score close to 12k paired with an Athlon X2 5000+ @ 3.2GHz. As I suspected, it is the motherboard/CPU holding you back. Good luck with the new system.


pcangeldust: Crysis is as much CPU-dependent as it can be GPU-dependent. What CPU do you have, and are you looking to play Crysis at "enthusiast" settings?
July 30, 2009 12:18:55 PM

1969316,27,376104 said:
You're welcome. And it sounds like you're going to have a very nice system soon. I also own an 8800GT and mine would score close to 12k paired with an Athlon X2 5000+ @ 3.2GHz. As I suspected, it is the motherboard/CPU holding you back. Good luck with the new system.


But what the hell?? how this is possible that U scored 12K in 3dmark on system weaker that I've had before??
CPU: X2 6000+
RAM: 4GB 800Mhz GOODRAM
GPU XFX 8800GT CORE 600MHZ
MOBO: K9N6PGM2-V
HDD: SEGATE BARACUDA 10

on this system ive scored 10 300 in 3dmark 06 and that's it!!! Can U tell me wtf is wrong ???
just now ive tested the same configuration but with my new 4890 OC and ive scored 11 582.
is this possible that this quite old mobo is holding me back so much??????
and one more question: if I have ati gpu do I have to choose YES on display drivers when installing nForce drivers ??
shall I thick the box or not??
July 30, 2009 1:29:28 PM

effendi360 said:
1969316,27,376104 said:
You're welcome. And it sounds like you're going to have a very nice system soon. I also own an 8800GT and mine would score close to 12k paired with an Athlon X2 5000+ @ 3.2GHz. As I suspected, it is the motherboard/CPU holding you back. Good luck with the new system.


But what the hell?? how this is possible that U scored 12K in 3dmark on system weaker that I've had before??
CPU: X2 6000+
RAM: 4GB 800Mhz GOODRAM
GPU XFX 8800GT CORE 600MHZ
MOBO: K9N6PGM2-V
HDD: SEGATE BARACUDA 10

on this system ive scored 10 300 in 3dmark 06 and that's it!!! Can U tell me wtf is wrong ???
just now ive tested the same configuration but with my new 4890 OC and ive scored 11 582.
is this possible that this quite old mobo is holding me back so much??????
and one more question: if I have ati gpu do I have to choose YES on display drivers when installing nForce drivers ??
shall I thick the box or not??
said:


I have no idea how that guy got almost 12k...my rig (AMD X2 6000+, 4gb DDR2 800, ATI 4850) gets 10,333 in 3DMark06...seems like our cpu is bottlenecking badly...
July 30, 2009 5:24:02 PM

just checked what other people have on ORB and it seems like my rig is in the right ball park, considering that nothing is OCd (because of stock cooling)...
July 31, 2009 7:07:10 AM

For the last time, YOU ARE CPU LIMITED! This means your CPU is LIMITING THE OVERALL SCORE!!! Overclock the CPU to get a higher score. It's just that simple! My buddy just got a 48701GB and has the same problems with his Athlon X2 @ 3.0Ghz. He CPU limited as well. Overclock the CPU and the score will rise dramatically. Again, you are CPU LIMITED!!!!!
July 31, 2009 8:14:30 AM

I don't know how exactly 3DMark06 calculates it's scores, but my old X2 5000+ Black Edition (OC'd @ 3.2GHz w/ 1.43v), MSI K9A2 CF-F mobo, eVGA 8800GT 512mb, 4GB (2x2GB) OCZReaperHPC DDR2-800 combo scored 11.5k to 11.8k consistently, and that was in Windows XP.

The same eVGA 8800GT is now paired with an AMD Phenom II X2 550 (OC'd @ ~3.6GHz w/ 1.35v) and it's scoring 12.8k in Vista-64, with only the stock 8800GT (600/1500/900) settings. If I OC the vid card just slightly, it breaks 13k. Your RAM and power supply could have something to do with it... As I said, I had 4GB of OCZReaper DDR2-800 in the X2 5000+ setup, and timings were pretty tight (4-4-4-12). In the PhII X2 550 setup, I've got some nice G-Skill DDR2-1066 (@ ~1100MHz) with 5-5-5-18 timings (2.1v). I also have clean, efficient, and very dependable CoolerMaster and Antec power supplies. Oh, and I should mention my SATA II HDDs were and are all setup in RAID-1 and/or RAID-0.


Sounds to me like you might have incorrect or bad southbridge drivers installed, or something to that effect... That or your PSU isn't strong enough to run without starting to really stress itself, which can interrupt and weaken it's flow. Stutter is often a clear sign of insufficient power to one or more components.


As for the original HD4890 concerns, mine's been performing better. I consistently break 16K in 3DMark06 with it and my Phenom II X3 720. Both are only mildly OC'd.
July 31, 2009 10:35:53 AM

3D Mark 06 is more like a CPU benchmark instead of GPU benchmark so don’t take into account.
August 25, 2009 11:18:30 PM

krnelement said:


I recently purchased MSI 4890 OC video card (factory OC)

When I am watching a movie and skipping around, it responds pretty slow as well (for 720p movie).
I think my ATI Catalyst driver is up to date.
Could it be the driver issue?




krnelement,

Did you fix this issue? I have the MSI 4890 Cyclone OC and my video freezes or runs slow then video image is messed up. Have you encountered black screens?
January 13, 2010 7:46:15 PM

I have a similar pb. I get about 13k in 3dmark2k6 on c2d e8400@ 3.6ghz 4gb ddr2(only 3.25gb in win xp) Gigabyte hd4890 oc (900/975). That is quite low.
What I found though is that the system with the same configuration scores 1500 points higher in Windows 7 64bit.
I tried different video drivers, tried stopping services but got same results.
I also get some freezes and glitches in some games(Dirt 2 menus are very slow and Street Fighter IV crashes) only on XP, Win 7 installs are flawless.
For example in the first test of 3dMark 2006 i never see more than 85 fps On XP but I get more than 100 on 7(I have dual boot).
So maybe you should try testing in Win 7 or Vista to see if you get the same results before spending more money on new components.
January 13, 2010 7:57:18 PM

krnelement said:
Hi,

I recently purchased MSI 4890 OC video card (factory OC)
I ran 3DMark06 at default setting (my first time running it ever), and I got a very low score compare to others, about 12000.

CPU: Q6600@ stock
RAM: 4gb
PSU: 600W GameXtream OCZ
GPU: MSI ATI HD 4890 OC 1gb ram

One thing is that, on GPU-Z, whatever I am doing (even when I was running the 3DMark06), the clock speed was fluctuating like every second from 250mhz to 880mhz...

Is that normal? Fluctuating core clock, which happens every time regardless of what I am doing.
When I am watching a movie and skipping around, it responds pretty slow as well (for 720p movie).
I think my ATI Catalyst driver is up to date.
Could it be the driver issue?

Or should I return it? I think it hasn't been 30 days... maybe little past 30days, might have to contact ATI


You want a higher score? Overclock your CPU.... just like others here suggested...

I get 16,558 at 4Ghz with a GTX 260 if I run my cpu as a dual core and around 17,200 as a quad at the same clocks...



January 13, 2010 8:01:37 PM

Just so people don't get too sucked in, look at the date of the first post. This is a few months old.
January 13, 2010 8:13:36 PM

ooops...that what I get for not looking at the date....
January 13, 2010 8:50:59 PM

My fault! Sorry! But I wanted to share my experience. I was battling this issue for a long time and I finally ruled it as an OS related pb (or maybe chipset driver version).
!