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New to PC gaming, 3DMark06 Question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 11, 2010 3:47:29 AM

Hello all,

Just registred here after lurking for a long time and as a long time PC user but really new to PC gaming. Not a monster gamer or anything, but after building 1 PC I decided to build all my PCs to have some sort of graphical muscle.

I put together 3 PC's and 1 more I'll have completed this weekend. Don't ask why, just bear with me.

I never really bothered to check but I recently learned about benchmarking and thought to take the basic 3DMark06 for a spin.

I'll post some specs though not sure exactly what's needed. I did these tests on Windows XP.

I tested it first on my weakest PC:

Athlon IIx2 240 2.8ghz
ASUS N13219 Mobo
2GB DDR2 800mhz OCZ Value ram
Sapphire Radeon HD 2600XT 512mb DDR3

3DMark score - 4824

I had no idea what the points mean but I then tested it on my second PC:

Intel Core i3 540 3.06ghz
Biostar TH55b HD Mobo
4GB Mushkin Silverline DDR3 1333mhz
EVGA Nvidia 8800 GT 512mb DDR3

3DMark score - 12811

I wasn't surprised about the improved score but my last test did surprise me:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz
XFX 680i LT SLI
6GB Corsair 800mhz ram
EVGA 8800 Ultra 768mb DDR3

3DMark score - 12587

Now, I realize that the free version gives limited options and it only tests in relatively low res 1280 x 1024 but technically shouldn't the Ultra have placed higher? Or at such low res, the newer 8800GT architecture wins out?

XP only reads 3gb ram, should I do these tests on 7 instead?

I'm just wondering what exactly 3DMark looks for when doing these tests, I assumed it was strictly the graphics card.

The last PC I'm finishing this weekend is:

AMD Phenom IIx6 1055T
Gigabyte 890XA-UD3
4GB Patriot DDR3 2000mhz
ATI Radeon 4890 HD 1GB DDR5

I'd just like to get an accurate reading on all my PCs.

Thanks for any any insight.
a c 236 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 3:59:57 AM

the i3 is a better gaming CPU then the Q6600 so that will factor into the better score.

a C2D e7xxx, 2GB of ram, 8800GTS 512mb will score about 12500. so I would say those are sound scores, plus...its a synthetic benchmark.
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November 11, 2010 4:11:19 AM

Thanks for the replies.

It occurred to me about the processor, being that the i3 is stock faster than the Q6600 but I never thought it a better gaming CPU, despite it being a smaller die and newer architecture and all.

I just thought the Ultra would still beat out a GT.

What if I overclocked the Q6600 to 3ghz, should the score then reflect that? (Never overclocked a CPU before)

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a c 217 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 4:14:55 AM

Argentina94 said:
Thanks for the replies.

It occurred to me about the processor, being that the i3 is stock faster than the Q6600 but I never thought it a better gaming CPU, despite it being a smaller die and newer architecture and all.

I just thought the Ultra would still beat out a GT.

What if I overclocked the Q6600 to 3ghz, should the score then reflect that? (Never overclocked a CPU before)


It would improve the score, but why not try putting the Ultra in the i3 system and give it a spin?
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November 11, 2010 4:20:42 AM

that's what i was thinking, put the ultra in the i3 system and then oc that i3.
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November 11, 2010 4:23:32 AM

bystander said:
It would improve the score, but why not try putting the Ultra in the i3 system and give it a spin?


I just recently built the i3 as I needed a fourth PC. I just hadn't finished building the Phenom set.

I just never bought it to be a quad killer, juts by reading all the positive reviews on the processor and since I already have the Phenom to finish building, I figured I didn't need an i7.

But if the i3 is still technically better than the quad, I may as well try it out with the better GPU.
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November 11, 2010 4:25:22 AM

Quote:
Yes ,if you overclock that q6600 then it will comfortably beat that i3.


I'd like to try running both PC's at the same clock speeds and then try the test.

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a c 236 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 4:26:26 AM

Argentina94 said:
Thanks for the replies.

It occurred to me about the processor, being that the i3 is stock faster than the Q6600 but I never thought it a better gaming CPU, despite it being a smaller die and newer architecture and all.

I just thought the Ultra would still beat out a GT.

What if I overclocked the Q6600 to 3ghz, should the score then reflect that? (Never overclocked a CPU before)



most games still only use two cores and the 8800GT does very well in 3DMark06

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November 11, 2010 4:29:20 AM

Frizzo said:
that's what i was thinking, put the ultra in the i3 system and then oc that i3.


Honestly, I never considered ever overclocking the i3, and I know it overclocks well based on reviews.

I really wanted to try my hand at OCing with the Quad and the Phenom.

I really bought the i3 to have a solid performer with a half decent video card, just never expected it to beat the Ultra despite the Quad's stock speed.

At least my question was answered and now know the processor has a lot to do with it.

I noticed no one mentioned RAM or the Mobos so I guess those factors must be minimal.

BTW, would the score change much running the test in 7?
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a c 236 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 4:31:59 AM

2GB is fine for XP gaming. 4GB for vista or win7. you won't see any difference from 4GB to 6GB in terms of real world FPS.
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November 11, 2010 4:34:54 AM

ct1615 said:
most games still only use two cores and the 8800GT does very well in 3DMark06

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_8800_GT/images/3dmark06_1280_1024.gif


I see your point.

I watched the tests and check the FPS, and noticed when I did the Ultra that in only one test did it perform better.

I also notice on the chart there that a 512mb GPU placed better than the 1GB version of the same card. How is this possible?
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a c 236 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 4:38:22 AM

the 2900XT lacks the performance to utilize 1GB of RAM, as does the 8800GT.
its less then a 30point difference so they are really dead even
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November 11, 2010 4:43:23 AM

Thanks for the insight, I guess I underestimated the i3, makes me feel even better about my purchase.

I'll try some overclocking and rerun the test, see what happens.

Maybe swap the cards if the i3 is really that much better. Thanks!
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November 11, 2010 4:54:52 AM

Quote:
Intel cpus are excellent.iseries cpus are so good that your i3 will beat your so called amd hexacore x6 in games.
www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/143?vs=147


:ouch: 

Imagine if I bought an i7 instead of the Phenom.....

I bought it trying to get a new CPU without spending like mad, but I should have listened to my own motto: You get what you pay for.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 2:48:31 PM

Argentina94 said:
:ouch: 

Imagine if I bought an i7 instead of the Phenom.....

I bought it trying to get a new CPU without spending like mad, but I should have listened to my own motto: You get what you pay for.


...until you hit Intel's high end stuff. The Intel stuff that costs over $300 is not usually worth it.
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