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Windows System Assessment Tool score drop...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 29, 2012 8:26:22 AM

So, back again with a question for my PC...OK, so, I have an ATI Radeon HD 7950, which I got around a month and a half ago (or so, can't remember exactly)...I have Windows 7 Ultimate, which I use (Ain't got enough power to run HDDs at the same time, so a vacation to Windows XP...). I formatted my PC yesterday, since it was extremely slow. Now, before I formatted the HDD, I did some extremely Stone Age style changes to my PC's chassis, so had to cut off the top half of the HDD mounting plate, since my graphic card was blocked by that and wouldn't fit in. PC used to run completely open with supports made out of a medicine bottle and a cardboard box. Yesterday, I put all the things back in after "modifying" the case and installed Windows.

Today, I ran the System Assessment Tool and got slightly worried. Before the format, the graphic performance showed 7.9, since of course, it's Radeon HD graphics. Today, it shows 7.8. I know, I know, it's just a change of 0.1, but still, it's a thing of $700 and not easily affordable, so I'm a bit worried...I ran the SAT test twice, and it's at 7.8. IDK why it would drop. When I checked the card's gold contact coatings (the ones which you put in your motherboard for it to function...), 2 of them seemed like half of their coating was rubbed off. PC does work fine, but it still seems like a worry to me. I'd be glad if there's a solution, since my PC is already getting slow and outdated, LOL.

And off-topic question, but anyone know when is the Intel 3980X Extreme Edition launching? I need it with the Asus Sabertooth X79. Help always appreciated and thanks in advance.
a c 115 U Graphics card
July 29, 2012 8:40:53 AM

It is normal for several of the pins on any device that receives power through a connector to be either longer or shorter than others. This is to ensure that the ground pins are connected before the powered pins.

The Windows SAT is a worthless metric and a drop of 0.1 is within the statistical margin of error, I wouldn't worry at all.
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July 29, 2012 8:50:53 AM

No no...not talking about power pins...I'm talking about the expansion slot on the motherboard. The Radeon is an expansion card, so, the gold coating on the card's expansion slot connectors is what I'm talking about.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
July 29, 2012 9:15:56 AM

amnesiaaisenma said:
No no...not talking about power pins...I'm talking about the expansion slot on the motherboard. The Radeon is an expansion card, so, the gold coating on the card's expansion slot connectors is what I'm talking about.


PCIe expansion slots provide power, this was the primary motivation to move away from AGP (well, one of the motivations). 2.1 and 3.0 spec slots can provide up to 150 watts of power from the slot itself. You'll notice that some of the short pins are on the small side of the key notch. This small side provides the 12 volt and 3.3 volt power along with ground, system management, JTAG, and the reference clock. The other side of the connector (which is actually shorter for 1x cards) is where the differential signalling pairs are located.

On some cards the pins that are shortened are the 'sense' pins, these are used to determine which differential pairs are connected. The sense pins are shortened to ensure that the pairs are connected first, for similar reasons that the positive voltage rails may be shortened to ensure that ground is connected first. There are 4 sense pins, 1x, 4x,8x, and 16x respectively as they get farther away from the key notch. This is why a 1x card can work in a full 16x slot, why a 16x card will work at 1x in a 16x slot if you cover enough of the connectors with tape and why a 16x card will work in a 1x slot if you take a hacksaw to it (it may not work due to power constraints though).

These are normal and you will see the same thing on other cards as well.
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August 7, 2012 3:45:09 AM

Ran the test again, and score's down from 7.8 to 6.0...I don't think that is quite normal, is it?
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a c 115 U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 4:44:22 AM

Stop using WEI, it's a worthless benchmark. It can indicate a problem but that's it. Run 3DMark 11 or Unigine instead
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August 7, 2012 8:00:14 AM

All right...I just thought that it's from Microsoft itself, so it should be something, but OK, I'll use 3DMark11.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 10:13:21 AM

I think WinSAT (the toolset used for WEI) was actually purchased. I'm not certain that Microsoft developed it in house.

Anyway, WEI takes the lowest WinSAT score and presents that as the score for your whole computer. Additionally it can run on its own and be impacted by other running programs at the time.
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August 8, 2012 8:14:43 AM

Yea, but I only have SpeedFan and Task Manager running. I know about how it calculates, by presenting the lowest score. But as I said, only the individual graphic score has changed...It may be worthless, but now, there's 2 problems, LOL...

Whenever I try to run the SAT test, PC crashes. As soon as I start, it goes down the drain, without even giving a BSOD. I think the graphic card crashes. I have only a 550W PSU...I disconnected my monitor from the PSU and put it on the wall outlet instead, and allowed the card 20% more power with the Catalyst Control Centre. I've set all the settings to maximum in AMD OverDrive as shown in the picture: AMD OverDrive Settings.

I don't know what is the problem, but I think the PSU should be enough. If it's not, I'd like to know how much I need.

Second problem is explained clearly on this page: Windows Live Messenger Glitch. I tried to disable Morphological Filtering, but it's still blurry. Nothing else on my PC has the problem, only WLM does. Every 2D and 3D application works fine, except WLM. Please advise.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 11:52:44 AM

amnesiaaisenma said:
Yea, but I only have SpeedFan and Task Manager running. I know about how it calculates, by presenting the lowest score. But as I said, only the individual graphic score has changed...It may be worthless, but now, there's 2 problems, LOL...

Whenever I try to run the SAT test, PC crashes. As soon as I start, it goes down the drain, without even giving a BSOD. I think the graphic card crashes. I have only a 550W PSU...I disconnected my monitor from the PSU and put it on the wall outlet instead, and allowed the card 20% more power with the Catalyst Control Centre. I've set all the settings to maximum in AMD OverDrive as shown in the picture: AMD OverDrive Settings.

I don't know what is the problem, but I think the PSU should be enough. If it's not, I'd like to know how much I need.

Second problem is explained clearly on this page: Windows Live Messenger Glitch. I tried to disable Morphological Filtering, but it's still blurry. Nothing else on my PC has the problem, only WLM does. Every 2D and 3D application works fine, except WLM. Please advise.



Wait, you have a 7950 on a 550 watt PSU?

If it's a crummy PSU then there's no way that it will have enough power on the 12 volt rail for both the GPU and the CPU. There's an enormous disparity between a 'cheap' 550 watt PSU which can only do about 250 watts on the 12 volt rail and 300 on the 3.3volt/5volt rails and a 'good' 550 watt PSU which will do 500+ watts on the 12 volt rail. Unfortunately there's no standard for marketing power supplies so you'll have to tell me which one you have.

Was your monitor plugged into the PSU or into a UPS?
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August 10, 2012 12:29:36 AM

I have a PSU from Power Focus. IDK about the company...you know, all in India is assorted. Of course, SpeedFan and BIOS never show the wattage, only the voltage, LOL. Model is ATX-550W...I think it's a generic one. Really, I can't afford anything from reputed manufacturers, so I think I need a more powerful supply instead.

As far as the monitor goes, well...every PSU has 2 sockets, right? One for giving power from AC to PSU, and the other gives power from PSU to the display. I had my monitor connected to the PSU and the PSU gets it's power from the UPS. I disconnected my monitor from the PSU and put it on the wall outlet, so that there is some more power available for other devices.

The graphic card seems to have trouble running at the settings I showed in the picture I posted in the last post. Games make the card crash and it keeps losing power. I had to get back to default settings (except for the fan, which still runs at 100%).
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a c 115 U Graphics card
August 10, 2012 12:38:40 AM

amnesiaaisenma said:
I have a PSU from Power Focus. IDK about the company...you know, all in India is assorted. Of course, SpeedFan and BIOS never show the wattage, only the voltage, LOL. Model is ATX-550W...I think it's a generic one. Really, I can't afford anything from reputed manufacturers, so I think I need a more powerful supply instead.

As far as the monitor goes, well...every PSU has 2 sockets, right? One for giving power from AC to PSU, and the other gives power from PSU to the display. I had my monitor connected to the PSU and the PSU gets it's power from the UPS. I disconnected my monitor from the PSU and put it on the wall outlet, so that there is some more power available for other devices.

The graphic card seems to have trouble running at the settings I showed in the picture I posted in the last post. Games make the card crash and it keeps losing power. I had to get back to default settings (except for the fan, which still runs at 100%).


Power Focus... definitely sounds like a crummy knockoff. Here in NA we used to have the odd power supply with another AC output but those disapeared completely about 20 years ago.

Getting a higher capacity PSU won't necessarily help. The 3 to 4 numbers that manufacturers toss on the box don't really mean anything at all. I've seen 500+ watt PSUs that will cave after delivering 200 watts on all 3 rails combined. PSUs are easy to manufacture but hard to manufacture well.
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August 10, 2012 3:26:23 AM

Yea, but I got no choice...as I said...India sucks in everything, from technology to humans, so need to do with what I have available. Generic items are the only things available, and importing something reputable is out of my reach.
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