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Could my Barton 2500+ be bottlenecking my system?

Last response: in CPUs
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September 24, 2003 10:36:32 PM

Hey guys. The computer I am using isnt actually finished yet, but so far it isnt looking too good. (Refer to the benchmarks and system specs at the bottom of the page).

It seems like I am getting about 60 fps in ut2k3(1024x768 w/ noAA or AF) when really I should be getting closer to 75-80...

In PCGamer (April 2003, actually march)
they reviewed a PC with the following setup:

Athlon XP 3000+
ASUS A7N8X
1 Gb PC-2700 Dual Channel
RADEON 9700 pro
yada yada yada

Anyways, this computer scored 15,565 in 3dmark 2001 (3dmark 2k3 wasnt out yet) with only 102 fps in G4, but it scored this in UT2k3(All benchs ran in 32 bit colour with all settings maxed, noAA or AF enabled):

1024x768 - 206,83 fps
1280x960 - 160,82 fps
1600x1200 - 108,73 fps

I realise that this computer has a bit faster processor, but keep in mind this is in march, the cpu was only a 333 fsb just like mine, so the only difference there is the multiplier. Other than that the comp is the same except my vid card is a little faster and it shows in the tests. Still though, in overall system performance that computer destroyed my ut2k3 benchmarks by like 30%!

I have had this problem for a very long time but I always thought it was because of my RAM, but now I dont even think that is the problem. I am sure it isnt the video card because I get good scores in the 3dmark game 4 tests. I know its not the mobo because I have changed motherboards in the past (I switched from a a7v8x-x to the a7n8x with all the components you see at the bottom. It made a bit of a difference, but not that much). I know it isnt windows or drivers because I went and reinstalled windows with the newest cats, nforce, service packs etc. and still problem, so it couldnt have been a windows setting.

I originally thought it was the RAM because I only had 512mb of valueRAM in single channel, but today I went to the computer store and tried out another pair of 512mb valueRAM (DDR400). This gave me a total of 1gb DDR400 RAM (shitty timings etc. but I dont think those could make that much of a difference) running in dual channel. I ran the benchmarks and it turns out my scores are exactly the same! they are all within 1 fps (or less than 3%) from my single channel scores listed at bottom. To me this made no sense. How could it be that double the RAM in dual channel instead of single channel could make no difference? I figured there must be a bottleneck somewhere which is limiting my system so even though I have added the RAM bandwidth, it is not making a difference.

The only thing I never changed or really tested was the CPU. I did try to OC the thing a bit up to about 2200mhz and it made like a 1 or 2 fps difference in ut2k3, so I never really figured it could be the problem but now I am not so sure... There is no way it could be anything else...

So basically, I was wondering if you guys could maybe show me some more specific benchmarks so I can try to pinpoint the problem, and maybe list what I should be getting in the benchmarks. I have had this problem for more than 6 months now, and I still havent figured out the reason (well, for a while I thought it was the RAM and I was just saving up...)

As always, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here are my system specs and benchs:

3DMark2K1:
3DMark Score.................15463
Game1(Low detail)............206.3 fps
Game1(High detail)...........67.0 fps
Game2(Low detail)............302.8 fps
Game2(high detail)...........156.9 fps
Game3(Low detail)............175.6 fps
Game3(High detail)...........76.1 fps
Game4........................130.8 fps
(All display settings set to "High Performance")

3DMark2k3:
3Dmark score.................5530
Game1........................166.2 fps
Game2........................38.2 fps
game3........................33.4 fps
game4........................34.4 fps
CPU Score....................508
CPU test 1...................57.2 fps
CPU test 2...................8.9 fps
(All display settings set to "High Performance")

PCMark2k2:
CPU score....................5706
Memory Score.................5317
HDD Score....................666
(All display settings set to "High Performance")

Unreal Tournament 2k3:
-800x600-
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........179.4 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......63.1 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........192.3 fps
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......63.3 fps
-1024x768-
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........135.3 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......62.0 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........189.7
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......63.3
-1280x960-
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........95.1 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......45.7 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........168.8 fps
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......63.2 fps
-1600x1200-
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........60.5 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......31.1 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........121.8 fps
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......60.8 fps
(All display settings set to "High Quality")

System Info:
Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4
Athlon XP 2500+ @ Stock
ASUSTeK Computer INC. A7N8X2.0 REV 2.xx (NForce2 driver ver. 2.45)
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS A7N8X2.0 ACPI BIOS Rev 1006
HL-DT-ST CD-ROM GCR-8520B (52xCD)
HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4480B (48x24x48CD/16xDVD read)
MAXTOR 6L060J3(60.04 GB)
512Mb PC3200 ValueRAM, single Channel mode (for now) CAS 3.0 4-4-7
RADEON 9800 PRO @ Stock (Driver ver. 6.14.10.6368)
IBM G78 [Monitor] (15.7"vis, s/n 55-K5150, December 2000)
Creative SB Audigy

-"Shoot coward, you will only kill a man"-
September 24, 2003 11:31:21 PM

You need to compare your computer to one that has the same cpu. there is a difference between xp 2500 and xp 3000.
Your scores actually look pretty good to me.
I mean when you see benchmarks done for reviews there is always a difference between cpus with different speeds.
Bob
September 24, 2003 11:43:04 PM

So you dont find it strange that when I put another 512 mb RAM module in and ran it in dual channel mode it made absolutely no difference?

Hrmm, I dunno, maybe I will try to OC my cpu again and run teh test again, but last time when I OCED my cpu to the 3000+ speed it didnt really make much of a difference... I wont be ablke to do that tonight though.

-"Shoot coward, you will only kill a man"-
September 25, 2003 12:00:45 AM

not at all. Actually it makes sense. Dual channel is an advertising gimick for the athlon xp (but NOT the p4). Here's why.

Athlon xp w/ 333mhz (166mhz sdr) fsb

Max fsb bandwith 2666.66mb/s

single channel pc2700

max mem bandwith 2666.66mb/s

Dual channel pc2700

max mem bandwith 5333.33mb/s

you see dual channel can do very little to help a cpu that is already getting enough mem bandwith in single channel mode, the only thing that dual channel can help on the athlon xp is SOMETIMES it can reduce memory latency (thus making up a little for amd's bad prefetching).


Proud owner of DOS 3.3 :smile:
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