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Last response: in CPUs
March 3, 2004 6:47:03 AM

I just built the following system:

p4 3.2 ghz 800 fsb cpu on an abit iS7 mobo
2 sticks of 512mb kingston hyperx ram, pc 3200
80 gig seagate sata hd, 7200 rpm
and a PNY fx5900 (not ultra, not se, just the 400/850 5900)

its a nice system, but i am having a frustrating problem. When I run it through benchmarks, I just dont seem to get the scores I expect. For example, in Aquamark, i score a consistant 32,000, when I know that my computer is capable of atleast a 45,000. Also, in 3d mark '03 i score a 5,000, when a friend with a nearly identical computer (the only differenc being that he runs a 3.0GHz p4) scores a 5,800. There are also times when im playing newer games (like Splinter Cell, and the far cry demo) in which I dont think i'm getting the kind of FPS i should be.

I am at my wits end for fixing this problem. At first, I thought it was the RAM's speed settings, but after getting those figured out, there seemed to be no difference. Then, I thought it was my video card, after 3d mark told me that the gpu was only running at 300. I am still pursuing a solution in this area, but then my friend posed a very interesting theory:

I purchased a Zalman CNPS7000-Cu Quiet heatsink/fan to cool my processor, and it seems to be doing a good job. At just 2600 rpm it keeps my p4 at 41 degrees celsius at idle. And at most it hits 50 when active. Now, this seemed normal to me, but my friend suggested that, maybe, the zalman fan isnt cooling it enough, and when i start pushing it hard, it starts throttling itself down to keep cool.

Now, I'm running out of ideas, and patience, and I'd like to know: which of these scenarios is plausible? The only thing left i have to blame is a 300 watt power supply which is holding me over till my enermax comes. But i havent been getting any errors that would lead me to think that this is a problem.

Anyways, any help will be appreciated. I am at starting to get really frustrated, and I hope that I didn't pay $1200 for nothing. I also apologize that this isnt just a cpu question, but i didnt know where to post it.

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March 3, 2004 2:43:18 PM

What kind of power supply do you have?
March 3, 2004 2:52:59 PM

I might be wrong, but I don't think you can blame lower-than-expected performance on a PSU; a faulty/stressed PSU might cause instability or blow up your system, but it wouldn't knock XXXX points of benchmark X.

Have you checked your GPU's (gfx card) settings and the AGP bus?

Axis of Stupid = coop, Kanavit, FUGGER, and SoDNighthawk
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March 3, 2004 9:33:31 PM

Did you try to reinstall the drivers for the video card and motherboard?
March 3, 2004 11:41:04 PM

I have flashed my bios and reinstalled the Detonators twice. My current PSU is a 300 watt generic that came with a case awhile ago. The one that came with my case was a codegen that blew after like 3 hours (Codegen, great cases, horrible PSU's). I am waiting on an enermax 370 watt, which appealed to me mainly because it had dual fans, and my current psu doesnt go 40 minutes in a high end game without hitting 50 celsius.

But I had always heard that the only thing a bad PSU can do is die. It can also cause errors etc, but i had never heard of it just slowing down a system. Although, I guess my system is quite a power drain. Will this psu be enough?
March 5, 2004 11:10:46 PM

People that are running the benchmarks with the Nvidia cards are tweaking the image quality to get a higher score. and download rivatuner

It will take you a while to learn how to use it, find the LOD bias adjustment and set it for -30 and increase your scores by reducing image quality to flat shades and block graphics.

also check the driver rev you are comparing too, there are heavy optimised drivers for Nvidia cards on benchmarks 43.03 iirc were the best with DX8

You will find old drivers on site too

go into display properties and set it for highest performance on everything.

post a link to your benchmarks

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March 6, 2004 2:08:03 AM

Did you turn on the Gaming Enhancement in the bios? That's what makes the IS7 run equal to the IC7 or in some tests even a speck above.

With Corsair PC3200 I can run it on F1 settings, with Geil PC3200, only on Street Racer. But even so, if you leave that on auto, you aren't tweaked for max performance. Even Street racer ads a nice boost.

Yeah also make sure you are comparing the same driver versions, and also try out max performance settings instead of NVidia defaults. Then maybe you'll match your friend.

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 6, 2004 2:16:11 AM

An Enermax 370w is plenty for that system. I've used Antec 350w, 400w, 430w, Enermax 350w, and a TurboLink 420W with that board. And the Antec 350w and 400w systems were loaded down with drives too. IMO there isn't much an Enermax 370 can't do. 300-400 watt generics like PowMax, Deer, etc. are a differnt story.

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 6, 2004 5:37:21 AM

Ok, I installed the new PSU and I am getting dissapointing results. Of course, my temperatures are great now. the P4 never ever exceeds 53 celcius, and the enermax has never moved past 44, and those are taken while in games. But my gaming performance is worse. My aquamark score went down by 3,000, and 3d mark went down by 2,200!!

But the wierdest part is that my RAM and CPU benchmark scores have gone way up! WTH?

I am familiar with Riva tuner, as I used to overclock my old GF3 Ti200 to 225 from 175, but i didnt think i would already have to edit my settings. The reason i am so frustrated is because i have a friend with an identical system and he is kicking my ass, and i know for a fact that he hasnt tuned his card at all.

Also, I do have gaming enhancement on, but there is a problem: When I turn it on the 1st level everything is fine. When I turn it on the 2nd level, I get memory dumps, and when I turn it on the 3rd, my Bios wont even boot and I have to reset my cmos. That is normally behavior I blame on the ram, but I just spent $260 on it, I dont understand how that could be it. What should I try from here?
March 6, 2004 6:09:57 AM

I haven't read in any of your posts, that you installed the agp driver. Did you?
March 6, 2004 6:26:02 AM

I've installed every driver that came with my mobo. Is there something else i need to go find?
March 6, 2004 6:48:07 AM

get the updated drivers from the website. and besides a bad power supply going out, it can damage components over long term. cs game server -
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March 6, 2004 11:16:10 AM

The scores you hope to see seem way overly optimistic to me. A FX5900 Non ultra can't hit 45K in aquamark without some major overclocking. Look in Toms VGA Charts, and he scores 38361 with the non-ultra and 43082 on the Ultra. An FX 5950 Ultra didn't even hit 45K !!!

And he is also using a fast motherboard, low latency ram but moderate settings, and a P4 3.2C.

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Also to me, 5000 doesn't sound that bad in 3dmark03 for a 5900 non-ultra. Are you sure your friend doesn't have an ultra? Is he overclocking? Is he also running hyper-X with the same level of Gaming Enhancement?

Why don't you both publish 3dmrak03 scores and post the compare links. That may shed light on some differences.

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 6, 2004 3:34:11 PM

Quote: and download rivatuner

It will take you a while to learn how to use it, find the LOD bias adjustment and set it for -30 and increase your scores by reducing image quality to flat shades and block graphics

a negative value increases mip detail, and hence quality. you got it backwards ;P

but yea i agree, you gotta love those guys who say "I GOT 21000 IN 3DMARK2K1 !!!111", and yet have texture/mip/filtering settings all at the lowest possible. personally, i always bench with the highest settings because thats how i play games. who the hell wants to play with LOW quality on high end cards? just retarded

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March 6, 2004 3:45:35 PM

IMO the best way to test your graphics in 3Dmark, is to run it with standard settings. That´s what most hardware-reviewers do anyway, so its quite easy to compare the scores. Benchmarking with official drivers and standard settings. Anyone can turn down the quality, if they want a bigger score, but IMO you´re benchmarking to compare, not just to get a high score whatever the cost?

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