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New Dell systems get spanked in 3DMark2001

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January 9, 2002 3:57:36 AM

Hey guys, I know 3 people who bought a Dell desktop for Christmas. They all have the video upgrade to the 64Mb GeForce 2 MX400, I believe. Two of the systems have WinME, and one has Win XP. I ran 3DMark2001 on these systems (default settings) and ALL of them scored about 2300 (1024x768x16).

One of my systems has a PIII 750 with GeForce 2MX 400 and it scores 2450. Granted, it is overclocked to 825Mhz, but I expected these new Dell's to stomp all over my 3 year old 440BX.

What the hell is going on here? At first I thought it was the operating system (WinME), but the Win XP system returned similar findings (I believe it scored a bit higher, ~2500).

Which is it:
1. Reference drivers for video?
2. Win ME and XP?
3. RAM, my system has 256Mb (theirs has 128Mb)?
4. My system is overcloced?

Any ideas? I'm really stumped. Anyone else out there with a Dell (4300 series I believe)?



Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
January 9, 2002 4:26:51 AM

Apparently that video card is a real piece of crap. I think that about sums up the problem. Maybe someone knows how to squeeze out every bit of performance from it. Good luck.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
January 9, 2002 4:43:35 AM

So you thing Dell put in a POS video card? Hmm...I'm going to have to open up the case on that Dell system and take a peak.

Actually, maybe I should use the Sandra benchmark and check things out in more detail. I'm pretty sure they got the 64Mb GeForce 2 card. Funny thing is, now Dell only offers the ATI Rage for the same desktop (4300).

Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
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January 9, 2002 4:46:51 AM

One more thing. This is a PRIME example of why one should build their own system. Here I am with my very first home-build that is 3 years older than these BRAND NEW Dell's...and mine performs equally (or better).

Of course I did upgrade it about 6 months ago. Went from a Celeron 300A to PIII 750, and upgraded from a TNT to a GeForce 2 MX400.

Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 9, 2002 4:49:40 AM

The video card that is equiped on the 4300 series of Dell computers is a "16 MB ATI Rage Ultra 4X AGP graphics card", I will be guessing that this is the Rage 128, though I'm not entirely sure.

In any case, being a low end 3d card from ATI, even the high end P4 processor included with the machine isn't going to let it fly in 3d performance, especially when matched by a much faster Geforce 2 MX400(in your system).
January 9, 2002 5:08:32 AM

No, I'm pretty sure the systems came with a 64 Mb GeForce card. That means there cards should be better than mine, right? I mean mine is only a 32Mb GeforceMX. There's are 64Mb Geforce 2MX.

Now, Dell is selling the ATI RAGE's. I know its confusing, but Dell seems to change the configuration options DAILY.

Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 9, 2002 5:09:07 AM

to sum it up, here is reasons why u are getting those scores.

1. 3dmark2001 is 3d card benchmark program.
2. Geforce 2 MX 400 sucks ass.
3. normal score for geforce 2 mx 400 is 2500
4. was not worth upgrading to G2 MX, atleast G2 GTS or Ti
5. Dude, You Got a Dell! (dell system sucks)
January 9, 2002 5:13:54 AM

novcool is right, except for the fact that it was your friends who got the Dell, not you.

I have a 64MB GeForce 2 MX (Hercules) in my box right now, and my 3DMark scores are no different.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 9, 2002 5:22:17 AM

I have no doubt that the GeForce 2MX 400 sucks (couldn't afford the GTS at the time), but my confusion is that these new systems (NOT MINE, friends) are peforming WORSE than my 3 year old system! My card is the 32Mb version and theirs has the 64Mb. Since I score a 2450, I figure these new systems should at least score a 3000 MINIMUM!!! Also, my 440BX is only rated for 100Mhz FSB (PC100 ram), and theirs should be 200Mhz right (100Mhz, DDR?)???

I just figured all around they should run better. I just about broke one of my friends down to tears when I told him that my system beat his... What makes it worse is that I recommended Dell to him. He didn't want me to build it, so I figured Dell was the best way to go according to public opinions...





Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
January 9, 2002 5:25:25 AM

Hmm...all righty then. I guess those scores are typical. You know what I should do is run the benchmark at 640x480. They should double my score then, right Burger? Because the AGP bus is no longer the bottleneck?

BTW, "wOOt" you didn't think your "fan" was gone forever did ya'?

Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
January 9, 2002 5:53:14 AM

I don't know about double, but it'll raise them, sure. I'm not sure what the point is (since you're not trying to make your friends feel better :wink: ), but alright.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 9, 2002 6:06:44 AM

The point would be to figure out exactly what the bottleneck is. To prove your and Novcool's theory that it's the video card, I should lower the resolution right?

And of course, to make my friends feel better. I'm just confused because their videocards are better and their mobo's support AGP4x, mine is only 2X. Their AGP bandwidth should be higher and so should their scores.

Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
January 9, 2002 9:57:42 AM

If the 64Mb GeForce 2 MX400 is a upgrade, then what would be the previous model?

__
<font color=blue>My hammer has a bigger Hammer than your hammer.</font color=blue>
January 9, 2002 3:26:42 PM

2x/4x won't make that much of a difference, current video cards can't really use 264MHz of bandwidth to the RAM.

Negaverse, the standard card is an Ati Rage 128, last time I checked.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 9, 2002 3:46:57 PM

thats a big mistake, its like saying the hd cant use all the ATA100 and such bandwidth's.
actually the geforce 2mx 200 have the agp bus at x2 and they score much lower.

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January 9, 2002 4:16:34 PM

Quote:
thats a big mistake, its like saying the hd cant use all the ATA100 and such bandwidth's.


Hard drives CAN'T use all of the ATA100 bus, or am I missing your point?

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 9, 2002 4:27:23 PM

I wish I could go to Dell's site and check, but since Christmas they have changed the video card options. All I know is it wasn't a GeForce card (probably an ATI), and I recommended going with the GeForce 2 upgrade, which all three did. It was also recommended by Dell. You know how they have a recommended section highlighted for each configuration option. The one I recommended said:

"64MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 4X AGP Graphics Card with TV-Out Dell Recommended"

The low end (default) was:
"16MB ATI Rage Ultra 4X AGP Graphics Card [subtract $40]"


Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
January 9, 2002 4:30:55 PM

I think I agree with you FatBurger because when I change the from 2x to 4x, I see very little- if any improvement in the benchmark score. But what if I upped the resolution to 1600x1200 or something? Would it take advantage of the bandwidth then?

Also, why are hardware developers even considering AGP8x if we currently don't even take advantage of AGP4x? (AGP8x may just be rumor, I don't know)

Catheter and Caffeine IV are in place. Let's PLAY.
January 9, 2002 4:51:55 PM

You would use more of the bus, but you still wouldn't be using all of it.

Why are they considering 8x? Because it sounds better to those who don't know, just like ATA133.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 9, 2002 6:10:04 PM

i ment that you cant use all the 100MBps band as you cant with the AGP bus, thogh when you aim higher your arrow is sure to get relatively higher acordingly as well.

<font color=green>
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January 9, 2002 6:14:51 PM

I recommend Dell because I'm not awake 24 hours a day and 365 days a year for support. It's a good deal if they never plan on taking apart the case. You would be lucky if 5% of computer users care what is inside of their case. I guarantee you won't come close to the 3 year warranty they offer when you build them yourself for all your friends. I build my own but I sure and hell don't want people calling me all the time with computer problems. I already get lots of calls from folks who bought Dell, Gateway, QVC, etc for problems. At least I can say call Dell if they own one. Just remember "If you build it they will call".

Are you the friend who works on computers? :cool:
January 9, 2002 6:57:18 PM

I agree. Like I said, it won't make "that much of a difference". Some, but not a lot.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 10, 2002 1:03:45 AM

Excellent advice dude. I've built 4 systems for friends, and have gotten some calls. Usually its THEIR fault of course. Case in point: The latest call from my cousin regarding the Athlon system I built for her. I get over there only to discover that it now has a different operating system- Windows XP...drivers are all screwed up. My brothers Athlon system somehow didn't have its chipset drivers (VIA 4-in-1) installed or they were deleted somehow...

Hell, now I'm getting calls from the Dell customers as well! AGhhh...can't win. I agree with you 100%. Don't build for others and don't even recommend a system if you can help it. Let them do their own homework! I hate to say this because I like helping people out but dang...RTFM and do some RESEARCH.

Oh go ye brown-eyed toothless wonder.
a b à CPUs
January 10, 2002 1:31:55 AM

GeForked over MX200's are AGP4x cards! They only suck because they have a 64-bit memory path! IN fact they suck worse than a TNT2 (which has a 128-bit memory path).

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
a b à CPUs
January 10, 2002 1:47:22 AM

These are performing so poorly because they use SDRAM. A P4 with SDRAM is slower than PIII with SDRAM. SDRAM slows the P4 by up to 30%. Since the P4 1400 (RDRAM) is about the same speed as a PIII 1000, the P4 1600 w/SDRAM should be about the same speed as a Pentium 933! Not only that, but I'm fairly certain that it's operating it's SDRAM at only 100MHz, because synchronous operation is a default for most chipsets and Dell's don't normally include BIOS adjustments for memory. 3D-Mark 2001 caches textures to main memory, and is highly affected by memory speed. Further hampering things is the fact that it's probably operating at Cas3!
64MB cards offer very little additional performance over 32MB cards in 3D-Mark. So there you have it.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
January 10, 2002 2:58:30 AM

True Crashman.

Flyboy, the systems you talk about are 4300 series and use SDRAM, which are basically crap! The 64Mb GeForce 2 MX400 card is rubish too. Couple this with 128 SDRAM, and you won't get high score.

Your friends should have got what I got. I bought the 8200 series P4 1.8GHz that came with 384RDRAM and Geforece 3 Ti200 Graphics card, 100GB Hard drive, 19" flat screen Trintron monitor, DVD, CDRW, 3 year warranty etc. etc.

All this for the price of LESS than the 4300 series that you quoted. If you configure a decent 4300 series computer on Dell's website today, it will come to more than the amount I paid for my 8200 series. That's because when I bought my computer (in later November 2001), prices for Pentiums and RDRAM were falling quick. Now, the prices have gone back up at Dell's website.

<font color=blue><i>Mankind must put an end to War,
or War will put an end to mankind!<i></font color=blue>
January 10, 2002 11:06:11 AM

Yea I cringe when someone loads a newer OS on top of an older one. In the long run it is much better to start out with a fresh install. I don't care what MS says, it will never be completely stable system again. I like to recommend to friends what to buy but they never listen until they buy some system from Suzie Wong and wonder why it doesn't work like they thought.

Are you the friend who works on computers? :cool:
January 10, 2002 11:18:41 AM

I have a Geforce2Mx200, and well, it sucks.
But I find it hard to believe that it would perform less than a TNT card, is this really true???

Anyone that have some benchmarks, TNT vs MX?


10 FOR A=1 TO 10000 : PRINT "Boredom..." : NEXT A
January 10, 2002 11:23:03 AM

Quote:
thats a big mistake, its like saying the hd cant use all the ATA100 and such bandwidth's.
actually the geforce 2mx 200 have the agp bus at x2 and they score much lower.



Actually the mx200 has half the memory bandwidth on the card, thats why it scores lower.



Agp2x lowers performance by a tiny margin, we are not using 4x really now,and 8x will be a waste too.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
January 10, 2002 2:51:07 PM

memory bandwidth?
as opose to DDR?
i only thoght it was the AGP bus that makes the dif between MX400 and MX200..

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January 10, 2002 4:09:13 PM

A few things guru.


a: the mx200 can use agp 4x iirc.
b: the mx400 uses 128 bit sdram, the mx200 uses 64bit sdram, half the memory bandwith.


Agp x speed has little to do with the performance of ANY videocard still. (I lose all of 10-50 3dmark2001 pts from going from 4x to 2x((in fact i run at 2x most of the time to ensure rock stability since it dosent hurt performance).

8x agp, as burger said, is a tool to confuse the masses and try to make a quick buck.


Hmmm, I wonder why an intel board is the first to have it ;-).



(on a side note burger, ata133 is actually useful, because with many ide raids ata100 is a bottle neck, and home raid arrays are becoming popular now a days)

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
January 10, 2002 4:09:44 PM

I could't copy it right,but it goes top down in order.
There are very many different variations in 2MX series.I hope you can figure something of it.


GeForce2 MX Memory Interface:
Texels per Second:
Memory Bandwidth:

GeForce2 MX 400 Memory Interface:
Texels per Second:
Memory Bandwidth:

GeForce2 MX 200 Memory Interface:
Texels per Second:
Memory Bandwidth:

64/128-bit SDR, 64-bit DDR
700 Million
2.7GB/s

64/128-bit SDR, 64-bit DDR
800 Million
2.7GB/s

64-bit SDR
700 Million
1.3GB/s
January 10, 2002 5:00:07 PM

Quote:
(on a side note burger, ata133 is actually useful, because with many ide raids ata100 is a bottle neck, and home raid arrays are becoming popular now a days)


And how many ATA133 RAID cards have you seen that support the 5+ drives needed to sustain over 100MB/s? It's still not helping.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 10, 2002 9:57:19 PM

I don't remember where I read this but although there is very little difference in average performance between AGP 2X and 4X, AGP 4X can greatly increase the minimum framerates which would greatly improve the gaming experience.

I'm going to compare 2X and 4X with Serious Sam which provides good stats on minimum, average, and peak framerates.

<b>We are all beta testers!</b>
January 11, 2002 1:57:09 AM

My Samsung HDD has it's own 512kB cache and it can utilize ata 100 and even ata 133.I don't know mugh cache HDD's usually have but I think that HDD's in average benefits fast IDE in some extent.
January 11, 2002 2:36:51 AM

2 drives on a channel can peak 100mb/sec with 2 very good drives.

Since its ide raid, only per channel matters, follow?

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
January 11, 2002 2:59:41 AM

hey, i havent been lookin at this part of a forumn for a while but i took a look and saw this one. well just to say, my friend recently built a system, not for gaming cause the only thing close to 3d gaming he does is starcraft, which is NOT a 3d game. well anyhow he has a 64mb geforce2 mx to go along with his athlon xp1600+, 256 pc2100 on a abit kg7 and i believe on 3dmark2001 he recieved like 1500-1700. so that score for that card from my experience is about nice

didnt have one of em electronic pens so ill just type my name,<i>CoOoLMaNX</i>
January 11, 2002 3:22:06 PM

Quote:
<i>Era says:</i>
My Samsung HDD has it's own 512kB cache and it can utilize ata 100 and even ata 133.I don't know mugh cache HDD's usually have but I think that HDD's in average benefits fast IDE in some extent.


512k cache isn't much, most current ATA100 7200 RPM drives have 2MB. And no, each hard drive isn't actually transferring 133MB/s sustained. Download Sandra or HDTach and run the benchmark. You'll see what I mean.

Quote:
<i>Matisaro says:</i>
2 drives on a channel can peak 100mb/sec with 2 very good drives.


Good, show me two drives that can do that. I have yet to see it.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 11, 2002 3:45:40 PM

2x ibm 60gxp's have a sustained throughput of just over 90MB/sec, if you factor bursts ata100 is a bottleneck(and the newer faster drives should break 50mb/sec each, which would truely make ata100 a bottleneck)


Storagereview.com went under, so I dont have any hdd sites with benchmarks anymore to prove.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
January 11, 2002 3:46:50 PM

A good ATA 7200rpm drive will now sustain 30-40MB/s. Plus, with Drives coming out with 8MB of cache, the bus is getting more important.

The main feature of ATA133 though is the ability to support HDDs > 137GB. This is what everyone really wanted....

-* <font color=red> !! S O L D !! </font color=red> *-
To the gentleman in the pink Tutu
January 11, 2002 5:11:29 PM

Quote:
2x ibm 60gxp's have a sustained throughput of just over 90MB/sec, if you factor bursts ata100 is a bottleneck(and the newer faster drives should break 50mb/sec each, which would truely make ata100 a bottleneck)

Storagereview.com went under, so I dont have any hdd sites with benchmarks anymore to prove.


As per their 60GXP review, it can sustain 39033 at the beginning of the disk, and 21300 at the end. The average would be 30166.5. Even three drives on a single channel would not get up to a constant throughput of 100MB/s (although it would be at the beginning of the disk).

Quote:
The main feature of ATA133 though is the ability to support HDDs > 137GB. This is what everyone really wanted....


A very good point (and one I hadn't thought of), but we are discussing purely speed. The question is "Is it worth moving from ATA66/100 to ATA133?".

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 11, 2002 5:52:38 PM

cache is very important on read-ahead functions and other fetures, the bus is still the main buttleneck as it only provides the drive with upto 40Mbps(IBMGXP60/75 that i tested anyway).

i saw some posts on ATA-RAID, is there a software for that?
i know that windows2000 has a built in optin for software raid, did any 1 see it in XP?
maybe 3rd party software developer for ATA raid?

<font color=green>
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January 11, 2002 6:00:19 PM

The ATA33/66/100/133 busses provide the drive with 33/66/100/133MB/s of bandwidth, not 5MB/s as you suggest (unless you meant 40MB/s).

Software RAID is in W2k, and so I would think in WinXP although I have not looked for it. I would be surprised to see 3rd party software for it, but it is possible.
The problem with software RAID is that you cannot install the OS on the RAID array. Useful perhaps for those who want speed for file storage, but for those looking for overall system/application performance, hardware RAID is better.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 12, 2002 4:05:25 AM

Yeah, I could never go back to buying a prebuilt system, but I didn't realize these prebuilds are THAT bad. Now that I'm overclocking my video card (using Asus Tweak), I score a 2650! That's like 300 points higher than a Dell. The biggest example though is when my buddy play Ghost Recon. We had to crank down the settings to LOW on everything and it STILL runs choppy! I have my settings for Ghost on this 3-year old home-brew set to Medium (some are on high), and I get great performance. WIth this happening, I expected my benchmark to be substantially better, not just by 300 points. This makes me wonder just how much benchmarks really predict real-world performance.

Oh well. It's not my system, but I sure feel guilty for recommending a Dell to these people.

BTW, I double-checked and he has the 64Mb GeForce 2 MX400 which is BETTER than mine....go figure...

Oh yeah, and I checked his AGP settings using CPUID. It is set to AGP4x, but sideband addressing is OFF (but says its capable).

Oh go ye brown-eyed toothless wonder.
January 12, 2002 4:18:25 AM

Something is wrong here then, dude. He shouldn't score that low. Make sure his AGP chipset drivers are installed.

KG7 has:
AMD761 (Northbridge), 686B (Southbridge)

And maybe check and see what drivers he is using. It definitely doesn't smell right to me. You guys agree?

Oh go ye brown-eyed toothless wonder.
January 12, 2002 4:22:55 AM

I still don't follow exactly. Why would a P4 with SDRAM perform WORSE than A P3 with SDRAM? I believe his BIOS indicated that the memory was set to 133Mhz, but the front side bus is only 100Mhz......wait is this possible? I KNOW his FSB is set to 100, because his multiplier is set to 15, for a P4 1500. I need to check his CAS timings.

Thanks for the input!

Oh go ye brown-eyed toothless wonder.
January 12, 2002 4:26:28 AM

How did you get an 8200 series for LESS than a 4300 series??? Even if prices are down, the 8200 should cost more. He- like most of us wants the best video card but the upgrade costed substantially more. Needless to say, he could barely afford what he got already, let alone a 19" Trinitron and GeForce 3 card!

If you don't mind me asking, just how much did that system cost? And how did it compare to the 4300 series (if you can remember)?

Oh go ye brown-eyed toothless wonder.
January 12, 2002 4:27:25 AM

LoL. Here here brother!

Oh go ye brown-eyed toothless wonder.
!