I built a system for a friend to the following spec
ASUS A87VX+ VIA KT400 mobo
Athlon XP2000+ Thoroughbred Rev A
GeForce 4 440MX (forget brand)
512mb Generic PC2100 DDR
Win 2K SP3 + Windows Update for new patches
+ HD , DVD-R and monitor
It only scores 2400 ish in 3d Mark 2001 SE instead of the 5000 ish I expected. My own dusty old PIII 500/ 128MB PC100 with the same (440 MX / 64BM DDR) graphics card from a different vendor scores 1800 ish.
I installed all the mobo drivers provided except those for the onboard ethernet and raid functions which are not required. The GPU had the drivers provided by the vendor. DX9 was also installed
After poor results I also tried the latest VIA Hyperion mobo driver with the latest unified (is it still detonator ?) drivers from nVidia
Memory is Generic PC2100 2.5CL which I was surprised to find runs stably at either 333mhz (asycronous) 2.5-3-3-6T or 266mhz (syncronous) 2-2-2-6T
Under SiSoft Sandra the CPU/Cache and Chipset benchmarks are fine. The memory gives approx 8% more bandwith at 333mhz and conservative timings than aggresively at 266mhz but still performs only equal to a KT266 with PC2100 @ 266 CL 2.5.
How come it sucks at 3d Mark? Even with the slightly low memory bandwith scores it should still surely be better than this.
CPU temp runs at 38 to 45 C dependent on load.
We have already had a lot of hassle with a faulty motherboard which ran for a week then froze and reported a CPU failure on POST even after the CPU was replaced.
I have been thoroughly through the BIOS, everything is set manualy for optimal performance. The only thing I can think of to try is installing my own video card into his machine to test if is a hardware problem.
Any thoughts on what else it could be or experiences with operational but low benchmarking video cards?
Well, don't expect a lot with that memory and that video card.
The MX series is a joke. A friend at work told me he put a kick-butt computer together with that video card and I laughed out loud for about 5 minutes. It's a joke. Don't be expecting anything with a card like that.
Secondly, your RAM isn't the best stuff in the world either. You lose a lot of points using generic stuff vs. name brand stuff (like, say, Corsair). Third, I've heard bad things about T-Bred rev. A's (not "bad", but that they aren't as good as they could be).
Its the vid card, Dont expect to see anything above 3000 with an MX card. My advice, seek out a used radeon 8500, or if you like brand names for some reason, get a geforce 4 ti4200. expect to pay in the 120 dollar range onling, maybe less used.
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