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Fall Extreme Gamer System Shootout Part 5: Falcon Northwest Mach V

Operating Specifications

System Settings
CPU Multiplyer14.0
HT/FSB/CPU Frequency209 MHz
CPU VoltageAuto
DDR Voltage2.85V
Chipset Voltage1.50V
LDT Multiplyer---
LDT Voltage---
HT Voltage1.20V
PCI Clock33.3 MHz
PCIe Clock100 MHz
Graphics Clocks
GPU Core Clock470 MHz
GPU RAM Clock1.38 GHz
Memory Timings
MemclockEffective Frequency400 MHz
TclCAS Latency2
TrasRAS Active Time5T
TrcdRAS to CAS Delay2T
TrpRow Precharge Time2T
TrcRow Cycle Time7T
TrfcRow Refresh Time9T
TrwtRead-to-Write Time1T
TwrWrite Recovery Time2T
TwtrWrite to Read Delay---
TwclWrite CAS Latency---
TrrdRow to Row Delay---
TrefRefresh Time---
CMDCommand Timing / Memory Timing1T

Testing Comments For The Mach V

Overall we were pleased with the quality of game play but we were puzzled with some of the scores that we got during the testing. However, like the Alienware ALX system we reviewed earlier, we had amazing scores but at the price of stability issues with the graphics cards. To their credit, Falcon was looking to send us a system to blow the competitors' numbers away. The clock speeds were actually high, but when we said we would also run 3DMark 2003, they had to turn the speeds back down to make sure we would be able to get a score.

The lower benchmarks could be symptomatic of several things. Maybe we are reaching the limits of working benchmarks. Or maybe the problem is posed by system limitations for specific applications, driver issues, or something worse, such as system builder negligence. The latter seems the most unlikely but to determine the exact cause has sent us running down many rabbit trails that need to be examined in more detail at another time.

As was the case with the Alienware system, we could not get everything running at the speed determined by Falcon. However, this was only the case for the synthetic benchmarks at certain resolutions and graphics detail settings. We were still able to run all of the benchmarks at the speeds pre-determined by Falcon. When we encountered a problem, we clocked the system down by 3 MHz, which was the first level at which these benchmarks would run without a system crash, freeze or restart. (The adjusted clock speeds are indicated by a red bar.)