New to 3DMark

By Scatman
Apr 10, 2003
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  1. I bought a new computer not too long ago, so just to make sure everything is working properly, is a 3DMark score of 12551 proper at 1024x768 and 32-bit color, assuming the following parts:

    Athlon +2700 (333 MHz)
    1024 MB RAM (333MHz)
    Radeon 9700 Pro
    Asus nForce2

    on Windows XP? 2 examples of anti-aliasing.
  2. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    Turn Anti-Aliasing off to get a standard mark, but 12.5k sounds fairly reasonable to me. If you turn AA off and depending on the drivers you are using, you may be able to get 14000+.
  3. Scatman

    Scatman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hmm, 13949 without antialiasing. Suppose that's close enough.
  4. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    yep that's better. beats my lowly 10.5k Have you tried lowering your CPU multiplier and raising your FSB to near 200 Mhz on that A7N8X? You may get another 500 (or even 1000?) 3Dmarks.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,587   +278

    3dmark benchmarks are always said to be quite memory bandwidth intensive. What memory are you running on your nForce2 board? What memory settings do you have in the bios? Are you utilizing the dual channel feature by using two sticks of memory? I guess you are since your running a gig of memory ;) All these things will add to your score.

    Athlon 2100+ (333Mhz) Overclocked(13x167 = 2.171Ghz)
    512 MB RAM (333MHz) @ Max memory timings in bios
    Radeon 9700 Pro
    Gigabyte KT400

    3dmark2001 : 15040

    With nForce2 its possible to lock the PCI speed (which is usually based on a divider system, fsb/divider 166/5 = 33.2Mhz) so that the fsb can be increased to overclock the memory and cpu without experiencing instability with PCI and AGP devices. Most people look to run 200fsb (400DDR), as this is the performance sweet spot just now. As long as you have a decent heatsink and fan on your CPU you should be able to overclock your CPU a little on that board for some more performance, but other than that it seems a reasonable score for your system (I got 13000 with 2100+ @ default speed).

    Which nForce2 board do you have? Are you happy with its features? I'm just wondering as I have been considering switching over to one from my Via KT400 based board, mostly for the locked PCI speed feature.
  6. Scatman

    Scatman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I forgot to mention that I installed DX9 and the score went up to 14170. But anyways, overclocking was about to be my next topic to ask about.

    I'm running 2 sticks of PC-2700 memory (512 MB each), and the mobo is the Asus A7N8X Deluxe nForce2.

    I'm using the Enermax 305L case, with one side fan, a Volcano 7 heatsink & fan, and Arctic Silver. Currently it's running at 38-40C when idle.

    So having said that, how high would it be safe to go to without adding more cooling? Heh, and I thought cpu multiplier was locked (at least that's what I heard from someone bout 30 mins ago as of this post)? And what precautions should I take (those stress programs or somethin' to test stability for instance)? Finally last but not least, what side-effects will overclocking generate besides additional heat?

    As for the features of the nForce2, I would like to tell you I like it, but as you can probably tell, I've never OCed before so my opinion would count for a whole lot of nothing ;)
  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I'm using the latest MBM5 for monitoring my temps and using the on-CPU diode to measure my temps as opposed to the socket diode. I run about 48C Idle to 53C Load with water cooling. I think 60C (core diode) wouldn't be too hot to live with. I've dropped the OC to 2220 Mhz to play AVP2 again. It's rather stubborn about OCing for some reason. Everything else seems to work at 2350 Mhz. 3DMark seems to be a good test for stability as it will crash before other benchmarks, usually.

    If you increase the FSB a few Mhz at a time and test with 3DMark you can find what your CPU will max out at. Then you can up the core and/or mem voltage and go higher, rinse and repeat as necessary.

    If you want an even higher FSB then drop the CPU multiplier a notch and bring up the FSB some more. Some people just mix and match FSB and multiplier to keep the CPU at the same speed. Many people get to 196 Mhz before it gets really difficult. You may have to loosen your memory timings depending on your RAM. There's a delicate balance there as lowering timings can be more drastic on bandwidth than the FSB increase will deliver.

    The big danger to OCing is caused by too much voltage damaging the CPU. I think if you go to max board settings then your CPU may wear out twice as fast. (5 years instead of 10) Some OCers do volt mods and that's where you run the risk of serious damage in a short ammount of time. I think I have mine at 1.75V.
  8. Scatman

    Scatman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I'm not that daring, so I won't be touching the Voltages or multipliers at all. Probably just an FSB adjustment on the BIOS. Anything in particular I should look out for? I read lots of horror stories about the AGP/PCI buses being raised too high and that causing damage to the video card.
  9. Scatman

    Scatman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I ate my words. For some reason my processor is "unlocked" so I changed the multiplier to 13.5, the FSB only moderately to 170 MHz. Runs at 46C under load. Gonna be running a stress test tonight to see if there's anything wrong. Any advice?
  10. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Sounds like you're doing fine. The A7N8X has a fixed PCI bus and while the AGP bus is adjustable in BIOS it isn't tied to FSB adjustments so it will stay at 66 Mhz.
  11. Scatman

    Scatman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Heh, well I thought I was doing fine too, but when I changed my multiplier back to 13x, and upped the FSB to 176 MHz, the computer became upstable. The vcore was left at 1.65V, and the temperature didn't take any massive jump either, but while playing Sim City 4, it would lock up every 5-10 minutes. When I restored the old non-overclocked settings, it wouldn't freeze up anymore. Would this be because of the vcore being too low, or are there any other causes for instability aside from heat?
  12. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,587   +278

    As you increase the speed via fsb and multiplier you often need small increases in core voltage to maintain decent signal levels through the CPU. You could try the next step up in CPU voltage and monitor the temperatures when idle to try and work out if your heatsink and fan on the CPU can handle the increased temperatures that come with increased voltage. This may help you get a stable larger overclock.
  13. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Since the CPU speed is slightly less at the new setting you're probably seeing a problem with memory timing or memory voltage, most likely the latter but it could be the former. Hey, it's an art, not a science. :p Try increasing the memory voltage a notch, or two if one isn't enough.

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