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Baseline | CPU Overclocking | Memory Timing | Latest Tests

Information

Tools

  • WCPUID – CPU information: frequency, multiplier, chipset info.
  • CPU-Z – CPU and memory information, including memory timing.
  • Motherboard Monitor – displays temperatures and voltages of motherboard, CPU.  Plug-in to add history graph.
  • SpeedFan – displays temperatures, voltages, and fan speeds of system.
  • 3DMark2001 Second Edition Build 330 (free version) – DirectX®8.1 3D graphics performance and image quality benchmark.
  • 3DMark03 - DirectX®9.0 3D graphics performance and image quality benchmarks.
  • PCMark - application-based benchmark measures overall PC performance.
  • Hot CPU Tester Lite – tests CPU, chipset, motherboard.
  • MemTest86 - provides thorough, stand alone memory testing for x86 architecture computers.
  • RadLinker allows definition of game-specific settings including GPU overclocking, so that the settings are only in effect during the game.

Baseline

(Baseline tests were performed with ATi AIW 9700 Pro)

3DMark03 Details

Game Tests

3DMark Score

4764 3DMarks

GT1 - Wings of Fury

172.3 fps

GT2 - Battle of Proxycon

30.7 fps

GT3 – Troll's Lair

28.2 fps

GT4 - Mother Nature

27.0 fps

CPU Tests

CPU Score

604.0 CPUMarks

CPU Test 1

65.4 fps

CPU Test 2

11.1 fps

Feature Tests

Fill Rate (Single-Texturing)

1499.3 MTexels/s

Fill Rate (Multi-Texturing)

2269.5 MTexels/s

Vertex Shader

14.9 fps

Pixel Shader 2.0

41.1 fps

Ragtroll

20.2 fps

3DMark2001 - (AIW 9700 Pro) Default settings. D3D AA and AF set to Application Preference.

CPU Overclocking

To overclock the CPU the following settings were changed in the BIOS Advanced page:

  • CPU Speed set to <Manual>
  • The CPU External Frequency (MHz), a.k.a. Front Side Bus frequency, was gradually raised from <133> MHz   - see table. After each change, a series of tests were performed to determine if the system is still stable:
    • Start Windows XP and log in
    • Run two iterations of 3DMark2001 benchmark
    • Run the HotCPU benchmark.
    • Run two iterations of the HotCPU diagnostic tests.
    • While running HotCPU tests, display the WCPUID real-time CPU frequency window to detect if the CPU is throttled down due to excessive temperatures.
  • The AGP/PCI Frequency Setting was changed from < Auto > to < 66.66/33.33 >.

There appears to be a problem in BIOS version 1006: when changing the FSB, the AGP/PCI setting is ignored and the BIOS setting reverts back to Auto.
Work-around: after each change to the FSB setting: set AGP/PCI to a value other than <66.66/33.33> and boot to the Password prompt, then press the reset button. Back in the settings page, choose <66.66/33.33> and continue booting.

  • The CPU Vcore setting was changed from <Auto> only when the FSB at 150 MHz was unstable – see table.

This voltage should not exceed 1.75 V.

  • The DDR Voltage setting was changed from < 2.5 V > - see table.

This voltage should not exceed 2.8 V.

CPU Overclocking tests:

Test#

1

2

3

4

FSB [MHz]

136

139

150

148

Vcore [V]

Auto

Auto

1.600

1.625

DDR voltage [V]

2.5

2.5

2.6

2.6

3D marks (9700 Pro)

15541

15762

Crash

16042

HotCPU score

6263

6466

6874

6841

CPU Overclocking Results

At FSB = 148 MHz additional, longer-running tests were performed (with AIW 9700 Pro):

  • 3DMark2001 benchmark for 5 iterations (~ 75 minutes)
  • 3DMark2001 demo loop for ~ 45 minutes
  • HotCPU diagnostic tests for 6 iterations (~ 71 minutes)
  • MemTest86 All tests for 1 pass ~ 2 hours

Memory Timing

Memory Timings

Explanation of RAM latency

The system memory is rated 2-2-2-6-1 at 370 MHz.

All tests described in the previous sections were performed with the default memory timing established in the BIOS: SDRAM configuration was set to [By SPD][1]. According to CPU-Z the default timings are:  2.5-3-3-7, Idle 16.

To reduce RAM latency the following memory timing settings were adjusted in the BIOS:

  • Advanced: DDR Voltage: [ 2.6 V ]
  • Advanced: Chip Configuration
    • SDRAM Configuration: [ User Define ] instead of [ By SPD ]
    • SDRAM CAS Latency: [ 2T ]
    • SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay: [ 2T ]
    • SDRAM RAS Precharge Delay: [ 2T ]
    • SDRAM Active Precharge Delay: [ 6T ]
    • SDRAM Idle Timer: remains at [ 16T ]
    • Memory Turbo: [ Enabled ] instead of [ Auto ]
    • Delay Transaction: [ Enabled ][2]

Several hours of testing with HotCPU and 3DMark2001 was performed after the changes. Then a graphics-, memory-, and CPU-intensive game was used to stress the system.

At DDR voltage 2.5 V and CPU core voltage at Auto (= 1.550 V) Lock On-Modern Air Combat (LOMAC) crashed repeatedly while replaying the track “A-10 Fast Start”. The DDR Voltage was raised to 2.6V and the CPU Voltage was raised to 1.625 V.

Then the track “A-10 Fast Start” was repeated several times and the track “A-10 Oil Terminal” was replayed at least twice without crash. The system did crash occasionally with CPU voltage set at 1.600 V.

The 3DMark2001 benchmark was run with a repeat count of 10 at 1600x1200x32 with AA set to six samples. The system appeared to be stable...

Memory Timing Results

(With AIW 9700 Pro, memory 2-2-2-6, FSB 148MHz)

Final Settings

Further testing with LOMAC track “A-10 Tooth And Nail 1.1 Stage 5” at FSB 148 or 146 MHz showed that the system crashed consistently (AIW 9700 Pro.)

Lowering FSB to 144 MHz (CPU clock 3.311 MHz) resolved the system instabilities even while running that track multiple times.

Test#

5

FSB [MHz]

144

Vcore [V]

1.625

DDR voltage [V]

2.6

Latest Tests

In December 2004, the defective AIW 9700 Pro graphics adapter was replaced with the AIW 9800 Pro. The following benchmarks were performed with the following settings:

  • The FSB is configured at 144 MHz (CPU Internal Clock 3311 MHz)
  • Memory timings: 2-2-2-6
  • Video driver: Catalyst 5.6
  • Log off and log on again before each test. Stop all applications, anti-virus, anti-spy ware, SpeedFan. Kill jusched.exe process tree.

Use RadLinker then Catalyst Control Center and verify graphics adapter D3D settings:

  • AA – application preference
  • AF – application preference
  • Temporal AA - disabled
  • TruForm – always off
  • AI – disabled
  • SmartShader – none
  • DXT texture format support – disabled

3DMark2001: High Quality, Vertical Sync – Default Off

3DMark2001: High Performance, Vertical Sync - Always Off

3DMark03: High Performance, Vertical Sync - Always Off


Notes

[1] Serial Presence Detect. Read more...

[2] ISA cards are running at ¼ of the PCI speed, which is 8 ⅓ MHz on a 16-bit wide bus. Therefore, the transfer of data to the system bus is slower than the PCI interface and, often, exceeds the PCI latency. If PCI devices try to access the bus while it is occupied by an ISA device, the PCI device can write to an integrated 32-bit buffer within the chipset. The data are temporarily held there and then written to the bus by passive release This setting is only relevant if ISA cards are present in the system. See LostCircuits.

Last modified: 01/01/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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