Moment Of Truth
let’s look at the system specifications used for the testing:
First, my initial system specs for the benchmarks:
450 @ 504MHz (4.5 x 112MHz)
BH6 MB (LH BIOS)
x 13GB Quantum CR Ultra-ATA66 HDD (5400 rpm); 01 x 10.1 GB
Seagate Ultra-ATA66 HDD (5400rpm); 01 x 6.4GB IBM HDD (5400rpm)
Spectra 5400 PE (Ultra TNT2 / 32MB onboard) with latest Canopus'
2.08 based drivers; Default settings with core / mem settings at
150 / 183;
x Sony 6X DVD-ROM drive
CL V2 SLI
Deluxe (Liveware 2.1 drivers)
1025 ATM card
Mitsubishi DiamondScan 70 monitor (0.28 dpi)
Temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.
The Spectra was tested on a few forms of overclockability -
Overclocked AGP bus and Overclocked Core / Mem settings:
Overclocked AGP bus
I must qualify that my P3 450 system runs perfectly fine at 558MHz
with my original non-Ultra V770 32MB (clocked at 162 / 192)... But
somehow, the Spectra refused to complete any 3D-benchmarks when
the P3 450 was set at 558MHz (124 x 2/3 = 83 AGP bus-speed).
This was even at its default settings of 150 / 183!
It would boot into windows and 2D functions work just fine,
but it would consistently hang in the midst of any 3D-benchmark (3D
Mark 99 Max / Quake 2).
my ABIT BH6 motherboard doesn’t support 117MHz, I had to resort to
running at a
lower setting of 504MHz (ie.
112MHz FSB = 75 AGP bus-speed)
before proceeding. Hence,
the reason why my system specs indicates only 504MHz initially for
restriction would be a major gripe to anybody considering buying the
card, especially for those overclocking their CPUs to greater than
112MHz FSB speeds. Guess
unless your Motherboard supports some kind of strange multiplier
that limits the AGP bus (or till Camino comes about), the Spectra
5400PE may not be an ideal choice.
Okay, okay… I’m not overclocking my system that much anyway. But can I overclock the card to compensate?
Overclocked Core / Mem
The Canopus comes with several nifty control utilities, out of
which one panel allows the user to set 5 pre-defined core/mem
settings, from "Conservative" to "Aggressive".
The various pre-defined settings were cross-verified with
Powerstrip to find out the actual Core / Mem values:
Spectra made it through all the benchmarks tested without problems
at settings of 150/200. But
it would hang randomly when tested at a core of 175 and above.
any case, being an avid tweaker myself, I couldn't resist finding
out the limitations of the card via the latest version of Powerstrip
(v2.51). Do note that I
tested the bulk of the benchmarks at optimal Core / Mem settings to
demonstrate the Spectra’s capabilities when pushed to the limit.
In addition, TNTCLK wasn’t used, as it seems broken for mem speeds
are my findings:
At 170/210 => Passed all benchmarks
At 175/210 => Hung after 30 mins of benchmarking in 3D Mark 99
Max (so this implies that 175 core is probably at the verge of
At 180/210 => Hung immediately during startup of 3D Mark 99 Max
At 170/220 => Passed all benchmarks
At 170/225 => Caused strange texture breakages to occur during 3D
Mark 99 Max benchmarking (so this implies that 170/220 is probably
the optimal settings)
the high-quality 5ns EliteMT RAM on the Spectra 5400PE, it seems
that its memory itself isn’t very overclockable, as I have friends
with CL Ultra TNT2s that easily reach 220 mem-speed with 5.5ns’
improved cooling by the hydrodynamic cooler doesn’t make the core
any more overclockable than other Ultra TNT2 chips.
||Hence, in terms of Core / Mem overclockability, I would give
the card an average score. However,
at 170/220, I can testify to the stability of the settings, as the
benchmarks were conducted for 3 hours straight without any lockups for
2 nights now.
But do the benchmarks SCREAM!!??