3DBlaster GeForce Annihilator - Page 4
Up My Engine And Burn, Baby!!
First my system specs used for testing:
P3 450 @ 558MHz (4.5 x
128MB LGS RAM
ABIT BH6 MB (LH BIOS)
01 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)
01 x Creative CT6940
GeForce 256 (32MB SDRAM onboard) latest Nvidia
4.12.01.2201.02.0335 drivers; Default settings with
core/mem settings at 120/166; BIOS version 2.10.101.04
01 x Sony 6X DVD-ROM drive
12MB CL V2 SLI
SBLive!! Deluxe (Liveware
VirataLink 1025 ATM card
DiamondScan 70 monitor (0.28 dpi)
Ambient Temperature of 27
per my previous reviews, I first tested its overclockability
in 2 aspects: AGP bus-speed and Core/Mem clock speed, to
tune it to its optimum speed.
In regards to overclocking the AGP bus, I’m happy
to say that the Creative runs just fine on my 124 MHz bus
speed. As you may know, the Abit BH6 does not provide a /4 divider for the
AGP bus at higher clock speeds.
Hence, I was running the GeForce without any problems
I used the Creative overclocking utility and cranked up the
memory setting all the way to its 183MHz limit.
Note that the tool supplied by Creative only allows
alterations to the memory clock and not the core clock.
However, at 183MHz I had no problems whatsoever in
Q3Test. Then I
ventured further and noticed that the changes were correctly
reflected in Powerstrip’s overclocking tool, implying that
perhaps I could use Powerstrip to push it even further and
change the core timings as well.
The following table summarizes my results:
Q3demo 1 timedemo
1 started showing texture breakages and an
interlacing effect, although it still runs for about
¾ way through 1 timedemo cycle.
Q3demo 1 timedemo
Q3demo 1 timedemo
lockups after about 1 min into Q3demo 1 Timedemo
lockup on launching Q3demo 1 timedemo
like 142/192 is the breakpoint for my card.
Still, I decided to perform all subsequent benchmarks
utilizing 140/190 as a safer bet to ensure stability.
It works fine so far even after an hour’s worth of
benchmarking Q3 and 3DMark 99 at various resolutions…
you do the maths, the 142 core max theoretically implies
568Mpixels/s fill-rate. Pretty
decent in my view (as one can’t compare a TNT2 clock speed
with a GeForce clock speed) owing
to differences in chipset design complexity that would
render different speeds attainable.
was more concerned with the relatively low
overclockability of the onboard memory.
With my old, trusty 32MB V770 card non-Ultra TNT2
card, I could attain like 192 on memory speeds reliably with
its 6ns Eltrontech RAM. With
a second generation board whose mem bandwidth is probably
much more important to achieve better scaling in
performance, being stuck at 192 MHz just doesn’t do the
GeForce chip justice. This
may prove to be the bottleneck to the graphics performance
(as we’ll see later). Note
that one can attempt to provide better cooling to achieve a
higher core, but the mem speeds are generally cast in stone
I guess this is a major consideration for anybody
contemplating buying the board.
This also reinforces my doubts of the SDRAM being
rated at 5ns (1/5ns = 200MHz in specs) as it would be
slightly below spec in that regard.
Guess the “–5T” marking may not infer a 5ns
speed afterall, but rather a 5.5ns variant as most mem are
usually capable of a 5-10% tolerance beyond spec. However, perhaps this could be a purely design issue and I guess
Nvidia (and Creative) must have foreseen this – as they
must have had a reason to set their default speed mem
settings to 166, significantly below the stock speed of 183
on the Ultra-TNT2 boards.