Date: March 7th, 2003
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Albatron
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BENCHMARKING & OVERCLOCKING
This is what I am going to be benchmarking the card with.
The benchmarking testbed is comprised of:
Intel P4 2.4Ghz with 533Mhz FSB
Via P4PB Ultra Motherboard with Factory Bios
256 Meg Stick of Crucial PC2700 DDR333
Albatron GF4 480 8X AGP using Detonator 41.09 Drivers
Via Hyperion 4.45
Windows 2000 SP3
I have to say that benchmarking on some of the tech sites of today has gotten a little too much. In some instances downright insane. Posting comparison chart after chart after chart just gets me frustrated and I (like most readers), just skip through those pages to get to the overclocking or the 3dmark section. I know that most of the readers out there want to see how the card performs and yes, I will illustrate that to you. But, I am not going to test the card in every possible configuration just to confuse and demean you. I find that some sites do this to look overly smart or professional when in reality, it just pisses readers off.
I'm going to keep the benchmarking sweet and simple with driver defaults. I am going to use 3dmark2001se to help me benchmark from the stock memory and core speed to the highest level it can obtain without any artifacts. Once that threshold overclocking level (Using Rivatuner) is obtained, I am going to use these benchmarking programs to test the card at stock and the highest overclock settings. This way you will see the stock values and the performance increase you will get by overclocking.
The programs are:
3Dmark2001se (Synthetic Direct3D Benchmark)
Gl Excess v1.1a (Synthetic OpenGL Benchmark)
Quake 3 Timedemo1 benchmark (Real-life OpenGL Gaming Benchmark)
HardOCP's Retail UT2K Benchmarking program (Real-life Direct3D Gaming Benchmark)
Let's say we get on with it....
3Dmark 2001SE Benchmarking
Ok, lets see how many 3Dmarks we will get with the stock card settings of 275Mhz Core and 513Mhz Memory
Not a bad result seeing that we are using everything stock and no driver tweaks. Let's start some overclocking shall we.
Bumping the core up 25Mhz to 300Mhz and the memory up 27Mhz to 540Mhz resulted in a significant jump of ~400 3dmarks. Pretty impressive for a minor overclock. Let's push the threshold....
Pushing the core up another 24Mhz to 324Mhz and the memory up another 27Mhz to 567Mhz scored another 204 3dmark increase.
Ah hell, lets further the overclocking to a bump of 17Mhz to 341Mhz core and the memory up another 28Mhz to 595Mhz. And the result is yet another increase of 148 3dmarks. I'm liking the overclocking results. Let's test out the overclocking ceiling of this fine videocard.
Man, this card is like the energizer overclocking bunny, it just keeps on going and going and going. But, as many people say, the fun has to end some time and the fun did finally end with this card. The core could only handle 9Mhz more without having any artifacts and topped out at 350Mhz. The ram mind you really pulled up the slack and could be bumped up a further 55Mhz to an AMAZING 650Mhz. You can really see that the high quality Samsung 3.6ns memory really does help in obtaining that all important overclock. Now, just to make sure that it was stable at that high of an overclock, I played a frame-busting 1 hour of Unreal Tournament 2003 to see if the card failed. But did it falter? Nope, not a bit! Through this final overclock I was able to obtain a final 3Dmark score of 7815 3Dmarks. That represents another 262 3DMark increase and a 910 3DMark increase overall. Not bad at all for a sub $100 videocard! =D
Ok, now 350Mhz core and 650Mhz memory speed will represent the maximum overclock settings that will be used for the remainder of the review along with a comparison to the stock value.