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ATI x1900xt, Catalyst 6.5,and 3DMark01SE of less than 24k???

Subliminal Minister

OSNN One Post Wonder

First post here -- I am hopeful someone can help me out. I have a custom built PC with the following:

Intel P4 @ 3.2Ghz
Gigabyte GA-G1975x mobo
1GB Dual Channel Patriot RAM
LiteOn 48x DVD-RW

I had an x1800xt in there, but replaced it since the 1900xt was only $50 more. Sadly, my 3DMark 2001 SE scores are WAY under what I think they ought to be, and games performance hasn't blown me away. Defragged both HDs, and ran PCPitstop's Optimize app, but without an appreciable difference in my 3DMark score.

I have rolled the drivers back to 6.4 and 6.3, but nothing seems to unlock the potential i was assured this card had.

Any ideas? Just post if you need more info. Thanks in advance...


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
3dmark 2001se is going to be more cpu dependent in your case than gpu dependent.

Given that the p4 is not exactly a stellar gaming cpu, your score will undoubtedly suffer.

It doesn't even have any dx9 tests m8.

If you want a gauge of your gpu's power, compare it using 3dmark 03 and 05. Only bother using 2001SE if you have an old dx8 card or are checking your cpu performance.

The issue is not with the card, it is with the tools you are using.

Subliminal Minister

OSNN One Post Wonder
Many thanks -- and how fast...

Anyway, I am on my way for the tools you mention. An aside: I'm looking for the difference in Tribes: Vengeance and F.E.A.R. -- Thus far, I haven't seen any. I will bench it using 3DMark 05 and come back with results, but shouldn't the change in cards be noticeable from an end-user standpoint? My fear is that I've somehow bungled the x1800 driver uninstall prior to putting this one in (I'm generally pretty good about that, but it could happen, esp. with catalyst).

Thanks for your help! I'll be back with 05 scores...


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
The 1800xt was a very fast card, you are not going to notice a night and day difference with the product you have acquired in most situations. In extremely shader intensive situations, you might have a better performance delta.

Subliminal Minister

OSNN One Post Wonder
Ok, on 3dMark 05 I scored 7858, but I have no idea how that score stacks up since a search doesn't show me any similar results. Is that a decent score for the card/config?

Thanks again!
About the right score:
I just did a mark 05 search and compare and and got 2 hits 7235 (3 gig CPU) and 8061 (3.4 gig CPU) were the highest score for your rig with comparable CPU clock speeds.

I repeated the search for an X1800 and got 6 hits between 6711 and 7429 with a 3.2 gig CPU.

The vid card upgrade gave you about 5% ON THIS benchamrk. I no longer use futuremark to compare video cards. Note how CPU dependent the scores are for the hits we have. The score follows the CPU speed.

3dMark is not a good video card benchmark. It is intended as an overall PC performance evaluation since many of the newer games need CPu and GPU performance due to enhanced AI.

Search criteria
-P4 CPU 2950 to 3450 MHZ
-ATI X1900 video card (that includes the entire family)
-All drivers
-Windows Xo
-Show only highest score for each user

Then repeated with an X1800 and frequency range narrowed to 3150-3250.

These results are expected. The 1900 was not an upgrade from the 1800. GPU speed, number of pixel pipelines, fill rates and memory bandwidth are identical. The 1900 uses a smaller geometry process which produces cheaper GPUs that use less heat. This allows for better overclocking and reduced prices (aka more profits).

The benefits you will see are you may be able to push this card (the 1800 would not) and it is probably going to last a lot longer due to less heat. The fan should be much quieter also.

And welcome to the forums. :)
Last edited:

Subliminal Minister

OSNN One Post Wonder
Thanks to both of you for your advice. I bumped up my cpu to 3.52ghz (not going to stay there, as it only has stock cooling), and got to 8212, so i guess I will leave it alone...

It's funny after all that though -- I still strongly suspect that I am not getting all that I should out of the card. I've seen NWN running on a laptop with a decent vidcard that looks smoother than mine -- and that shouldn't be, should it? Or is it really more relative to my cpu (which will suck -- I just built this box)?

Are there bleeding-edge, uber-0-day drivers or other apps that can help me to confirm or deny this annoying suspicion? LeeJend, what do you use to get a vidcard-only snapshot of performance that is accurate?

You all have been great. Next time I come here first...:)
I don't have a benchmark I use since I got misled by 3dmark05 results. Now I look at the ratings on the cards and look for opinions on forums.

As for the game not feeling fast enough:
-Turn off any software firewalls you have up while gaming. I had this problem with BF2 zonealarm was causing what looked like video lag. I just depend on my AV and router to protect me while in game.

-If you installed XP step wise (CD, then the service packs) defrag your HD. I thought my HD was ok after I put on SP2 but someone here told me to defrag anyway. It made a major difference. I made an install CD with XP slipstreamed up to the latest and now use that for installs.
-By any chance did you go from an AMD system to Intel. AMD seems to perform better for gaming.

-Don't have your speed expectations too high. The last 2 generations of video cards are more about running higher resolutions with maximum texture quality and newer video features that choke the GPU and memory interface to death. That can make you expect to be able to run 1600 resolution with every setting on high (Lighting, Shadows, AI, AF) but they can't. Even the 1900/7900 series cards will bog down under that load. That's why SLI and Crossfire are selling so well. That laptop probably had key features turned off. Lighting effects, shadows, AI and AF are performance pigs. The laptop probably had them all off.

-Just to be sure everything is running ok download sisoft sandra and run the various benchmarks (file system, cpu, ram, etc) to make sure your results are about what Sandra has listed for your system. If something is slow check the settings and drivers associated with it. (FSB, Memory clock speed, dual channel DDR is on, UDMA set to max you can use)

-Finally I think ATI is still running behind Nvidia cards on openGL game performance. Check the games to see if any are openGL. ATI developed new drivers that optimized their reporgrammable card functions to speed up openGL perfromance in December/January and I think the new features are in the 6.3 and up catalysts, but I'm not sure. Keep checking the new catalysts as they come out. I put in 6.3 around February and thought I had a new card the improvement was so big.

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