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Video Performance: solved at last?!

I think I may have finally figured out what was hindering my 3dmark 01 score and also my video performance issues. I believe it is my RAM. I was bored today, so I was messing around. I benched 3dmark 01, stock everything: 12,200 points. That was usual for me since I never knew what was wrong. I decided to tweak my RAM since I am now in dual channel mode with DDR 3200 that's running at 2100 to coincide with my FSB. That leaves quite a bit of tweaking room...

So, I changed all the settings to their lowest values. Boom, 3dmark01 goes up to 13,300. That's about where I should be. BUT, SiSoft Sandra still only shows my memory bandwidth benchmark at 3100MB/s. Not quite where it should be, which is around 4200MB/s. 75% bandwidth efficiency... great. Before the tweaking I was getting 74%.

Now what's interesting is I decided to overclock as much as I could. I've got an FSB of 156, giving me 2.81GHz. I also overclocked my video card as much as possible, and ran 3dmark01. I got this score.

Not bad, not bad.

Then I ran Sisoft Sandra yet AGAIN, and it gave me 3700MB/s. But with my FSB this high, it still is only giving me 75% bandwidth efficiency. WTF is the deal here? Could it be that I got cheap RAM? Is that likely at all?


hardware monkey
i may be wrong, but i didn't think you were supposed to expect your effective bandwidth to equal your theoretical. i thought there'd be overhead like anything else, but, thinking about it some more, i don't know if memory would have overhead..? good question.
Well no, not 100%. But the benchmarks that I've seen online are mostly 97% or 98%. Even back on my 800MHz machine with PC133 I was getting 96%.

It's almost not possible for it to be 100%, but it shouldn't be off by 1/4 of it's maximum. My overclock shows that my RAM is capable of doing at least 3800, yet it efficiency stays that same. :-/

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What a long strange trip it's been. =)

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