3dMark Vantage Score Review

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January 6, 2009 at 02:51:56
Specs: Vista Ultimate, E6550, 4GB DDR2
I upgraded from an xfx 8500gt to a Zotac 9600GT couple of days back.

From what another user told me, the 9600Gt is about 2.5 times faster than an 8500GT (actually I cant remember if he said it was a 8500gt or 8600gt)

Anyways, I ran the complete 3dMark Vantage benchmark and am very impressed with the graphics scores.

The graphics scores seem to be consistent with what was expected.
However, why has the cpu score jumped so high? Is the gpu offloading some of the cpu tasks in cpu test2?
I have enabled the physx settings in the nvidia control panel.
If anyone has any thoughts it would be nice to hear them.


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January 6, 2009 at 06:23:25
OMG! You're back again? lol. Hey dsarosh, happy new year!

I believe we discussed the 8500GT in the past. It's a low end gaming card which is made worse if the model you have uses slow GDDR2 memory rather than faster GDDR3. Just compare the specs & you'll see there's a HUGE difference.

The 8500GT specs are most likely:

GPU: 450MHz
memory: 400MHz (128-bit GDDR2 @ 800MHz)
stream processors: 16

The 9600GT specs are most likely:

GPU: 650MHz
memory: 900MHz (256-bit GDDR3 @ 1800MHz)
stream processors: 64

Have a look at the following chart. It's not a direct comparison but it will still give you a good idea of how mush better the 9600GT is than the 8500GT:

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark Comparison: 9600GT vs 8500GT

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January 6, 2009 at 07:13:30
Thanks dude, happy new year to you too.
The 8500gt was clocked at 500mhz, 667Mhz ddr2 memory, and 512mb.
The 9600gt is 675mhz core and 1800mhz memory, 512MB.
I was expecting a big jump in graphics performance, that's why I waited so long before upgrading from the 8500gt.

However, what explains the cpu scores?
My cpu score has jumped up by a multiple of 3 just by replacing the graphics card.
Maybe nvidia is living up to its word and really offloading lot of the cpu tasks onto the gpu.

Hows your business and bike doing there? Hope all is fine at your end.


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January 6, 2009 at 07:51:35
"Hows your business and bike doing there? Hope all is fine at your end"

It's winter in my neck of the woods so the bike has been put away. Actually, it's in pieces in my garage right now for some much needed maintenance & a few more performance mods.

I've backed off on my PC business quite a bit. I still have a few "regulars" that I take care of but I've decided to unload most the hardware I've accumulated & concentrate on other things.

How are you doing? Seems like things aren't too stable in your country right now...terrorist attacks, threats back & forth with Pakistan, etc. Are you anywhere near the "action"?

Here's what happens when you sacrifice CPU for GPU

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January 6, 2009 at 10:58:15
The CPU score increased because your new GPU can accelerate the "PhysX" present in the CPU tests.

Your old 8500GT couldn't do that; nVidia currently limits hardware PhysX to the 8800 cards (and higher).

C2D performance from Socket 939:
Opty 185 @ 3.2GHz
4GB CL2 DDR400
2x 8800GTS in SLI
X-Fi Titanium Pro PCI-E
A8N32-SLI Deluxe
Vista 64
24" Samsung

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January 6, 2009 at 11:21:55
I'm located 600kms south of Mumbai, along the same east cost of India. Thankfully, all my friends and relatives are safe.

The Indian govt. and media have embarked on a full-scale diplomatic and media war on Pakistan. Some news channels still play the images of the burning hotels and the dead cops. They won't let the Indian public recover from the horrors yet, they will rub it in for another 6 months at least.

Compared to how other govts. are reacting in places like Gaza I think the diplomatic blame game is definitely a better alternative. Besides, the majority of Pakistanis want cordial relations with India and do not want to be labeled a "terrorist state".

The threat of any war with Pakistan was all media hype, both sides ruled out war from the very outset, this was hype generated by the media.


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January 7, 2009 at 10:33:02
I had read about nvidia gpus invading over cpu territory about a year ago in a mag, I didn't expect to see it have such high effects.
The gpu is actually increasing the total cpu computing by over 3 times.
Its good to see nvidia really living up to its promise.

One question...
How do I know which games benefit from the PhysX computations of the nvidia cards and which don't?
For example... 3dMark vantage's cpu scores shot up by 3 times, but 3dMark05 and 3dMark06 cpu scores remained the same.

So will all future (or current) games take advantage of this, or is it the choice of the game developer if he wants to program his games in such a way that they take benefit of nvidias new chips this way?


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January 7, 2009 at 13:25:38
game developers choice. and i would be surprised to see more games take advantage of physics processing: the PhysX add-in card idea was even shorter-lived than BTX motherboards, and if only one of The Big Two (nvidia/ati) are making efforts to process physics, it's even less in the developer's interest to write games that depend on physics processing.

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January 8, 2009 at 06:45:52
I think with the performance that these chips offer, it would be a bit stupid if software makers didn't take advantage of this power. I think 3D application and other animation programs will surely want to exploit this.

Would it be correct to say that the GPU can perform the PhysX computations 3 times faster than the C2D?

I purchased the 9600GT for Rs.6400/- where as my dual core intel cpu cost more than Rs.7000/-
So the nvidia card cost less, is more than twice as powerful as the C2D (in certain computations) and also serves as a very affordable gaming card.


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January 8, 2009 at 07:59:00
Comparing a GPU to a CPU is like comparing an apple to an orange.

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January 8, 2009 at 23:08:58
I didn't mean to have a direct comparison between the two. The gpu is only optimized for certain kinds of computations.
I was thinking about those people who upgrade their cpus for a 30% or 40% boost, or the overclockers who spend hours fine tuning and overclocking their cpus and modifying their cooling for about 10% or 20% boost in performance.
And most of these overclockers want to overclock to get higher frame rates in games anyway.
Whereas, the nvidia chip is offering us a 300% boost in cpu gaming physix computation for almost no extra cost.


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January 11, 2009 at 03:03:17
Another Question please....

Where do I go to make sure I have the latest PhysX drivers/software for my card?

When I installed the latest nvidia drivers it added the physix drivers, but recently I installed Medal Of Honor - Air Borne, and this installed agea physx software too. When I click on the new agea icon, it takes me to the nvidia CP with the physix tab selected.

During installing I was reading the message which seemed that it was removing the newer nvidia physx drivers and installing older versions instead.

So... how do I make sure I always have the latest physx drivers along with the latest nvidia drivers?


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February 9, 2009 at 10:12:13
>>So... how do I make sure I always have the latest physx drivers along with the latest nvidia drivers?<<

Open the Nvidia control panel, click on help > system information > components tab and it should tell you what you want to know.

"Doin' right ain't got no end." Cap'n Red Legs

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