Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!
Now it’s time to describe the process of achieving the record result and the result itself.
All the tests were run on our testbed, aka “benchmarking dragster”. The system configuration was as follows:
- Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.20GHz;
- ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe mainboard;
- 2x256MB Kingston HyperX KHX3500 DDR SDRAM (Winbond BH-5 chips);
- Sparkle SP-8835 graphics card;
- Antec TrueControl 550W PSU.
The most efficient off-the-shelf phase-change cooling system for computers, the nVENTIV Mach II GT, was cooling the CPU down. As I said above, a dedicated Koolance EXOS system with an original Koolance water-block for the GPU was installed on the graphics card. We also added copper heatsinks on the memory chips and provided additional cooling with the help of a 120mm Sunon fan (75CFM). We performed Vdimm modification on the mainboard to give 3.35v voltage to the memory modules.
The most efficient operational mode of the CPU (the multiplier is unlocked, so we can choose) is 305x14, i.e. 4300MHz. The memory works in the 5:4 mode (245MHz) with the smallest timings (2-5-2-2).
Let’s now get back to the beginning of our experiments and analyze the performance growth.
We had a top-end system and a score of 22 thousand without any extreme methods – it was hard to believe that we would add about 6 thousand more to this number.
LaikrodiZ tried to get the utmost out of the card, not using phase-change cooling of the CPU. After the Vgpu mod, at 615/955MHz frequencies and with the CPU clocked at 3800MHz (ASUS P4P800 mainboard, Kingston HyperX KHX3200 and Sirtec 420W PSU) he scored 23,522. This is still the second position in the 5900XT rating.
Then I took the card and continued working on my own system. The point of 25 thousand was conquered rather easily and 26K yielded after the Vmem modification. As a result, I stopped at something like 26,200. Until that I had been using Detonator 53.03 since version 44.03 is seldom used with the 5900XT. But after 26 thousand I realized that I could go higher. The best result for the full-fledged GeForce FX 5900 is 27,166 (Kunaak, XtremeSystems.org Team), and the best result for the 5950 Ultra is 28,055 (Fugger, XtremeSystems.org Team), while the absolute record for all graphics cards from NVIDIA was set by Hiwayman on the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra – the astonishing 29,048 score. All these records were set with Detonator 44.03. So I decided to switch to another driver.
Spending much time on revealing the driver’s peculiarities (the card would hang up at a random moment in the test after the GPU frequency exceeded 600MHz), we managed to make all the system components work right and achieved an impressive score of 27,882. In the unofficial rating on all graphics cards from NVIDIA, we took the third position after Hiwayman with the 5900 Ultra and Fugger with the 5950 Ultra. We also made it to the second page of the common ORB rating with our sub-$200 graphics card (in the middle of May, 2004). That’s not bad for a value product, yeah?
And then I pressed a little too hard…