Could my Barton 2500+ be bottlenecking my ut2k3 performance?

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Thread Starter
Sep 6, 2003
Hey guys. The computer I am using isnt actually finished yet, but so far it isnt looking too good. (Refer to the benchmarks and system specs at the bottom of the page).

It seems like I am getting about 60 fps in ut2k3(1024x768 w/ noAA or AF) when really I should be getting closer to 75-80...

I have had this problem for a very long time but I always thought it was because of my RAM, but now I dont even think that is the problem. I am sure it isnt the video card because I get good scores in the 3dmark game 4 tests. I know its not the mobo because I have changed motherboards in the past (I switched from a a7v8x-x to the a7n8x with all the components you see at the bottom. It made a bit of a difference, but not that much). I know it isnt windows or drivers because I went and reinstalled windows with the newest cats, nforce, service packs etc. and still problem, so it couldnt have been a windows setting.

I originally thought it was the RAM because I only had 512mb of valueRAM in single channel, but today I went to the computer store and tried out another pair of 512mb valueRAM (DDR400). This gave me a total of 1gb DDR400 RAM (****** timings etc. but I dont think those could make that much of a difference) running in dual channel. I ran the benchmarks and it turns out my scores are exactly the same! they are all within 1 fps (or less than 3%) from my single channel scores listed at bottom. To me this made no sense. How could it be that double the RAM in dual channel instead of single channel could make no difference? I figured there must be a bottleneck somewhere which is limiting my system so even though I have added the RAM bandwidth, it is not making a difference.

The only thing I never changed or really tested was the CPU. I did try to OC the thing a bit up to about 2200mhz and it made like a 1 or 2 fps difference in ut2k3, so I never really figured it could be the problem but now I am not so sure... There is no way it could be anything else...

So basically, I was wondering if you guys could maybe show me some more specific benchmarks so I can try to pinpoint the problem, and maybe list what I should be getting in the benchmarks. I have had this problem for more than 6 months now, and I still havent figured out the reason (well, for a while I thought it was the RAM and I was just saving up...)

As always, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here are my system specs and benchs:

3DMark Score.................15463
Game1(Low detail)............206.3 fps
Game1(High detail)...........67.0 fps
Game2(Low detail)............302.8 fps
Game2(high detail)...........156.9 fps
Game3(Low detail)............175.6 fps
Game3(High detail)...........76.1 fps
Game4........................130.8 fps
(All display settings set to "High Performance")

3Dmark score.................5530
Game1........................166.2 fps
Game2........................38.2 fps
game3........................33.4 fps
game4........................34.4 fps
CPU Score....................508
CPU test 1...................57.2 fps
CPU test 2...................8.9 fps
(All display settings set to "High Performance")

CPU score....................5706
Memory Score.................5317
HDD Score....................666
(All display settings set to "High Performance")

Unreal Tournament 2k3:
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........179.4 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......63.1 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........192.3 fps
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......63.3 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........135.3 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......62.0 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........189.7
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......63.3
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........95.1 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......45.7 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........168.8 fps
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......63.2 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(FlyBy).........60.5 fps
4xAA and 8xAF(BotMatch)......31.1 fps
noAA and NoAF(FLyBy).........121.8 fps
noAA and NoAF(BotMatch)......60.8 fps
(All display settings set to "High Quality")

System Info:
Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4
Athlon XP 2500+ @ Stock
ASUSTeK Computer INC. A7N8X2.0 REV 2.xx (NForce2 driver ver. 2.45)
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS A7N8X2.0 ACPI BIOS Rev 1006
HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4480B (48x24x48CD/16xDVD read)
MAXTOR 6L060J3(60.04 GB)
512Mb PC3200 ValueRAM, single Channel mode (for now) CAS 3.0 4-4-7
RADEON 9800 PRO @ Stock (Driver ver.
IBM G78 [Monitor] (15.7"vis, s/n 55-K5150, December 2000)
Creative SB Audigy
Aug 15, 2002
OK...well....where are you getting this info that the scores should be higher?

I mean, OK, you're really not going to see any improvement at all if you get that much higher than what you're getting now...your eyes can only see at like 72fps, or something like personally, I don't get why you want to get it higher. I mean, as long as it looks good....But....

It seems to have something to do with the fact that the low scores all have Botmatches, and no matter what the resolution, the botmatch schores can't break 64 fps. Do you know for sure if anyone else has gotten higher than that? It looks like a software problem to me, since nothing can get higher than that.
Jun 25, 2003
Dual channel get's only 3% difference over single channel nforce2. The biggest difference is when, or "if "you use onboard video with dual channel.Really, the nforce2 400 chipset (im assuming you are familiar with the new single channel nforce chipsets) is indeed faster, but only a tad, bu it disproved the dual channel myth. Read about the nforce2 400 Soltek NV400 L64 here

However _ I dunno what's up with your config, something is amiss, maybe OS or software related.


Thread Starter
Sep 6, 2003
In PCGamer (April 2003, actually march)
they reviewed a PC with the following setup:

Athlon XP 3000+
1 Gb PC-2700 Dual Channel
RADEON 9700 pro
yada yada yada

Anyways, this computer scored 15,565 in 3dmark 2001 (3dmark 2k3 wasnt out yet) with only 102 fps in G4, but it scored this in UT2k3(All benchs ran in 32 bit colour with all settings maxed, noAA or AF enabled):

1024x768 - 206,83 fps
1280x960 - 160,82 fps
1600x1200 - 108,73 fps

I realise that this computer has a bit faster processor, but keep in mind this is in march, the cpu was only a 333 fsb just like mine, so the only difference there is the multiplier. Other than that the comp is the same except my vid card is a little faster and it shows in the tests. Still though, in overall system performance that computer destroyed my ut2k3 benchmarks by like 30%!

Anyways, no one knows of any seperate benchmarking utilities that bench only certain components of the comp? I wanna get to the bottom of this and to do that I need to try and isolate the problem so I can replace the right part.

More specifically, I have heard people talking about a RAM benchmark called sandra something? Well anyways something specific like that would be great. If anyone knows the website to get that utility please let me know.

About the thing looking good even at the current benchs. It is a benchmark. Anyone who plays ut2k3 that uses the benchmark will probably tell you that if the bench comes in at 60 fps, its actually more like <45 unless you are walking in a straight line with no bots onscreen. Second of all, I may be getting 60+ fps in the ut2k3 benchmark, but when half life 2 and doom 3 come out Im gonna barely be able to keep 30 prolly. I really wanna get this computer running up to spec before those games come out, but so far I cant seem to pull it together...

Anyways, thanks for the help so far, I really really REALLY hope you guys can help me figure this out once and for all.

p.s. sorry I missed the OS thing at the bottom, I dont think it could be because I have reinstalled windows a few times, I may try winXP sometime to see if it makes a difference but I doubt it will. Plus I dont really have that much time on my hands, reinstalling OS takes a long time with back ups etc.
Aug 15, 2002
Actually, the 9800 Pro is already getting about 60FPS in HL2, and it's currently the best out there.

Honestly, nothing looks wrong with your system. The fact that your 3dmark score is like a hundred lower means nothing, it could have just been some background app or some extra windows system thing taking up a few resources.

They probably tweaked the crap out of their system to get those scores....different drivers, overclocking the vid card, all that really should not worry about it. Your system is fine, and currently, it's going to get the best scores on HL2 or Doom 3.....not that it matters, because they won't be out until 2004 anyway....well, maybe HL2 will come out earlier, but i doubt it.


Thread Starter
Sep 6, 2003
im more concerned with the ut2k3 score actually...

Neways I ran the sandra program wizard and I got a few warnings which caught my attention. Unfortunately this program seems rather inaccurate with a lot of things. It gave me a message saying my motherboard temperature is 187.7 degrees celsius when I guarantee you it is not. However it did say a few things about my mainboard that may or may not be true, maybe you could help me with this.

here are the messages:

Tip T2545 - Large memory modules (256MB or greater) should be Registered/Buffered, especially if more than 2 are installed on the same channel. This improves signal quality by reducing the load on the chipset channel. While these modules add an extra clock delay due to the on-board buffers (thus CL2 effectively becomes CL3), the stability will be worth it. Server chipsets with many memory slots generally require Registered memory.
Fix: If you plan on adding more memory, consider replacing the modules with Registered/Buffered modules. Do note that you cannot mix Unbuffered and Registered/Buffered modules on the same channel, but you may be able to if the chipset has multiple memory channels

Tip T2546 - Large memory modules (512 or greater) should be ECC/Parity. Since the probability that a bit will be corrupt is the same or increases with module density, the bigger the module, the bigger the overall probability that you will get one or more corrupted bits. While these modules add an extra delay on partial writes (e.g. less than data width) as parity for the whole line must be re-calculated, the stability will be worth it.
Fix: If you plan on adding more memory, consider replacing the modules with ECC/Parity modules. Do note that running plain and ECC/Parity modules will turn off ECC/Parity for the whole memory array

I dont know if this is accurate or not, do you guys think it likely that my memory modules dont support these features? If they didnt and I got some that did what kind of performance difference could I expect?
Dec 12, 2002
Have you tried turning off V-Sync and raising your monitors refresh rate? That seems to be your problem.
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