Processor or Graphics Card Performance?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by form, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. form macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2003
    in a country
    I recently replaced my ati128 16mb pci graphics card with a radeon 7000 pci card, and the performance of all the games I have tried in it (warcraft 3, diablo 2, theme park world) remains the same.

    Does this mean that my processor is unable to keep up, or does it mean that the card itself is failing to do what it should, or does it mean that the upgrade is so miniscule in performance difference that I shouldn't expect more than 1/2 a fps improvement? I could use some help on this subject.

  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Probably due to the PCI bus limitations.

    And those PowerMac G3's also had a slow FSB, which won't help.

    And the Motorola chipset they used caused all sorts of bottlenecks.
  3. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    Since you fail to mention what the speed of your processor is, it would be kinda hard to judge what the problem is. However, it is quite possible that if you have a very old system, it simply isn't fast enough to push the graphics card to give you a boost in performance. In essence, the ATI Radeon 7000 should be a good deal faster than that aging ATI Rage card. However, even the Radeon 7000 is 4 year old technology and would be unable to push any game made in the past few years.
  4. form thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2003
    in a country
    400mhz g3 blue and white, 640mb ram. I heard from persons with similar systems that the same upgrade boosted their wc3 frame rate considerably, at low quality settings.

    The reason why I doubt it would be pci bus limitation is because others have noted performance improvements, and the rage128 card doesn't fully cap the pci capacity, as far as I know.

    There are two other things that have just occured. One was the gamma of my screen starting low after a restart, noticeably way down...then while I'm doing things, 10 minutes later in the desktop, it goes back up to normal all by itself.

    The second is this incidence of slowdown, or slight jerking of the framerate in a few games which have a very simple scene and the moving camera slows once or twice, then resumes smooth flow, in a repeating loop every second or two. This never happened on my ati 128 card...odd?

    Anyone have any ideas? I'm edging closer to undergoing a psychotic fit, having purchased this card, and now watching it do odd things, and perform slightly worse in one aspect, than my old one..
  5. form thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2003
    in a country
    This is fascinating.

    I ran Xbench 1.1.3 just now, and got this result:

    ATI Rage 128 16mb

    Thread Test 34.94
    Computation 25.60 345.65 Kops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 55.00 690.39 Klocks/sec, 4 threads
    Quartz Graphics Test 54.57
    Line 42.45 1.08 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 51.73 3.64 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 53.51 1.23 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 52.40 569.38 beziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 91.23 1.49 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 54.56
    Spinning Squares 54.56 38.18 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 79.01
    Elements 79.01 25.41 refresh/sec

    ATI Radeon 7000 32mb

    Thread Test 34.70
    Computation 25.42 343.12 Kops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 54.67 686.27 Klocks/sec, 4 threads
    Quartz Graphics Test 52.96
    Line 42.44 1.08 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 50.74 3.57 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 52.31 1.21 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 49.27 535.40 beziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 85.29 1.39 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 47.20
    Spinning Squares 47.20 33.03 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 79.08
    Elements 79.08 25.44 refresh/sec

    This shows that the radeon actually was inferior in performance to my old card. Same pci66 slot...but actually slower in everything except the User Interface Test. I found this very interesting. Anyone have some idea why this could be?
  6. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    To put it simply, you are CPU-bottlenecked.

    I mean, you clearly jumped a generation in ATi cards, going from a Rage to the more modern 7000 series. I can guarantee that you'd see bigger results if you had a g4...and certainly a G5 (which would actually be underwhelmed :) )

    I'll provide a PC example (but the same situation nonetheless):

    I was averaging 45-50FPS on most Counter-strike maps.
    Config? Athlon 800, Matrox G400.

    So...maybe I'm CPU bottlenecked?
    Upgrade1: Athlon 1150Mhz, Matrox G400.
    FPS? 55-60FPS.

    A small, but slight improvement nonetheless.

    Upgrade2: Athlon 1150Mhz, ATi Radeon 8500.
    FPS? 65-75FPS.

    Still not good enough. You need BOTH a strong CPU and a strong video card for high FPS. I mean, don't expect fireworks (pardon the pun =D) if you have a G4 paired with a 6800; but likewise, don't expect a Dual G5 to perform well if you handicap it with a 5200.

    This is what I call "putting the 7 foot basketball player into a Civic"--he can't stretch his legs!
  7. form thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2003
    in a country

    But why would my old graphics card actually outperform the new one? Slightly, I know, but it DOES. I saw NO performance Gain, and a tiny performance LOSS. Why?
  8. form thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2003
    in a country

    And this means the benchmark scores would also be the same?...Well that sucks.
  9. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Well, I didn't finish the story.

    The last part is:
    Upgrade3: Athlon 2133Mhz >> FSB 333 (compared to 200 with the 1150Mhz), Radeon 8500
    FPS: 100FPS, ANYWHERE, in 32player games on the biggest FPS still doesn't drop. Higher resolutions? FPS still doesn't drop...I think you get the picture.

    *As you can see, the 8500 was constantly limited until I got
    1) higher FSB
    2) higher clockspeed

    Of course, those two factors go hand-in-hand quite a bit (167FSB of G4 vs. 1Ghz of G5).

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