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upgrade to 9800 gx2 - lower performance than expected


New Member
Oct 15, 2009
4 (0.00/day)
So, I just got some hardware from my bro-in-law and used it to upgrade our old old desktop. Here are the new items:

AMD Athlon 64 x2 4800+ on Asus
EVGA/Nvidia GeForce 9800 gx2
4 GB of RAM, 2x333 MHz, 2x400 MHz

After getting it up and running with Windows 7 64 bit, I tried running 3dMark06 and it scored in the mid 6000s with resolution at 1440x900.

I just wanted to get an idea of whether or not this was a normal level of performance for a system like this. I've been out of the PC customizing business for awhile :)

Also, is it a problem to put different speed RAM together like that? It shows up and is stable, but CPU-Z shows that my RAM is running at 133 MHz!!!


New Member
Aug 6, 2006
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Benchmark Scores 3dMark 03-~62k 3dMark 05-~22k 3dMark 06-18268
That CPU will bring your score WAY down. But do also make sure there is enough power. Running different speed RAM is ok, it just runs at the slowest speed. Make sure to check your BIOS is configured properly.


New Member
Oct 15, 2009
4 (0.00/day)
I have an 850W Corsair, I think 75A on a single 12V rail...hope that works, not sure what else I can do if it doesn't. Maybe I'll keep an eye on the 12V line with monitoring during the benchmark...if there's something wrong with it, the voltage should drop, right?

I'll get to work on the BIOS settings and SLI enabling through Nvidia. Thanks!


New Member
May 19, 2008
2,754 (0.78/day)
In a state of flux...
Your PSU is fine but the rest of your system is a pretty big bottleneck to that GX2.

An AMD 240, cheap AM2+ board and some DDR2 would work wonders and unlock a lot of frames in the games you no doubt play. :)

Once again, make sure SLi is Enabled and once thats done give us a screenshot of your cards results in 06 at its default resolution of 1280x1024.

Also, download the new GPU-z that can be found on the front page of TPU (Also here!!) and check your card isn't overheating..you can do this in the "Sensors" tab of the app.

Hope this helps. :toast:


New Member
Oct 15, 2009
4 (0.00/day)
Wow...GPU-Z shows the 2 cores at 79 and 81 degrees C...
Not sure how that's happening. I'm sitting here idle....haven't run 3dMark for a few hours.

Maybe a fan is broken on there...or is this normal for these monster cards??
Aug 2, 2009
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That's normal for those cards if the fan is on stock. And, like the others said, it's probably because of your CPU. At that resolution it's gonna be very CPU dependent. I bet you could crank the settings way up and get pretty much the same score.


New Member
Oct 15, 2009
4 (0.00/day)
Yeah, after reading up on these some more, I found that 80 C is normal...kinda crazy. I found some guides to improving this through replacing fans or removing the cover and such...more DIY I guess.

Thanks for all the help.
Jul 12, 2005
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Benchmark Scores 3dMark 11 P7066 Compare Link- http://3dmark.com/3dm11/251153
Install EVGA precision and turn up the fan to at least 65%.....Higher if you want piece of mind....it'll be loud....but keeping this card cool is an important part in getting the most out of it.....but...like mentioned already.....aside from your PSU....the rest of the rig is strangling the GX2.....I got 20k+ on XP with my 9800GX2 with my current hardware.

Unleash the beast.

Hope it helps. :)


WCG Team Assistant
Sep 15, 2009
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Yeah, after reading up on these some more, I found that 80 C is normal...kinda crazy. I found some guides to improving this through replacing fans or removing the cover and such...more DIY I guess.

Thanks for all the help.
Join over in the Folding@home section, that GX2 should be good for 9-11k PPD :toast:


Served 5k and counting ...
Mar 17, 2007
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Run 3dMark Vantage instead, I am sure you will see a difference there.



Overclocked quantum bit
Dec 6, 2007
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Just confirming the other posters here: that your CPU is a huge bottleneck for that card. Until recently, I had a socket 939 Athlon X2 3800+ o/c 2.6GHz and I got similar performance with a GX2. Actually, I still have it. :D

Upgrading to an Intel E8500 o/c 4.11GHz made a massive difference to performance. 2 - 3 times better in some cases. It was seriously like night and day.

My GX2 ran 65-70C in idle, with the case side panel off.

Your PSU is way fine to run that card.


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Staff member
Jan 18, 2006
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Just overclock your CPu by a couple of hundred mhz (providing you have decent CPU cooling), that alone will show quite an increase in performance, just remember however, synthetic benchmarks like 2006 etc default at 1280 resolutions which are CPU bound in any case, if you game at higher res then the power of the GPU will be a much more significant factor and will provide you with that additional performance that you are not seeing in benchmarks.
Aug 30, 2009
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Benchmark Scores GTX 1080 please?
You need to get that RAM faster. 133MHz (DDR-266) probably isn't fast enough for that processor. I have an ASUS board that read the SPD wrong on a good set of Patriot DDR-400 and locked it in at 200MHz DDR. Maybe you should pull a pair and find which pair is causing the speed to go down to 133 if it's locked that way in the BIOS.


New Member
Jan 18, 2008
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Since you upgraded did you clean all your old drivers out first completely, before installing ones for the 9800gx2?
Dec 5, 2006
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Ya you are having VERY severe CPU and Ram limitation.
Jan 2, 2008
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Benchmark Scores http://www.3dmark.com/fs/12108888
Also check at what speed your PCI-Ex is running at on GPUz. having a 9800GX2 run @ PCI=Ex 1x severely cuts the performance to half.