I tried to get very accurate results. But like I mentioned earlier a couple benches like 7-Zip made it hard to do. Also, Instead of providing peak numbers for the benches I picked the result that was the most common. Anyways, check out the results below for each program I used as a benchmark.
TMNations Track Mania – Racing Game
This is a fun racing game. Although it is much more popular than a couple years ago, its still a somewhat unkown game. The best part is the game is Absolutely FREE!
You can race Single Player AND Online against thousands of others and even others right in your city. Has a great stats system and many tracks to choose from! This game can also put some stress on higher end computers. Very nice graphics and sound quality. I highly recommend you check it out! Click here for Download…
A solid 10% increase in average frames from top to bottom. This is another bench that I had a hard time being consistent. I also had to lower the quality to Low, No AA/AF, and 1024×768 resolution. I don’t like using settings that no one would ever really use but the cpu was easily fillrate limiting the 8800gt. Even at these low settings the video card still had a impact. I oced the card and frames would still increase. Whats interesting is that I did a quick test with ‘Audio Disabled’ and had a consistent, and very solid 10 Frame per Second increase compared to having ‘Audio Enabled’. I was using the onboard Realtek High Definition audio codec from the Asrock motherboard. So if you are really having a hard time getting high enough frames and it appears to be cpu limited, try using a dedicated sound card like a Creative Labs X-FI or Sound Blaster Live! equiv.
7-Zip 9.11 Beta
This is a very poupular, feature rich, and easy to use file compression/decompression application utility. It supports .zip, .rar, and ect.. It is open source as well so it is completely free…
This bench was the absolute worse when it came to getting consistent results. It was nothing for it to have back to back runs more than 3% or apart. So I went with the middle results. As you can see, there is about a 6% and 8% gain from top to bottom. So its not to shabby if doing this type of work..
Power Consumption – Total
I decided to go ahead and do some power consupmtion tests to see what affect the memory controller has on power usage. Remember the cpu i’m using doesn’t have any Level3 cache so expect those cpu’s to have alittle more consumption compared to non-cached northbridge versions. I didn’t have the time to include results based on the 2820mhz northbridge setting.
When it comes to power consumption, its apparent that northbridge overclocking is by no means ‘free’. Idle increases about 6 watts which is alittle more than a 3% increase. Things heat up more when cpu load come into play. A 9 watt increase with a Single Core loaded and an 8 watt increase with both cores loaded. You can expect 2820mhz speeds to add approx another 4 watts, so keep that in mind. I really need to mention that I did NOT run at the lowest stable voltage. I didn’t feel like dealing with it so I raised the voltage automatically with each increase in northbridge clockspeed. I didn’t raise it to much but enough to show at least a minor increase in consumption.
So, after seeing the data is it really worth going through the work of finding the northbridge sweet spot? No, not to me personally. But as is usually the case it depends on the person, expectations, and what the computer is used for. If you need extra cpu/memory performance in your games and/or video rendering then I would say yes its is worth it. 6%-15% gains is quite nice for 800-1ghz increase in northbridge speed (If your cpu can handle it). If your computer is for doing things like what SuperPI, Fritz Chess Bench, and Cinebench (Except for Video Rendering of course) then no. If your computer is only used for internet browsing, downloading, playing solitare then its definitely not worth the time nor worth the increased power consumption. Speaking of power consumption it increases with nb speeds so you will need to determine if thats ok or not. If your a Bench Babe then yes you will want to overclock the Cacheless Northbridge. Either way, hopefully you got something useful from this little article. 🙂