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Saturday, February 14: UGM 6.0: Benchmarks

Valentine's Day

Patrick Norton

How fast is the PC we've put together?

We went for the best numbers we could get on FutureMark's (, the benchmark company formerly known as Mad Onion) 3D Mark 2001 SE (build 330), a solid, all-around 3D performance benchmark. We also tested with Unreal Tournament 2003, the most power-hungry game we've seen yet.

Preliminary Benchmarks

Before we built UGM 6.0, Yoshi grabbed the two fastest chips and the two fastest graphics cards, and he came up with these benchmarks (tests run at 1,024x768 screen resolution).

We said Intel's 3.06 PIV ran 3D Mark 2001 a shade faster. It also costs nearly twice the price of the speediest AMD Athlon XP processor. Also, the Athlon XP ran UT2003 faster. Costs less? Runs the real game faster? We went for the AMD Athlon.

UGM Benchmarks

These were the final benchmark numbers on our tweaked but not overclocked UGM 6.0:

  1. 3D Mark 2001 SE: 15057

That score is almost identical to the 3.06 PIV we tested. UGM yielded 80 frames per second on Unreal Tournament 2003 Bot Match (full version of the game, not the demo). Not bad.

Frankly, you'll notice nearly no difference in those benchmark results up there.

Behind the Numbers

Is UGM 6.0 that much faster than other top-of-the-line systems out there? Not really. The truth is, most games run in the CPU, memory, and the graphics card. The motherboards that make a healthy difference in performance simply connect those parts better than other motherboards (I'm oversimplifying here).

A faster hard drive helps load games faster. It'll help you change levels faster as your CPU sucks the info off the drive and into main memory. But it's not gonna help many games much (if at all) while you're playing.

The next stop for our UGM? Overclocking, definitely. Then more benchmark tests. Then?

3D Mark 2001

3.06GHz Pentium 4

AMD Athlon XP 2800+

NVidia GeForce Ti 4600



ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro



Numbers are based on Futuremark's 3D Mark 2001 SE benchmark.

Unreal 2003 Bot Match

3.06GHz Pentium 4

AMD Athlon Tournament XP 2800+

NVidia GeForce Ti 4600



ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro



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