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3200XL running slow on Soyo SY-P4RC350


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Hello. I recently upgraded my desktop from a PIII 1GHz/100 to a P4 3GHz/800 so I could run my molecular dynamics code at a more reasonable speed. I had a (freebie) Soyo SY-P4RC350 laying around and bought a TWINX1024-3200XLPT kit for it. Unfortunatly, the ram is running slow. The code is primarily CPU-intensive but memory speed is a close second.

 

I first noticed the slowdown when running my MD code. I checked the CPU with Intel's utility to make sure it was running at the proper speed (it was). Next, I tried checking the BIOS settings - everything seemed correct, but to my knowledge Soyo never released a full manual for this board so I don't know how correct I've got things. Finally, I ran Passmark's PerformanceTest program, which confirmed the slow memory. It turns out my laptop's factory DDR333 blows the 3200XL's away. That's is just not right. The only thing I can think of is that ATI's IXP chipset is severly limited compared to Intel chipsets.

 

I need to know if this is an easily fixable BIOS setting(s) issue, or a chipset limitation in which the solution is simply to get a "real" motherboard. Since I'm on a grad student's salary, the latter is a bit tougher to pull off.

 

Relevant (AIM) BIOS Settings:
Max CPUID Value Limit: Disabled
Hardware Prefetcher: Enabled 
Adjacent Cache Line Prefetch: Enabled 
Memory Frequency: Auto 
Memory Timing Parameter: Auto (Setting it manually only allows for 2-2-2-4, which still produces the same results, so SPD seems to be working.)
Memory I/F Timing: Auto (Forcing 1T has no effect.)

 

Thanks in advance!!!

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Thanks for the quick reply CandyKid. CPU-Z shows the following:

 

Core Speed: 2993.1 MHz
Multiplier: x 15.0
FSB: 199.5 MHz
Bus Speed: 798.1 MHz
The only field it filled in on the memory tab was Size: 1024 MB
And of course, it was able to read the SPD info correctly for the 3200XL's. 

 

As far as perceived slowness is concerned, before I upgraded my desktop I had done a test with my previous memory, changing it from Auto/SPD to forced correct timings (it was top-of-the-line Corsair PC100). I noticed a solid 15% increase in speed in my MD program with the forced settings. This is what prompted me to order XL's instead of C2's or value selects for the upgrade.

 

Furthermore, when I compare the upgraded desktop to my notebook, I expect relatively equivalent performance from the two, given the pertinent hardware specs. The notebook is a 3.2/800/512KB, 1GB/PC2700/(2.5-3-3-7), 7200rpm/IDE, whereas the desktop is a 3.0/800/1MB, 1GB/PC3200/XL's, 10Krpm/U160. The notebook runs my MD program 26~33% faster than my desktop. I find it hard to believe, when comparing those specs, that the extra 200MHz edge the notebook CPU has could make that much of a difference - especially when it's only got half the L2 cache.

 

Oh, and Passmark give's my notebook's ram a 468 composite and the desktop's XL's a 350 composite. (33% difference)

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I just did a little digging...

 

First, your memory is running in single-channel mode since that mainboard doesn't support dual-channel.

 

Second, if you're using the integrated graphics, it's probably forcing the memory to run at DDR333.

 

Third, that mainboard is killing your performance in and of itself.

 

I also wanted to ask, what notebook do you have? What brand/model?

 

PLUR

CK

 

P.S. Looking at the ASUS and ABit i865 chipset mainbaords on Newegg.com, you can get a farily nice one for about $50-$75 dollars, if you were looking to upgrade within a tight budget.

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I just did a little digging...

 

First, your memory is running in single-channel mode since that mainboard doesn't support dual-channel.

 

Second, if you're using the integrated graphics, it's probably forcing the memory to run at DDR333.

 

Third, that mainboard is killing your performance in and of itself.

 

I also wanted to ask, what notebook do you have? What brand/model?

 

PLUR

CK

 

Yes, I knew it wasn't running in dual channel mode. I was fully planning to upgrade the motherboard - but not quite so soon. I was only using the Soyo motherboard to try and save a buck or two.

 

I have the integrated graphics disabled and am running a 1.5V 4x AGP card (Matrox G550).

 

The notebook is a mighty fine customized HP zx5000, built last May. Thanks to that CPU-Z utility, I just found out that it has an ATI Radeon 9100 IGP Chipset. So technically, isn't the Soyo's chipset the next revision (9100 IGP Pro) and thus shouldn't the desktop have that advantage, as well?

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I've been reading up a little and apparently the ATI IGP 9100 (original) chipset definitely had a memory performance issue. Supposedly, ATI took care of this problem with the new chipset revision (PRO).

 

It seems to me that it's quite possible that this issue was never fully/truly resolved...that is, unless someone can point out something I've missed in the configs that'll make the XL's run like they should.

 

If I have to break down and buy a new board, what's the prefered chipset for running 3200XL's: 875 or 865?

 

Thanks!

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