I have been benchmarking for fun for quite a while now, but I usually stop on a 24/7 stable overclock and donít take it any further. Comparing my scores to those on the Hwbot.org UK top 100 list usually makes me feel weak and timid, but it came to me the other day that these guys canít possibly run these machines 24/7 on the likes of LN2 or DICE, so whatís going on here.
Tactics. Basically the cpuís and gpuís are overclocked to suicide levels just for the benchmarks and nothing more, if they survive, itís a bonus. But where does that leave me. I have a two loop watercooled system with the gpu and cpu on separate loops, so how do I get into the UK top 100, never mind into the points.
Letís look at the cpu tests first. Hwbot gives you cpu rankings for the following benchmarks.
Now letís talk tactics. There are four short tests and three long tests on this list.
The three short tests are CPU-Z, Pifast, SuperPi (1m) and wPrime 32m.
On the short tests I donít need a 24/7 stable system, nor even a long term stable system. It only needs to be stable for a short time, long enough to run the test and validate the score somehow. This usually takes the form of a screenshot or online validation.
Using a Q9550 as an example, I managed to get 4.552 GHz stable long enough for CPU-Z to validate online. That was it though, when I did a screen grab and tried to open paint, the system crashed. I had to stabilise the system to go online and grab the validation screen.
Although this didnít bag me any points it did put me 25th in the UK Q9550 hardware ranks. This is not a stable overclock, it wonít run for more than a few minutes in my current setup, but it counts and thatís what matters.
Pifast, SuperPi and wPrime are a different matter. CPU-Z doesnít make the cpu do much at all, but these programs need the cpu stable enough to do some work. For Pifast expect the benchmark to last between 20 to 30 seconds on a Q9550, SuperPi lasts between 10 to 30 secs and wPrime lasts about 8 to 10 secs. Pifast took a few tries at 4.505 to get a screenshot, twice I got below the 21 secs mark but couldnít get a grab. But persistence pays dividends and eventually I got a screenshot at 21 secs.
At the moment this ranks 8th in the UK and bags me 3.7 hardware points. Again itís not stable for long but, if you can get a screenshot, it counts. SuperPi reacted the same way, taking a few tries before I got a screenshot at 10.328 secs. Another thing I noticed at this stage is that SuperPi was giving me a higher score in Windows 7 RC1 64bit than it was in vista 32bit, so I had to consider this as well.
wPrime 32m on the other hand gave me a better score in Vista 32bit, although I had to drop the OC to 4.437. This gave me score of 8.636 secs which bagged me 4.8 points and ranks 9th in the UK.
That covers the short benchmarks, but the same tactics apply to the long tests as well.
The long benchmarks are SuperPi 32m, wPrime 1024 and PCMark05. My tactics here are the same as before. The OC only needs to be stable long enough to run the tests and verify them. SuperPi 32m was the most problematic of these, expect this to last between 11 minutes to 14 minutes on a Q9550. wPrime 1024 gives you your results in seconds and doesnít convert the result to minutes and seconds until you enter your score on Hwbot.org, expect results in the region of 270 to 320 seconds range.
I managed to get SuperPi 32m to run at 4.351 MHz which gave me a result of 11mins: 12 secs: 860 msecs. This bagged me 1.3 hardware points and ranks 16th in the UK top 100.
wPrime 1024 again scored better in Vista than in Win7, with the cpu at 4.445MHz, finishing in 273.14 secs which equates to 4 mins 33 secs 840 msecs on Hwbot.org giving me a score of 5.1 points, ranked 7th in the UK top 100.
I have left PCMark05 to last because this is the longest of the cpu tests. Not only that but it also depends on the OC of the graphics system to pick up extra points if I overclock the graphics card as well. I may well take another shot at this test as I ran it without OCíing the gpu, anyway at the moment I managed a score of 12470 which gives me 0.5 global points and ranks 23rd in the UK top 100. I didnít score any hardware points, just global points. It also ranks 472nd global.
Just about anyone who's submitted to HWbot.org probably knows all this already, but I just thought I'd share this with you all.