We tested the KA7 utilizing three benchmarks. First,we used SiSoft 2000 Pro to get some synthetic numbers, then we used Ziff Davis Winstone Content Creation 2000 to get some real world windows performance numbers, and last but not least, we used the very popular Quake III for some overall real world gaming performance. We are going to show two categories for every benchmark we performed. One for non-tweaked memory timings, and one for tweaked memory timings. Keep in mind, your results will vary greatly depending on the quality of RAM that you have. Our RAM would be considered of average quality, and it allowed for almost every single memory settings to be tweaked to fastest. Our test system was configured with the latest VIA AGP miniport drivers 4.03, and the latest BUSmaster and INF drivers for Windows 98. Here's our test system hardware configuration:
Processor: AMD Athlon 600 @ 733 MHz Motherboard: ABIT KA7 Slot-A Memory: 128 Megs PC-133 SDRAM Video Card: LeadTek WinFast GeForce 2 GTS Operating System: Microsoft Windows 98 SE
If you take a close look at the WCPUID snapshot, you will see how the Athlon effective FSB has been increased from the normal 200 MHz to a whopping 266 MHz. Also, take a look at L2 Cache speed. You can see how we adjusted it from it's default 1/2 of the CPU core speed, to 2/5 of the CPU core speed for better stability. Now, lets take a look at the numbers:
Sandra 2000 Pro
ZF Content Creation 2000
Quake III Arena
As you can see from the above numbers, as far as Sandra is concerned, tweaking your memory timings yields a big performance difference. Of course, synthetic benchmarks such as Sandra don't really tell the whole story. If you look at the Content Creation 2000 and Quake III benchmarks you will see that even though there is a difference, it's not as pronounced as the Sandra difference. It's interesting to note that under the Quake III numbers, at the 1024x768 resolution the difference was only .1 frames between the tweaked and the non-tweaked settings.
So, it's obviously beneficial tweaking out your memory
settings, although it's not as beneficial as certain people may have suggested
in the past. Some may say, it's not even worth it. That's definitely a call that
each individual is going to have to make.