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How I got a high 3dmark physics score in the Rookie Rumble


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I've had a PM asking me:


how did you get such a high score on the 3d mark 11 physics for the rookie rumble


In the spirit of fairness I thought I thought I ought to share my answer publicly so anyone interested can benefit from it.


DISCLAIMER: I've been at this less than three months, and most of what I know is from watching buildzoid's videos and streams. I'm probably not doing everything perfectly. I certainly don't claim to be anything special, nor that my advice is necessarily the best advice - it's just what I've done.


With that out the way:


  • Have a phenom chip (nb: this relates to the amd rookie rumble) - 3dmark physics seems to favour them, clock for clock and core for core. Probably because it's floating-point heavy and doesn't use new instructions so isn't really optimised for bulldozer? An 8-core fx could probably beat a phenom x6 though.
  • Have a fast(er) GPU - ok, a lightly overclocked 5850 is nothing special these days, but the overclock did make a small difference to the physics score. Don't neglect the GPU!
  • OS tuning. I always use a separate installation on a separate disk for benchmarking so that I can pare down background programs - including microsoft services - to the absolute bare minimum so the CPU has nothing else to do but the benchmark. I'm not in a position to make a comprehensive guide on what services to disable but print spooler, server and workstation are always the first to go. If you don't have the time/ability/inclination to set up a separate installation you can at least close background programs (browser, steam, skype, flux etc and switch to a non-aero theme for 7 but a separate installation is best because antivirus programs all eat a noticeable chunk of CPU time.
  • Memory tuning. Make it as fast as possible (base clock tuning on am3+ can be useful to get a smaller step up if the next multiplier setting is unstable, or if you're at maximum memory multiplier), then tune it to low latencies especially CL and tRP. 1T command rate is slightly faster than 2T.
  • Tessellation settings. The HD 5000 series especially benefits from having tessellation turned right down in the Crimson driver. My more recent 3dmark11 run on that card was with tessellation turned right down as well as better tuned ram, it gained me 382 points (9%!) for the overall benchmark despite slightly lower GPU clocks. Of course I'm still nowhere in the 3D rankings, but then I don't have an LGA2011 processor :P


Hope that helps all concerned. Now if you'll excuse me, i have a bullet hole in my foot to go clean up... :D

Edited by mickulty
added tesselation
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Really good to see our current No.1 Rookie making first use of this sub-forum.


Rookie Help Rookies: Optimized AMD Benching with 3DMark11 Physics


I will try and quicky news posts like this whenever good insight and advice is posted here. Nice work mickulty!


Wow, thanks! I only just made #1, it really fills me with pride to see people talk about it :)


I just realised I forgot to mention tessellation settings, so I've just edited the post to include a mention of them - I'm sure they helped.

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I would highly recommend increasing IMC clock (some boards call it CPU-NB or just NB).

Raising IMC clock from 2000MHz to ~3000MHz increases scores in SuperPi and 3Dmark physics by 3-6% depending on your memory setting. The faster your memory, the more you get out of IMC clock.


Here are some old screenshots I found comparing stock to 3GHz IMC :)






I raised HT-Link in this test as well, but it didn't improve any scores IIRC.

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