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X79 and 3DMark11 Physics

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Okay, this has been bothering me for too long now.


If you've followed the X79 benchmark results closely, you will have noticed that there seems to be an issue/bug/trick to the 3DMark11 physics subtest score. This issue/bug/trick is basically a 1500 point discrepancy between "high" and "low". I've been trying to replicate this bug for the last month, but so far I haven't even gotten close to figuring out the issue. I've reached a point where I'm starting to consider certain hardware samples are just broken which, even for me, sounds too crazy to be true. So, let's figure this out together.


Booj and SoF's "high" runs


So far, there are two overclockers who are hitting the high physics scores: Booj and SoF. Both claim not to have tweaked anything special and just let the board finetune everything. And if SoF says he didn't tweak, I'm certain he didn't tweak (even if he says he tweaks, it's hardly any faster). Both overclockers seem to have consistent high scores. Here are the scores:


1) 17399 with 4980, DDR3-1992CL8-10-8, quad

2) 17145 with 4870, DDR3-2000CL8-10-8, quad

3) 17468 with 5000, DDR3-2000CL8-10-8, quad

4) 17468 with 5000, DDR3-2000CL8-10-8, quad

5) 18753 with 5400, DDR3-2133CL8-10-8, quad


Everyone else's "normal" runs


The first score you can use as comparison is Asus HQ's own 3DMark11 record. In that score, they achieved a physics score of 18775 with the CPU clocked at 5643MHz and the memory at DDR3-2500CL7-11-7; much much faster than what SoF is running ... but a similar score. Everyone who has run 3DMark11 thoroughly knows that this subtest scales mainly with CPU and memory MHz and that 5650/2500C7 should kick 5400/2133C8's ass big time. Fyi, here are a couple of normal runs at 5400 and 5000 MHz for comparison purposes:


1) 16446 with 5000, DDR3-2133CL8-10-8, quad

2) 15871 with 5000, DDR3-1333CL8-8-8, quad

3) 16747 with 5020, DDR3-2280CL7-11-9, quad

4) 17945 with 5400, DDR3-2400CL7-11-7, quad

5) 18378 with 5682, DDR3-2360CL10-11-10, quad

6) 17736 with 5400, DDR3-2133CL9-11-9, quad


And so on.


What it is definitely not:


- C0 vs C1: Booj gets high run with C1, SoF uses C0 and Asus HQ has C0 but normal score

- Win7 SP0 vs SP1: tested and no difference

- Memory timings: timings hardly make a difference in physics. The total boost from finetuning the subtimings is about 500p; "high" runs are 1500+ points better. This test mainly scales with frequency:

Viss, that 2133CL7-7-7 run is completely bugged. I get these Physics scores with 4500MHz CPU:


- DDR3-1600CL9-9-9 => 14243

- DDR3-1600CL9-11-9 => 14184

- DDR3-1866CL9-11-9 => 14505

- DDR3-2133CL11-12-11 => 14763


Normal score with 5400 CPU is around 17.3K if you have good memory. If you have great memory, it can be even higher. But SoF is hitting 18.7K with 5400 CPU and 2133CL8-10-8 ...

- Memory kit: tested now 7 different kits of memory with all sorts of ICs ... none of them give a magic boost (Hyper sucks though!).

- Mainboard: so far i've only seen the high runs on R4E, but I'm using the same board, but no boost

- ES vs Retail: tested C1 ES on Sabertooth and I had a normal run. Pretty much all ES/retail scores are in line with the normal scores.


So, still no clue what it is. Maybe it would be useful to start a Physics low-clock challenge to try and figure things out together. Let's run one at 4000, 4500 and 5000. Any memory configuration is allowed, but please report MB/mem settings :).


4000MHz Physics Ranking


13878 | 3960X 105.2 x 38 1:18 | QC DDR3-2524 CL9-12-9

13767 | 3960X 100.0 x 40 1:18 | QC DDR3-2400 CL8-11-8

13738 | 3960X 102.5 x 39 1:18 | QC DDR3-2460 CL9-12-9

13609 | 3960X 125.0 x 32 1:12 | QC DDR3-2000 CL7-9-7


4500MHz Physics Ranking


18017 | 4930K 132.5 x 34 1:16 | QC DDR3-2826 CL9-12-12

14910 | 3930K 100.0 x 45 1:18 | QC DDR3-2400 CL10-12-10

14889 | 3960X 100.0 x 45 1:16 | QC DDR3-2133 CL9-11-9

14793 | 3960X 125.0 x 36 1:12 | QC DDR3-2000 CL9-11-9

14472 | 3960X 100.0 x 45 1:18 | QC DDR3-2400 CL11-12-11

14272 | 3960X 100.0 x 45 1:16 | QC DDR3-2133 CL11-11-11

14240 | 3930K 128.6 x 35 1:10 | QC DDR3-1715 CL9-9-9


5000MHz Physics Ranking


17468 | 3960X 125.0 x 40 1:12 | QC DDR3-2000 CL8-10-8

17399 | 3960X 124.5 x 40 1:12 | QC DDR3-1992 CL8-10-8

16446 | 3960X 100.0 x 50 1:16 | QC DDR3-2133 CL8-10-8

16321 | 3960X 100.1 x 50 1:16 | QC DDR3-2133 CL9-11-9

15992 | 3930K 100.0 x 50 1:16 | QC DDR3-2133 CL9-11-10

15871 | 3960X 125.0 x 40 1:8 | QC DDR3-1333 CL8-8-8

15786 | 3930K 125.0 x 40 1:12 | QC DDR3-2000 CL8-9-8

15595 | 3930K 100.0 x 50 1:18 | QC DDR3-2400 CL11-13-11

15268 | 3930K 100.0 x 50 1:12 | QC DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9

15185 | 3930K 125.0 x 40 1:14 | DC DDR3-2333 CL10-12-10


5500MHz Physics Ranking


17932 | 3930K 131.0 x 41 1:14 | QC DDR3-2444 CL7-11-7

17453 | 3960X 100.0 x 55 1:18 | QC DDR3-2400 CL10-12-10

16306 | 3960X 100.0 x 55 1:18 | DC DDR3-2400 CL9-11-9

Edited by Massman
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I get highs & lows on 3Dm11 physics on all 3 platforms ( X58 + 9X0X, Z68+2600K, X79+3960X ).

Without changing any settings at all.

It's like a hit & miss if you ask me


Edit: Don't remember which version I've been running, but I could score high & low within the same session, same OS setup, same everything.

Edited by BenchZowner
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Just saying there's quite a gap between V1.0.1 and V1.0.2/3. It has nothing to do with skill or anything; just a different version of the software.


So, that brings us with another Tesselation issue: the only way to verify which version of the benchmark was used is to have a verification link. In the screenshot, it's not possible to see the version number. So, again, we'll either have to force everyone to buy licences or we just go with it (like we did with Tesselation) and allow people to use their version of the software :).

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well at least we know what it is.... question now is, what to do with it? I just did a trial run on all three at 4.5ghz and mems at 2400mhz:


http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2394074 1.01 15699


http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2394016 1.02 15155


http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2393999 1.03 14881


and then at 5250


http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2376998 1.03 17388


http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2394206 1.01 17794


because I think either every one should be alowed to use either version or the submissions on versios 1.01 shouldnt count since it has such a big pt test impact.

Edited by Khalam
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