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What is best driver to use with GeForce 7900 GTOC

Posted on 2006-07-09
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I've run 3DMark06 Advanced 3 times and the best score I've gotten is 4707.  When I compare to similar systems that are scoring in the 8000 range the biggest difference is 1. My mobo which I'm not sure is really the problem (MSI K8N Diamond Plus in case you want to know) because that is "supposed" to be a top shelf Mobo maybe I've gotten bad info.  But #2. is that my graphics drivers (which I'm assuming are heavily weighted in this benchmark since it is really for gamers is my driver.  When I download a driver from Nvidia is either doesn't pass the "Windows Logo" test and therefore shows up as non WHQL and non FM approved on 3D or if I get the Windows XP approved driver it says during setup that nothing on my system would support this driver (or something like that, I can get the exact quote if needed) and quits the set up.  What's going on here?
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Question by:abpowell
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by:garycase
ID: 17069829
In your previous related question, the system configuration showed you had "NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT [Display adapter] (2x)" => I interpreted that to mean you had TWO of them in SLI mode.  Is that correct?

The K8N Diamond Plus is one of the few motherboards that can run two cards in SLI mode at a full x16 speed.   Most SLI boards -- even though they have x16 slots -- run the video cards at x8 speed when working in SLI mode.   Are you sure you have the SLI bridge installed and configured correctly?

As for drivers, just use the latest nVidia drivers and don't worry about the "Windows Logo" thing.   A LOT of drivers these days are in that category -- but work just fine.

Note, by the way, that 4707 is an EXCELLENT result for 3DMark 2006.   The redesigned tests have results significantly lower than you would have seen with 3DMark 2005.   Just for comparison purposes, you should download 3DMark 2005 and see what results you get with it.   You might be (pleasantly) surprised :-)

... Bottom Line:  Your system is running well :-)   3DMark 2006 is a brutal test, and your scores are quite good for it.    I haven't seen a lot of scores to compare it with -- but I know the scores folks are seeing are consistently a lot lower than with 3DMark 2005 -- so your score seems very good.   Are you unhappy with the performance ??   ... or just wanting a higher score ??
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by:abpowell
ID: 17074461
Performance is okay.  Still get some crashes wihen running video editing software.  But I think that is the software not my hardware.  Software is Pinnacle Studio Plus (Titanium edition....whatever it still crashes).  Just want to make sure I'm getting the most out of what I paid for without having stability issues.  According to my wife, I spend too much time tweaking the computer as it is.  If I have another crash, (last one was caused by my video drivers believe it or not) my wife will burn my system. Last time it went into continuous, Shutdown-Restart cycle until I intervened and it would start in safe mode.  Took forever to figure it out but somebody told me to disable my video drivers and it started right up.  That is the reason I was concerned about the WHQL or "Windows Logo" driver.  I had the drivers in SLI mode when I had the problem but it also gave me a vertical bar on the side while running some programs.  After I call Nvdia tech support, asked which driver to install it worked fine but still not WHQL.    Maybe the Mobos on those machines posting 8K+ are on steroids.  That was the exact comparsion in 3D6.  Similar comparisons shows some at 12K+.  That's what has me wondering about my 4700 score.  BTW garycase, my highest number came after I took out two of my 1GB chips.  Guess I'll put those on Ebay now.
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by:garycase
ID: 17075076
"... my highest number came after I took out two of my 1GB chips ..." ==>  ... as you probably guessed, I'm not surprised :-)  :-)

I think the mobo's getting 8K+ are (a) running very over-clocked CPU's;  (b) running very over-clocked GPU's;  (c)  running RAID-0 arrays for the system drive;  (d) using very over-clocked memory;  and (e) are likely water-cooled.   A lot of money (and risk -- since the overclocking voids the warranties) to get bragging rights.   But you could do that with your system if you added a water-cooling system (I don't, however, recommend it).
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by:abpowell
ID: 17078746
Now garycase I have be scolded for asking more than one question on thread so don't answer my other questions on this thread and get people off base!! (tounge planted firmly in cheek) :P  I know I'm the one that got things off track here but...................I still want to know the best driver for my cards.  There are several to pick from.  WHAT IS THE RIGHT ONE?
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 17078813
Okay ... I do not have this card;  but if I did, I would use nForce v91.31, which is WHQL Certified and is the one recommended by EVGA for their 7900GT.   The specific download from EVGA is the file 9131XP2K.exe.

The direct download from nVidia is here:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_2k_91.31.html

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by:abpowell
ID: 17086059
Thanks again garycase.  If you happen to live in the south maybe you should just come by and configure my system.  However, I seriously doubt you live in the south (of which I am born raised and still live in so nobody take offense here)  because VERY few people down here really understand how computers work.  Now they can "overclock" and an engine in a car but a computer........well no.  That's just the way we were all raised  but us Southerner's had better get on board fast because all the cars and trucks coming out now have more computer than horsepower.  I sell mobile utility equipment, more commonly known as  bucket trucks and diggers that build and maintain power lines, for a living so I know first hand what I am talking about.  All American made trucks are having to change due to new emmision standards.  Enough about that though, thank you garycase again.  I'm leaving this open until I have a chance to install that driver and make sure it works before I award the poinx.  If it works you will once again get my vote.  At this rate you will catch Callandor soon.  


Totally on a side note here, do you two know each other personally or only on here.
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by:garycase
ID: 17086565
Where in the south?   ... I might have to come by and let you buy me a nice southern dinner :-)

Callandor and I have only "met" on EE ==> I believe he's a born-and-bred New York-city guy (right Callandor ??)    Next time I'm in New York (doesn't happen often) I'll have to see if I can con him into buying me lunch :-)    (I'm big on free meals !!)

... as for catching Callandor ==> I have no intention of even trying :-)   I answered my first question on 23 Aug last year and have done okay; but I've slowed WAY down from my first few months, and now pretty much only look at Hardware questions.   I would have slowed down even more, but decided I was close enough to the 1,000,000 point mark in Hardware I may as well keep participating until then.   I've "beat" Callandor for the past ten months at roughly a 15,000 point/month average --> but will NOT even begin to attempt to maintain that rate.   ... and even at that rate it would take over 5 YEARS to catch him :-)
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by:abpowell
ID: 17087511
I'm curious.  What you guys get out of this besides the satisfaction of helping hopeless people like me and free meals

And I'm in Birmingham.  Home to some of the Best BBQ in the world (But my favorite is Memphis BBQ) and of course the southern hospitality.  You wouldn't want to come to my house though.  I've got 5 kids and the oldest is 7.  Youngest are 1 year old twins.  SURPRISE!!!  

Anyway, going to download now.  I'll keep you posted.  

BTW I looked at my BIOS and it had preset OC settings.  I'm at 20% now and everything seems stable.
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by:garycase
ID: 17087576
As far as "coming to your house" ==> I'm the oldest of 7 kids;  5 boys, 2 girls => parents kept trying until they had a girl & then had a 2nd for good luck :-)     So I WAS accustomed to lots of youngsters running around.  BUT now that I have grandkids I can't imagine how my parents survived !!   We've got two grandkids here for the next couple of weeks -- boys aged 5 & 7 ==> and after 2 days I'm already worn out !!

... but  some good Birmingham BBQ sounds good => I'll let you know the next time we're going to be driving through :-)

"... What you guys get out of this besides the satisfaction of helping hopeless people like me and free meals ..." ==> isn't that enough ??   [I've yet to actually collect on a "free meal" -- but have had quite a few offered :-) ]    I guess I'd simply say it beats watching TV -- and I don't chase little white balls (like a lot of my local friends do).


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by:abpowell
ID: 17087743
Driver works great.  Scored 7419 on 3DMark6.  CPU tests were not much better so I'll probably stop the overclocking but from 4700 to 7419  WOW.  HD temp still low 40's, CPU at 47 and NB at 50 after running all night.  I think I'm still in the safe zone aren't I.  I may keep running it this way.  

One funny thing though.  After the initial windows boot up screen by monitor looks like it is going into standby, actually "power saving mode" goes blank for a few seconds and then comes roaring back and everything is fine.  What's up with that?  I'll start a new thread if I need to but here are the points for this one.  Thanks once again.
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by:garycase
ID: 17087769
Certainly a MUCH better 3DMark #  ==> amazing what the right drivers can do :-)

Temps seem okay -- but the real test is what are the temps after 15 minutes (or more) of 100% CPU utilization ??

The monitor is simply blanking while the video mode is being switched to SLI and the Windows drivers are "taking over" ==> it's working just fine.
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by:garycase
ID: 17087801
... as a matter of interest;  is that 3DMark score with memory running at 400MHz, or 333MHz ??    ... and did you try the other?
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by:abpowell
ID: 17089960
The first tests were at 333 and posted around 4600 with all 4 1 gb modules installed.  Posted the 4707 at 400 after I removed 2 of the chips as you suggested.  And the Big score from last night was with the two chips.  I'm going update a question on my ram chip question now:  So look over there for this same question if you wish to reply (please do, I think you know my system better than me.  This is harder than I thought and more expensive.  I am somewhat happy with the the two 1GB modules I have in now running at 400 with a CL of 2 so..........if I stick with the two 1GB dual channel (and dual sided) simply so I don' t I have to buy any more and then install the 512 set in the remaing 2 sockets.  I'm guessing I would run at 333, however my 1GB chips have CL of 2 and the 512s are 2.5.  I'm guessing this will give me 333 MHz with 2.5 overall CL, plus the extra gig.  Is there any benefit of going with the single sided 512s now.  (Other than as garycase noted that when the 1GB chips come available at a reasonable price I'll already have the 512s).  Because if not I may save some money now and go back with dual sided because by the time I get all the chips single sided there is no telling what technology will bring and I might need 4 totally new chips (running in quad channel mode!!)  
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by:garycase
ID: 17090998
I agree there's no benefit to buying 512's now => you can just use the 4 1GB modules, since the system will run at 333 either way.   ... and if it's clocking okay at CL2 you probably still run at that CAS latency => although it MAY not be stable at CL2 with 4 modules.   The additional load on the address bus causes a significant degradation in the signaling waveform, so it may require more time to stabilize before it can reliably access the memory.   Personally I would simply run the system with 2GB.   It won't be long before you can buy 2GB modules -- a pair of those will let you max the memory and still run at 400MHz :-)   (of course you'll still only "see" around 3GB)
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by:garycase
ID: 17093722
... by the way, if you decide your 3DMark6 scores are too low for you, you can now get dual-GPU 7900/7950 boards => a pair of those in SLI mode would give you FOUR graphics processors !!    ... but the nVidia drivers aren't yet available for them (and it's not clear they will work in all SLI motherboards)

... I suspect, however, that they will produce some pretty nice 3DMark scores :-)
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