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Old 19th September 2008, 20:21   #1
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Default Underclocking CPU

I did find two threads with tangential mention of underclocking, but i think it deserves it's own thread.

It was not long back when I posted in thread on how to make your computer fast, and i also got interested in overclocking. But in last few days, i was commented by my manager on why i was running a loud exhaust on my laptop and that got me thinking. I did some research, ran coretemp.exe, and realized at normal load, my comp was running at 55 C and at high loads it was exceeding 60-65 C range. the fan noise was bothering and it got really hot. I am sure it would reduce my processor life.

So, I reduced the peak performance to 50%, and voila, the temperature went to 45 C. at peak load it goes till 55, but usually stays low. the fan is super silent now.

so I bought a AMD turion 64 X2, but i can't use it's full potential unless i risk myself of heat in the wrong areas and a lot of noise. Also, sometimes i felt my computer was being slow. I checked and coretemp shows 797.xx MHz curently. at 100% it was showing 23xx.xx MHz.

experts. any dos, dont's, tips and tricks? any utility that can keep it low when not needed automatically?
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Old 19th September 2008, 20:30   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
I did find two threads with tangential mention of underclocking, but i think it deserves it's own thread.

It was not long back when I posted in thread on how to make your computer fast, and i also got interested in overclocking. But in last few days, i was commented by my manager on why i was running a loud exhaust on my laptop and that got me thinking. I did some research, ran coretemp.exe, and realized at normal load, my comp was running at 55 C and at high loads it was exceeding 60-65 C range. the fan noise was bothering and it got really hot. I am sure it would reduce my processor life.

So, I reduced the peak performance to 50%, and voila, the temperature went to 45 C. at peak load it goes till 55, but usually stays low. the fan is super silent now.

so I bought a AMD turion 64 X2, but i can't use it's full potential unless i risk myself of heat in the wrong areas and a lot of noise. Also, sometimes i felt my computer was being slow. I checked and coretemp shows 797.xx MHz curently. at 100% it was showing 23xx.xx MHz.

experts. any dos, dont's, tips and tricks? any utility that can keep it low when not needed automatically?
From what you have mentioned, Cool n Queit is already working on your Lappy.
CnQ is AMD's technology in which the CPU drops the multiplier to minimum, resulting in lowering of Clock speed and also drops the Vcore in the process.This makes the CPU run cooler and draws lesser power.
If this is already functional then there isnt much that you can do.Also usually CPUs in laptops do run warmer than desktops due to restrictive cooling but the mobile cpus are designed to handle that so nothing to worry about.

Hope that answers your queries.
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Old 19th September 2008, 20:34   #3
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but then, how come in same working condition, forcibly restricting it to 50% reduced the temperature? in both cases the peak CPU performance never happened.

in fact i change the plan to high power settings, and within two seconds my fan starts running aloud.

EDIT: Do i have to enable it, may i have possible disabled it somewhere?
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Old 19th September 2008, 20:48   #4
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CnQ only underclocks if your PC is idle.As soon as some activity is there, it clocks the CPU to original speed.
In case of forcibly reducing speed, come what may, the CPU runs at lower speed and hence runs cooler obviously.
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Old 19th September 2008, 20:55   #5
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ahh, i see. but what's the point in running it quiet when i am not around

I don't really remember seeing CnQ options as explained in AMD manuals. I probably need to investigate further to see if there is an update for my bios/motherboard.
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Old 19th September 2008, 22:02   #6
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for those of you who are interested/feeling adventurous, a friend of mine has written two guides, one for intel and one for AMD processors. it uses a third party tool called RMclock for more advanced shtuff

Undervolting Athlon 64 CPU's using RMClock - Guides and Tutorials - TechEnclave

Saving on power bills by under volting Core 2 Duo using RMClock - Guides and Tutorials - TechEnclave
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Old 20th September 2008, 01:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amey View Post
CnQ only underclocks if your PC is idle.As soon as some activity is there, it clocks the CPU to original speed.
Not true. It increments the multiplier value depending on the processor usage. So when you're doing something moderately taxing on the PC, it will increase the multiplier value to something which gives you about 40-60% of your original clock speed. Try watching the value change by using something like Lavalys' Everest tool.

Vivek, CnQ has to be turned on from your laptop/pc's bios. After that, you generally need to install CnQ/Processor drivers which you can download from AMD. Finally, go to Power Saving settings and put it on Max Battery or whatever it's called. It will automatically load a preset of settings for different hardware present in your laptop.

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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k8
ahh, i see. but what's the point in running it quiet when i am not around
That's not how it works. When you're doing simple stuff like browsing, music, standard-def movies, etc, it will still be underclocked as it's doesn't need the cpu's full horsepower to do it's work. But fire up something like Photoshop and it will raise the multiplier value to its original, giving you the original clockspeed of 2.3 ghz.
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Old 20th September 2008, 02:25   #8
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well, i did some research and found out vista does it's own power management and it doesn't have to be thru BIOS/CnQ.

I found out that a profile called balanced does the automatic balancing, although it keeps giving small spikes of high CPU so it's never as cool as it would be in my custom profile with 797 MHz.

So i guess i can keep it at a low cpu profile when i am reading etc, and change to balanced when i am doing cpu intensive stuff.

one last question, what is the optimum temperature range? mine runs at 45-50 at normal working and upto 80 when installing programs or opening graphical apps. I remember somebody posting a temperature of 30-35 with CnQ, is that possible?
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Old 20th September 2008, 02:46   #9
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Not sure about my laptop, but my PC's processor (A64 X2) runs at around 40 degrees during low usage, and jumps to about 47 during gaming. With a clean heatsink, really good airflow and lower ambient temperatures, 35 doesn't seem out of reach. 50 is fine though, not sure about 80 lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
I found out that a profile called balanced does the automatic balancing, although it keeps giving small spikes of high CPU so it's never as cool as it would be in my custom profile with 797 MHz.
Those small spikes are probably Windows Vista doing some background stuff like indexing, saving logs, etc.

Something a little offtopic perhaps, but if you're feeling lazy, you can use powercfg from the command line to switch power schemes without clicking through a bunch of menus...
Quote:
powercfg -l
powercfg -setactive "schemename"
powercfg -query "schemename"
Keep the "". For more options, Powercfg Command-Line Options or powercfg /? in cmd.
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Old 20th September 2008, 15:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amey View Post
From what you have mentioned, Cool n Queit is already working on your Lappy.
CnQ is AMD's technology in which the CPU drops the multiplier to minimum, resulting in lowering of Clock speed and also drops the Vcore in the process.This makes the CPU run cooler and draws lesser power.
If this is already functional then there isnt much that you can do.Also usually CPUs in laptops do run warmer than desktops due to restrictive cooling but the mobile cpus are designed to handle that so nothing to worry about.

Hope that answers your queries.
Similar technology is also present in Core 2 Duos. It reduces the multiplier when full horsepower is not reqd, and raises it to normal level when running cpu-intensive tasks. And it is enabled by default. Although don't remember the exact values right now.
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Old 20th September 2008, 19:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
.

Something a little offtopic perhaps, but if you're feeling lazy, you can use powercfg from the command line to switch power schemes without clicking through a bunch of menus...
that's why i use the mobility center button (marked in green in the pic).

by the way, i think it's ok, normally it runs at 45, only when CPU goes high it runs at 70+. similar symptoms i have seen in other laptops too (high fan speed when cpu goes high).

I saw on net that HP has some cosmetic paint on the heat sink fins which reduces it's efficiency. I also think my laptop may have blocked vents since one of my sofa covers leaves minute fibers in air.
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Old 8th February 2010, 22:09   #12
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another Q on another laptop. what is intel's version of cool n quiet?

I have intel SU4100 dual core on my toshiba, and it keeps running on same CPU cycle most of the time (displayed by CORETEMP). Can I install something to make is fluctuate based on needs?
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Old 8th February 2010, 22:32   #13
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i believe its called speedstep. I think setting it to power save, or equivalent mode should do it

Last edited by greenhorn : 8th February 2010 at 22:35.
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Old 9th February 2010, 15:27   #14
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I have an the Core-based Pentium Dual Core E5200 for my desktop, running on an ASUS P5B-Deluxe. This board used to run a P4 530 before (3 GHz). I always underclock my desktop to 50% or lesser, because all it does all day is download torrents or play music.

I reduce all the voltages to the lowest (except for the RAM). For the E5200, I leave the FSB at the standard, but reduce the multiplies to the lowest- it was 200*8 (1.6 GHz) if I am not wrong. This was going on for 3 years (with the P4 and Pentium Dual Core).

I was out of town for 3 months, and turned back on the system - I switched the performance to standard and was using it for a day. The next day, the system would not turn on. After a lot of troubleshooting, I figured that it is the motherboard.

Anyways, I want all underclockers to be wary of brownouts - I may be way off the mark here, but I guess too much of an underclocking is bad too.
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Old 9th February 2010, 15:37   #15
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@green: Yes that's called speedstep.
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