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Question on Q6600 quad-core and Speedstepping...

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September 19, 2008 2:19:05 PM

Hi Folks,

I have a few questions regarding my Q6600 quad-core rated at 2.4GHZ and Speedstepping.

Question 1:
With speedstep enabled and running CPU-ID I see my multiplier at 6x when idle and jumps to 9x when I have my virus and ad-aware programs running. The speed jumps back and forth from 1.6 to 2.4GHZ. Based on the research I've done I believe this is normal behaviour.

However, with speedstep disabled I notice exactly the same thing. I was under the impression that with speedstep disabled my CPU speed would constantly stay at 2.4GHZ whether idling or under load.

I'm running Vista Ultimate 64-bit edition.

Can someone explain why I don't see a difference with speedstep enabled or disabled?


Question 2:
I thought with my quad-core processor that I could have 4 tasks running at the same time without a slow down in performance. However, when I run my anti-virus scan, ad-aware scan, browsing the net, and copy a large amount of data from one folder to another, certain processes really slow down.

For example, my anti-virus scan slows down considerably until I shut down one of the other processes.

Can someone explain if I'm understanding quad-core technology correctly? My understanding is that I can run 4 tasks with the same speed for all 4 tasks as if I'm just running one of them at a time.

Ex: Just running Anti-virus might take 15 minutes alone. And running Anti-virus with 3 other tasks going would still take 15 minutes to complete.

Sorry for the long post. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
September 19, 2008 2:59:01 PM

Q1: You will probably have to disable more. C1E/Speedstep/EIST are all the same thing and I know I have at least two of those options in my bios.

Q2: What you are talking about is a lot of hard drive intensive tasks. It isn't the quad that is slowing you down it is your hd.

Also, you understanding of quad cores is flawed. It isn't that you can run 4 apps specifically, you may be able to run more, you may be able to run less. It really depends on how much the app is loading your cpu. There is no set limit (min or max) to what it can do other than how much your cpu is being used. Your theory assumes that each program runs at 100% on one core, but that isn't how it works.

For example:
On my quad saving as optimized in CS3 for a 3.2MB .PNG loaded one of my cores at about 56% and the others at around 35%. Opening Google Chrome loads all of my cores to about 21%. Playing TF2 loads one of my cores to 75% and the other at about 30%. Still there are application I use that will load all of my cores to 90%+.
September 19, 2008 3:09:43 PM

faster3200 said:
Q1: You will probably have to disable more. C1E/Speedstep/EIST are all the same thing and I know I have at least two of those options in my bios.

Q2: What you are talking about is a lot of hard drive intensive tasks. It isn't the quad that is slowing you down it is your hd.

Also, you understanding of quad cores is flawed. It isn't that you can run 4 apps specifically, you may be able to run more, you may be able to run less. It really depends on how much the app is loading your cpu. There is no set limit (min or max) to what it can do other than how much your cpu is being used. Your theory assumes that each program runs at 100% on one core, but that isn't how it works.


Q1: C1E and EIST are both within the larger Speedstep category. C1E decreases multiplier, EIST decreases FSB. In overclocking situations, EIST should be turned off at all times, as it has significant chance of causing instability. C1E is can be left on in most cases without significant ill effect, but ideally, both should be turned off.

Q2: That's basically right, the hd was the bottleneck there, not cpu. Also keep in mind that many new programs are quad optimized, or at least dual optimized, so one program can either hog 2 out of 4 cores or all 4 cores. Are you sure all 4 tasks are single threaded?

For Vista 64bit, use this side bar item to keep an eye on core load in desktop.
http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=4ab1983d...
Related resources
September 19, 2008 3:27:26 PM

Ummm.. C1E has to do more with voltage I believe. EIST has to do more with the multiplier. The FSB isn't changed, but is adjusted by the user if he/she wants to OC it.
September 19, 2008 6:11:41 PM

Thanks Grimmy and dagger for Q1 correction. I usually give the description I did since all of them load the nb and hurt your possible OC. Your description is more accurate though so, gj on the correction.
September 19, 2008 8:42:44 PM

faster3200 said:
Q1: You will probably have to disable more. C1E/Speedstep/EIST are all the same thing and I know I have at least two of those options in my bios.

Q2: What you are talking about is a lot of hard drive intensive tasks. It isn't the quad that is slowing you down it is your hd.

Also, you understanding of quad cores is flawed. It isn't that you can run 4 apps specifically, you may be able to run more, you may be able to run less. It really depends on how much the app is loading your cpu. There is no set limit (min or max) to what it can do other than how much your cpu is being used. Your theory assumes that each program runs at 100% on one core, but that isn't how it works.

For example:
On my quad saving as optimized in CS3 for a 3.2MB .PNG loaded one of my cores at about 56% and the others at around 35%. Opening Google Chrome loads all of my cores to about 21%. Playing TF2 loads one of my cores to 75% and the other at about 30%. Still there are application I use that will load all of my cores to 90%+.



You are correct. I disabled C1E and now my CPU speed stays at 2.4ghz no matter what I'm doing or not doing.

Thanks for the info on the Quad core technology too.

September 19, 2008 8:43:24 PM

Thanks to all for the comments and recommendations.
!