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AMD FX-6300 and Cool 'n Quiet Support in Win 7 64-bit

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December 22, 2013 6:35:21 PM

I recently purchased a pre-built PC without OS installed:

CPU: AMD FX 6300 3.5 GHz, 14.0 MB Cache, Black Edition with heat sink fan
Motherboard: ASUS M5A 78L-M LX Plus (with ATI HD3000/ AMD 760G graphics)
RAM: 4GB DDR3

Initially I installed XP Pro 32-bit, as I had used on my old PC, whilst making up my mind whether to upgrade to Win 7 or Win 8. As I had been my previous practice with XP, I installed the proprietary drivers provided on the ASUS motherboard support DVD (AMD 760G/SB710 Chipset Support DVD Rev.V1016.02) namely:

AMD Chipset Driver
RealTek Audio Driver
AMD Graphics Driver
RealTek LAN Driver
ASUS EPU-4 Engine

Everything seemed to function well and the system ran quietly.

After some deliberation, I decided to upgrade (as a clean install) Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM). I had read that Win 7 is rather better (than XP used to be) in finding the right drivers. I did however run the MS ‘Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor’ utility beforehand, which indicated that I would need to install two additional items:

AMD CoolnQuiet Utility V21801 - the Win 7 upgrade advisor provided the web link to the required version.

RealTek PCIe GBE Controller - for which I located the Win7 version on the RealTek web support site

So, I installed Win7 letting it select it’s own drivers. Since the RealTek PCIe GBE controller driver was required for LAN connection to the internet, I installed that, and at the same time the AMD Cool ‘n Quiet Utility. Then I let Win 7 do all of it’s auto-updates.

Seemed to go fine. However, as I was checking through the installed programs and I clicked on AMD Cool ‘n Quiet, it displayed the message that ‘Cool&Quiet is not supported by this CPU’, which I thought strange. Why did the Win7 upgrade advisor point to it if it wasn’t supported?

I phoned the shop who built the PC. They said don’t worry about the Cool ‘n Quiet and just install and use the ASUS EPU-4 Engine utility as it serves the same purpose. I asked if I should change anything in BIOS, and they said, no, as the Cool ‘n Quiet would be Disabled by default in BIOS. So I simply uninstalled the Cool ‘n Quiet application.

That said......

1. I ventured into BIOS, for the first time, and found Cool ‘n Quiet was in fact Enabled.
2. From what I have read, ASUS EPU-4 acts purely at the software level and so is not a real substitute for Cool ‘n Quiet which modulates the CPU directly.
3.Searching the web for more information I see many posts, typically on gaming forums, where someone is querying whether Cool ‘n Quiet should be enabled or disabled when over-clocking the FX-6300.

Now, I am not a gamer....at all, and, frankly all of this over-clocking stuff is over my head. My main reason for choosing a 6-core AMD based-PC, was because I do a lot of 'cpu-intensive' video editing, post-processing and encoding and the FX-6300 was recommended to me as a good mid-range multi-core processor for that type of work.

Whilst I am not particularly interested in pushing the FX-6300 to it’s limit, I would welcome a functionality that automatically provides more CPU juice when needed.

When I was running XP Pro (32-bit), the EPU-4 Engine utility appeared to be doing just that. Set to Auto, it appeared to switch from Max Power Saving Mode to Performance Mode when running cpu-intensive programs. And I could hear the fan blowing a little harder, but otherwise it stayed fairly quiet. Now that I have installed Win 7 (64-bit), it still runs quietly when idling, but when Performance mode kicks in it is a lot noisier than before, with a kind of buzzy-hum that vibrates the casing. Of course, I’m a little concerned that something is being over-labored.

I have also noticed, on several occasions, that the EPU-4 Engine status icon doesn’t load in the system tray when I boot into windows and I have to manually open it from the Programs menu. Never had that problem when I was running XP Pro.

The EPU-4 Engine version that I installed (EPU-4_V10201_Win7VistaWinXP3264) was the (only) one listed on the ASUS website for the M5A 78L-M LX Plus and Windows 7, so it surely can’t be a matter of compatibility. So, I don’t know - is it normal that the PC should sound noisier with Win 7 64-bit? Is it maybe the CPU heat sink fan worker harder? There is no other casing fan installed.

And I’m also still wondering about this Cool ‘n Quiet thing.

Is Cool ‘n Quiet technology supported by the FX-6300 or not?
If it is supported, why would the program say it is not on my PC?
Would replacing the existing “windows-chosen drivers” with the latest chipset drivers (for Win 7) from the ASUS website likely make any difference?
And, if it is not supported, should I Disable the Cool ‘n Quiet setting in BIOS, or does it not make any difference.

Any other possible explanations for why the PC is now so noisy?

Thanks.
a b à CPUs
December 22, 2013 7:28:52 PM

Yea the 6300 should support cool and quiet just fine through, BIOS at least.

Just get an after market cooler...those AMD coolers are loud as hell and if your rendering...cool and quiet is pretty much useless as it adjusts Frequencies based upon the amount of power you need. Your gonna need it all anyway so it really isn't going to work.

The Hyper 212 Evo is good for your needs.
a b à CPUs
December 22, 2013 8:12:01 PM

Protip...never trust the Windows 7 upgrade advisor.

Windows 7 has all the cool and quiet drivers you will need already built in. If you installed an optional driver I would remove it. It is interfering with the drivers that Win 7 already has.

The FX-6300 does support Cool 'n Quiet.

Just a couple things to note about AMDs Cool 'n Quiet....
Verify in your BIOS that it is seeing the correct processor. If it has incorrectly identified your CPU, then the Cool 'n Quiet functionality will be compromised.
The power management scheme/setting must be "balanced" or "power-saver" in the control panel for Cool 'n Quiet to operate.
Do NOT Select “Performance” as Windows 7’s power management scheme/setting as it will disable C’n’Q functionality.
You can verify Cool 'n Quiet is working with a utility tool such as CPU-Z or AMD Power Monitor.

That's just a few things you can check out to see why you might be having trouble, as well as a couple tid-bits of info about Cool 'n Quiet. Its a very fickle beast. It only operates correctly when things are set up a certain way.

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December 22, 2013 8:45:59 PM

Thanks for your reply.

Master-flaw said:
Yea the 6300 should support cool and quiet just fine through, BIOS at least.


I don't quite understand. If it is supported why, when I opened the Cool 'n Quiet application (listed under Asus in the Programs menu), would it give the message that it was not supported? Surely if the 6300 supports C 'n Q and it was enabled in BIOS, then the program should have confirmed that? Anyhow, if, as you suggest, I'm not going to get any real benefit from C 'n Q, for video work that is, should I then set it to Disabled in BIOS or, without the software utility installed, is it effectively disabled anyway?

Master-flaw said:
Just get an after market cooler...those AMD coolers are loud as hell..The Hyper 212 Evo is good for your needs.

Well if that's what it boils down to, it would make sense to install a quieter CPU cooler. Just wondering though why it was so much quieter when I was running XP. Is it simply because Win7 64-bit has a higher CPU load?

I have to say, this Win7 64-bit upgrade has not gone as smoothly as I had hoped. In the four days since I installed it, twice File Explorer has stopped working at boot-up, Avast ant-virus has failed to load several times and just this evening I got a BSOD crash, possibly related to an old PCI Firewire card that I installed. Just hoping there's not something more serious going on at the hardware level, as I'm seeing frequent errors in the Event log mostly relating to timeouts.

Should I maybe try installing the latest ASUS chipset drivers? And of course, I wonder if 4G RAM is sufficient?

Things were a lot simpler with XP.



December 22, 2013 9:21:49 PM

todd1780 said:
Protip...never trust the Windows 7 upgrade advisor.

Windows 7 has all the cool and quiet drivers you will need already built in. If you installed an optional driver I would remove it. It is interfering with the drivers that Win 7 already has.

The FX-6300 does support Cool 'n Quiet.

Just a couple things to note about AMDs Cool 'n Quiet....
Verify in your BIOS that it is seeing the correct processor. If it has incorrectly identified your CPU, then the Cool 'n Quiet functionality will be compromised.
The power management scheme/setting must be "balanced" or "power-saver" in the control panel for Cool 'n Quiet to operate.
Do NOT Select “Performance” as Windows 7’s power management scheme/setting as it will disable C’n’Q functionality.
You can verify Cool 'n Quiet is working with a utility tool such as CPU-Z or AMD Power Monitor.

That's just a few things you can check out to see why you might be having trouble, as well as a couple tid-bits of info about Cool 'n Quiet. Its a very fickle beast. It only operates correctly when things are set up a certain way.



Thanks. Yes, I did uninstall the Cool 'n Quiet driver that the Win 7 upgrade advisor had provided a download link for. The same version was also listed as the most recent driver for the M5A 78L-M LX Plus and Win 7, when I checked on the ASUS website.

I'll check out the settings as you suggest. In view of Master-Flaw's comments though, I'm left wondering whether having Cool 'n Quiet enabled is going to be of any great benefit. Is it going to help with the CPU fan noise, or would I be just as well, getting a quieter CPU cooler as Master-Flaw suggested?

I just wondering also if having the Asus EPU-4 engine running with Cool 'n Quiet enabled is in some way counter-productive and a possible source of conflict?

Anyhow, experience has taught me, the hard way, not to mess around with PC settings after mid-night, so I'll leave it until tomorrow.

Cheers.



December 26, 2013 8:24:57 AM

Yes, there was definitely some conflict between Cool 'n Quiet and the Asus EPU-4 utility. With C 'n Q enabled and EPU-4 installed (and running in Auto mode), it appeared, from CPU-Z, that the clock frequency was freezing at around 1800 MHz. After uninstalling EPU-4, the clock frequency appeared to modulate as it should - down at 1400 MHz when idle and peaking up to 4100 MHz.

I also realize now why one 'optional' windows update (ATK0110 ACPI Utility) failed to install - as I understand, this is the Cool 'n Quiet utility which, again, obviously conflicted with the Cool 'n Quiet driver that windows had already loaded.

Anyhow, just for good measure, I did a clean install of Win 7 with Cool 'n Quiet enabled in BIOS and let windows do it's own thing. Still think the CPU fan is rather noisy though, so I might take Master-Flaw's advice on the Hyper 212 Evo.

The BSOD's that I mentioned, which recurred after doing the clean re-install, appear to be related to the Avast ant-virus I installed (specifically the virtualizaton driver). So that's a totally separate issue.

Thanks todd1780 and Master-Flaw for your help.
!