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what does maximum cpu frequency mean?


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Old 24-06-2008, 23:08
whoever,hey
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Ok i know what it means in theory.

But in vista in the reliability and performance monitor, what does the CPU, maximum frequency mean?

On my quad its about 66% but it goes down, hence the max means what.

On my mates dual core lappy i'm fixing, its 100% bar dropping a couple all the time.

But then actually CPU usage is in single figures.
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Old 25-06-2008, 00:27
frasera
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if its speed step power saving it might mean the cpus max speed when not going into power saving throttling states. newer cpus drop frequencies on idle. laptops also do this to save power.
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Old 25-06-2008, 00:33
PK - the King
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Vista underclocks (basically reduces your CPU clock speed) when it is idling, or not doing anything that is CPU intensive. So, say, when you PC is idle, just displaying the desktop, it may clock your CPU down to a 1.0GHz speed CPU. Then if something starts requiring CPU cycles, it'll clock it back up, as necessary, as far as 100%. In this case, the maximum frequency (100%) is the rated clock speed of your CPU from either Intel or AMD eg. 3.0Ghz.

The underclocking basically means the PC needs to supply the CPU with a smaller voltage than normal, meaning the CPU uses less current and ultimately consumes less power and generates less heat (equals less power consumption, or for a laptop - longer battery life). AMD often refer to this as "Cool & Quiet". Intel often refer to it as "Speed Step".

The CPU usage is then a percentage of the maximum clock frequency (so, say your CPU is clocked down to 1.0Ghz, and Resource monitor reports 10% CPU usage - theoretically you are using 10% of the processing power available of a 1.0GHz CPU).

For your quad core, I would imagine it would take a hell of a lot of stuff to be running on your PC to actually need all 4 core's to be clocked up to the rated speed - hence why you probably rarely see 66% or above as the maximum frequency. For your mate's laptop, if maximum clock frequency is 100% all the time then there must be something running in the background demanding heavy CPU time.


Hope this helps!
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Old 25-06-2008, 00:42
whoever,hey
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no clearer. I was theorising the same things as you guys. My problem is the max fluctuates for a start (up and down, and in a short period of time). That makes no sense. Then there is an independent cpu load as well as the max freq, which when the quad is idle the max freq is drifting around 66% the idle load (not process) is 1 or 2%.

On the lappy, the cpu load was in single figures also, though the max clock freq was >=99%.

It does sound like variable clock speed though doesn't it.
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Old 25-06-2008, 08:37
zx50
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Variable is good with anything, because constant just slows things down I think. Sometimes things only need a certain amount, and when a program tries to push for the same amount all the time, this slows it down...........I think. I'm basically just trying to say that variable is good. By variable, I'm just meaning the internet and processor frequency.
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Old 25-06-2008, 08:49
frasera
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if you are talking boot/shutdown. that is limited by drive speed. not so much cpu. so a cpu throttling wouldn't be surprising.
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