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Don't forget the variable clock rate...
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Author:  tjc [ Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Don't forget the variable clock rate...


I was trying to check how much using hardware acceleration affected the CPU load while playing back flash videos the other day, and the results from top were puzzling and counterintuitive. So I repeated the experiments, did the tests in different orders and got the same odd results. For several of the less demanding videos, top was consistently showing a higher % CPU usage.

This was a real head scratcher, until the light dawned when I popped up the KSensors tool to check the CPU temperatures, and noticed that the CPU was only running at 1Ghz... Duh-oh! Basically the CPU load during playback was low enough that the Cool & Quiet support had throttled the clock, resulting in a higher % busy and an odd jump in my measurements.


Author:  jzigmyth [ Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:14 am ]
Post subject: 

Did the Cool & Quiet frequency reduction affect playback or just the top readings?

Out of curiosity what was the mobo, cpu and graphics card in use?

Author:  tjc [ Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Oh, it all kept working just fine, the cool & quiet did it's job without a blip. It just changed the basis of my % CPU usage measurements and confused the heck out of me. The moral of the story was just to make sure that you know what you're measuring, a given % of 2200Mhz is different than the same % of 1000Mhz. ;-)

To satisfy your curiosity the WS box specs are currently:

mobo - Asus A8N-SLI
cpu - Athlon 64 X2 4200+
gpu - GeForce GT 430 (GF108)

Author:  mattbatt [ Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:37 pm ]
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I've noticed that my video hangs slightly when the CPU fan spools up or down. Anyone else?

Author:  marc.aronson [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:24 am ]
Post subject: 

tjc wrote:
mobo - Asus A8N-SLI
cpu - Athlon 64 X2 4200+
gpu - GeForce GT 430 (GF108)

TJC, do you have a kill-a-watt type measurement of how much power the box draws, both idle and under load? THanks!

Author:  tjc [ Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:13 am ]
Post subject: 

Nope, but I doubt it's as power efficient as a more modern machine would be.

It's at least 4 years old now, probably closer to 5, and while it was built and subsequently modded to run cool and keep the noise level low, minimizing it's power consumption was only pursued as a means to those ends.

It's an 89w processor, there are a couple sticks of fast RAM, a 49W GPU, 3 120mm fans (including the PS) and 1 92mm, a recent WD 320Gb "blue" series drive, and a 430W PS that dates from before the era of 80+ efficiency ratings.

Power consumption will be a bigger focus when I eventually update or replace it.

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