Tuning Cool'n'Quiet: Maximize Power And Performance, Part 1

Test System

Test System Configuration

AMD Athlon X2 7750 (2.7 GHz, 3MB cache)
AMD Athlon X2 7850 (2.8 GHz, 3MB cache)
AMD Athlon II X2 250 (3 GHz, 2MB cache)
AMD Phenom II X3 710 (2.6 GHz, 8MB cache)
AMD Phenom II X4 945 (3 GHz, 8MB cache)
AMD Phenom II X4 955 (3.2 GHz, 8MB cache)


AMD 790GX:

Biostar TA790GX 128M
Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H
Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H

Kingston KHX8500D2K2/2G  PC1066 (4GB) at DDR2-800 CAS 5-5-5-16
Graphics Card
ATI Radeon HD 3300 (AMD 790GX), 500 MHz GPU
Hard Drive
Western Digital Green Power 1TB WD10EACS, 16MB cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s
Onboard Sound, Realtek ALC880
Onboard Gigabit Ethernet, Realtek RTC8111C, 1 Gb/s
Power Supply
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 watt ATX12v v.2.2, EPS 12V CrossFire Edition
CPU Cooler
Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120, Noctua NF-P12 120 mm fan
2 x Noctua NF-P12 120 mm fan (not including CPU fan)
Operating System
Windows Vista Home Edition 32 bit SP1
AMD Catalyst 9.5
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  • kozaki
    That test of Arnawa Widagda is clear one that definitively is of great interest to me, who's looking for a decent update (for a 4y old single core system) with a performance/consumption efficiency in mind :-D
    It opens my mind to various stuff to have in mind starting with the possibility of fine tunning p-states, the mobo choice, and also to some info that's missing on the test :
    - what's the impact of using DDR3 rather than DDR2, the former having a lower voltage and possibly a lower consumption?
    - Being focused on Windows only let us Linux and Mac users wondering how we're gonna be able to achieve the fine p-state tunning. Some information on this, even basic would be pretty handy if added to the test, or comments.
  • kozaki
    OK, the following applications (daemons) are of interest for fellow Linux users:

    * cpupowerd: A daemon which controls the frequency and VOLTAGE of CPUs.
    This userland program adjusts the frequency and voltage (including over-/undervolting) according to the CPUs load. Currently it supports only AMD K8 processors like Athlon(64) (X2), Sempron ....
    Works well on my Athlon 64 3200+ 'Venice': 1000MHz 1.1V, 1800MHz 1.35V and 2000MHz 1.4V.
    There's a full thread here: undervolting AMD Turion using cpupowerd

    * k10ctl: Change the frequency and voltage of each core independently, and also the NB voltage and divider.
    Using k10ctl, user888 succesfully achieved a pretty cool AMD Dynamic Power Management on a Phenom II (see http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22925)