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Erratic AMD cpu ! ! how to optimise within xp


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#1
rxkevco

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Hi all,
I have a fujitsu seimens AMILO A160G laptop with 2gb of ram and an AMD mobile Athlon 64,3700+ cpu (2.4ghz ).
Whenever i look at system in control panel, the cpu utilization is always different, , sometimes just running at 200 - 300mhz, , other times at 800mhz.
Now i know that this is solely because of this mobile athlons power saving capabilies, , why run at full utilization ( 2.4ghz ), , when the pc is idle or not running anything thats nor cpu intensive.

Problem is, , i have now completly optimised this laptop to run my music studio software and vst instruments and nothing else, , no maol , no internet, , even has its own external pro soundcard to bypass the weak ac97 chip.
How can i get this cpu to stop dropping to a lower rate when the laptop isnt hard at work, , during playback od tracks is less intense than recording a track with vst instuments and effects. . i need a constant engine whilst working otherwise i am going to start to get drop outs and crackles all over the place the bigger a project gets.

Apart from the power saving options ( for standby and shutdown etc ) which i have maximised, , is there any way to have some control over the cpu ? ? ?

The laptop will ALWAYS be on mains power and never just on battery.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks, , kev
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#2
Fenor

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A laptop is a very very very very very poor choice to be the main computer in a music studio. I suggest you get a nice desktop built to your specifications and use that instead. Laptops just don't have the power or the configurability that is required for what you are trying to use it for.
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#3
rxkevco

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Hi Fenor,
Thankyou for your reply, but i have to disagree with you, to a certain point anyway :)

Digital audio workstations, or DAWs as the music industry like to call them dont always have to be big powerful machines and certainly not just desktops either.

Obviously the more ram and faster the processor you have will allow you to take on massive projects ( songs ) with the least of problems, but lesser abled machines do just as well.
The music industry is suffering from the " gamers syndrome ", , want more,, want bigger, want better. Most of the time its pure overkill.
3 yrs ago, top studios were using what we would class now as run of the mill machines and having marvelous results. Its only since the introduction of dual core cpus that the madness started. My desktop for instance is dated by any definition of the word, but still has 2gb ram, a 3.4ghz dual core processor an 8800 gts graphics card and audigy 4 soundcard. Its dated, but its overkill for what i use it for There are muscians out there that are raving on about building quad core machines with 64 bit os so that they can put in bucket fulls of ram, , , their present machine allows them to do much, much more than they do now, with lots of headroom left over, , why upgrade to something thats only going to benefit a top engineer who is working with 80 to 150 tracks for 1 song ? ?

My point is, , my laptop is more than equipped with enough ram and a fast enough cpu to serve my humble means.
I work with between 8 and 16, 17 tracks of audio with very little cpu utilisation at all, , this type of software isnt a cpu hog and never has been. Most of the modern vsti softsynths ( absynth, z3ta, fm8, korg legacy ) hardly use any processor at all, so , , cpu speed is not that essential unless you are using lots of vsti effects and instruments at the same time... Its all about ram, , , yes i would be happier with 3 or 4 gb, , but again, its overkill. My 2 gb is by far enough for what i use it for.
What i would like to do is to have mp AMD athlon 64 cpu not dripping itself at its own will when i am in the middle of a project. Untill i moved from 1.5gb to 2 gb of ram i did have a few dropout problems, but that seems to have disapeard now i have upgraded the ram

These completed audio files can take up GBs of space when a project is completed but i have a 120gb drive and a 320gb firewire external drive for back up.

My laptop is not ideal for waht i want to use it for, and yes, i would like to have the space for a another desktop, , but thats not the case.

Have a listen to a few of my songs and see for yourself the results that can be had from a laptop using cubase sx3. Follow the link below ! !

Back to my original question, , , is there any way i can have some control over the cpus stability and utilisation running xp pro ? ? ?

Cheers, , kev
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#4
The Skeptic

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I researched your problem in Fujitsu but couldn't find a solution. I think that you have to look into the power options in control panel or in the taskbar icon. If not successful I would recommend that you post your problem in Fujitsu's forum here.
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#5
AitrusSkyy

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Your laptop is perfectly fine and normal. These days laptops are much faster than they used to be and capable of being Media Centers.

As for your CPU issue. It is actually not an issue but more so your laptop power settings. Laptops are built to save power when using the battery (but this particular profile functions in both the battery mode and ac connected mode.

Right click your desktop for properties.
Click the "Screen Saver" tab.
Click the "Power" button
Change the "Power Scheme" from "Portable/Laptop" to "Always On".

This should show your "processor" speed at its whole in system properties in control panel (if it doesn't try a restart).

It is not necessary to do this, as even though the system properties might not say the cpu is at max speed, it does adjust on it's own to meet your usage.

Aka if you have a 3.0 ghz processor that shows its running at 1.8ghz if you were to say run a virus scan and/or extract or compact a rar file or something of that sort, the processor would boost itself to the max speed (if required) to give you that performance.

If you still have the same issue after changing the above option please post back. Sometimes there is a driver and/or software you actually need to download for your pc in order for it to properly control the cpu. (I know that sounds strange and I myself never saw it untill I got a gateway AMD X2 dual core which has a piece of software you download to help the cpu) not the chipset mind you. I could possibly help you check for maybe an update for your specific system or something along those lines.

Edited by AitrusSkyy, 22 September 2008 - 04:00 PM.

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#6
rxkevco

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Hi Aitrus skyy, , and the skeptic, ,
Thanks for your input.

The only reason i am slightly worried about the laptops cpu dancing around whilst i am recording is because i am now going over completly, " lock , stock and smoking barells " to computer software studio.

I have thousands of pounds worth of hardware and digital multitrack recorders and i am going to jump out of the dark ages and sell most of it off. I have had a legit ( very expensive ) version of cubase sx3 for about 4 yrs now and only play with it occassionaly, , being more passionate about tweaking real knobs and dials than palying around with a mouse.

I have recorded with it using the laptop and have had no problems as yet, , but i dont want it to cause any problems when i start using it seriously after selling my hardware :) :)

I have optimised all the power settings but the system page still displays varying amounts of cpu usage when idle.

Am just frightened of the jump into the software studio ! !
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#7
AitrusSkyy

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Whats the make and model of your pc?

For example Dell Dimension 46000.

Keep in mind you still have a single core processor. Believe me when I say it, dual core is such a huge step up. You weren't asking for an upgrade though.

Lets start with what you have and I'll run around and check for some updates for your specific model.

NEVER MIND... I must be tired or something I saw you posted it at top.

Ill be back with some info if anything in 10-15 min.

Edited by AitrusSkyy, 22 September 2008 - 04:47 PM.

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#8
rxkevco

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Thanyou very much for your time.
I might save you a little though.
Fujitsu seimens sate that the AMILO A1650 only supports a maximum of 1gb ram....But... its a well known fact amongs amilo owners that the system will take 2gb maximum without any faults or problems at all. Mine has been fine since i upgraded to 2gb.
The cpu however is a differnt matter, , the 3700+ processor is the fastest supported cpu according to fujitsu seimens, , there isnt anything better for this board ! !

I hate the technological world, , , 3 yrs ago , i bought this laptop second hand (12 months old ) for nearly £600, the original owner paid close to £900 for it after upping the ram to 1gb from512mb, and upgrading the 3400+ cpu for a 3700+, , , how times have changed in a few short years ! !

One thing i have noticed though, which is a bit worrying. . . even when under load, , the cpu says only 800mhz ? ? control panel>>>system>>genral.

Come to think of it, , , its the highest i have ever seen, , , 800mhz.

When at idle or low load, its stable at anything from 188 to 350mhz, ,
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#9
AitrusSkyy

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Interesting... Google "CPUZ" and download that, extract it, run it, and see what it says...

Ok you said A160G and A1650... which is the correct one. One doesn't seem to appear on the fujit site.

Edited by AitrusSkyy, 22 September 2008 - 05:29 PM.

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#10
rxkevco

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Sorry, , , its the A1650, , There wasnt any difference between the two exept something to do with the onboard wireless on the " G " model.
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#11
AitrusSkyy

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Just for the heck of it, have you tried taking out 1GB of ram and using 1GB only as is supported? It is possible because of clocking more ram would slow the cpu down...

Give that a shot.
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#12
rxkevco

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Yup, , , tried that one when i was swapping around the modules. Tried it with 1gb, with 512, with 1.5gb and with the 2gb...
No change, , fastest displayed in the system tab is 800mhz.

Just opened up cubase, , played a vsti piano peice thru midi, , had AVG doing a scan and was downloading a large file at the same time, , , 800mhz cpu and displaying 1.87gb of ram ( some is utilised by the onboard graphics ).

cpuz says that the core speed at idle ( with only cpuz open ) is 2400.00mhz
Multipier x 12.0
Bus speed 200mhz
HT link 800mhz

Recognises 2048 of ram with a frequency of 160.o mhz
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#13
AitrusSkyy

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Also start your pc and check your BIOS version.

There is
RO1-A1D
RO1-A1E
RO1-A1G
RO1-A1l

All of which fix known issues and problems....
This is the most recent version of your bios

http://support.fujit.....20AMILO A1650


Regardless as I said before, laptop cpu's adjust to the appropriate load regardless of what system says.
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#14
rxkevco

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In cpuz under mainboard it says that the revision is " SH8-E5 " ? ?
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#15
rxkevco

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wITH CPUZ OPEN AND AT IDLE IT DISPLAYS A CONSTANT 2400MHZ, , BUT AS SOON AS I OPEN UP CUBASE, IT DROPS TO 800MHZ WHILST THE SOFTWARE IS LOADING ITSELF,, THEN GOES BACK TO 2400MHZ ONCE THE PROGRAM IS OPEN.
i HAVENT GOT ANYTHING WIRED UP AT THE MOMENT TO TRY RECORDING AS I HAVE JUST PUT EVERYTHING AWAY,, BUT IT WILL BE INTRESTING TO SEE WHAT CPUZ SAYS ONCE I START USING CUBASE. ? ?
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