Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

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Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2008 7:49 pm

I noticed a really nice feature in the BIOS of my MSI P35 NEO2-FIR motherboard: Dynamic overclocking.

It allows me to set overclocking up in 3 different stages from 1%-20%. What this means is that my E6750 dynamically overclocks when the extra clockspeed is needed (automatically raising the voltage if needed as well as overclocking the FSB and memory), running as fast as 3,2 GHz when needed but slowing down when it isn't using the extra MHz. Combining this with Intel EIST my CPU runs at a cool, powersaving 2,0 GHz when I'm just surfing and running office applications.

What I'm wondering is what other motherboards offer this feature? Do all newer MSI ones do? I've never heard nor read about this in any motherboard reviews and when upgrading in the future I'd certainly not want to be without this.
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Re: Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2008 10:04 am

There is actually a feature in certain OS's that turns the CPU down when its not in use. For instance I have an EVGA nVidia 790i board and in the BIOS there is an option to allow CPU throttling. I have a Xeon E3110 3.0Ghz processor manually OC'd to 4.1Ghz and when its not being used it is clocked back down to ~2.4Ghz. This can help save some power, however I am loathe to adopt the concept of the dynamic voltage regulation, simply because the voltage may not always be there right away when you really want that extra boost of speed. Will have to see how it works in the long run. I actually don't even like the CPU throttling at all for my gaming rig. For an all around PC or an HTPC it can be a great feature, but for a gaming machine, I am not convinced.
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Re: Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2008 8:41 pm

NoOther wrote:I actually don't even like the CPU throttling at all for my gaming rig. For an all around PC or an HTPC it can be a great feature, but for a gaming machine, I am not convinced.
What are you not convinced by? It has zero effect on performance. The only issue that could arise is with really old games that have a timer based off of clock speed.

I feel that dynamic overclocking adds unnecesary complexity. That degree of clock speed granularity is not really needed.
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Re: Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2008 11:24 pm

crazybus wrote:
NoOther wrote:I actually don't even like the CPU throttling at all for my gaming rig. For an all around PC or an HTPC it can be a great feature, but for a gaming machine, I am not convinced.
What are you not convinced by? It has zero effect on performance. The only issue that could arise is with really old games that have a timer based off of clock speed.

The only thing that might bother me when it comes to it and gaming is the delay between when I need it to be 100% and when it gets there. Also, how aggressive it is to throttle down when it shouldn't (ie, does opening a game menu cause it to drop down to slower and then going back to the game bring it back to full-throttle).
That said, I haven't had any issues in either XP or Vista with Speedstep doing me wrong on my various laptops. They're not really used in heavy applications though, so it's a non-realistic test.
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Re: Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2008 5:58 pm

There is a performance difference crazybus, your processor doesn't just instantaneously go from 2.4Ghz to 4Ghz. It goes from .9V x6 multiplier to 1.3V (or whatever you have it set to) x9 multiplier. It then takes whatever time for that to equate to the boost in power. When I was running benchmark tests with speedstep on my CPU was constantly going from 2.4Ghz to 4Ghz off and on, even though there were programs actively happening. It was like it wanted to save every bit of power possible which is good, but from a gaming performance standpoint, how much am I losing in it revving up and down? What are the disadvantages to those of us who OC to this kind of throttling and is it really reducing the voltage if we have the voltage actually preset in our BIOS for our overclock?

I don't think I have ever seem an indepth review of SpeedStep and CPU throttling, therefore I am not really convinced given what I know about EE that it won't hurt my performance. Do I notice it hurting performance in games and applications, I don't know, it seems a little slower to react sometimes. I feel my 3DSMark scores were a little lower. When I do OCing and benching, I turn it off. For everyday use, I leave it on.

As for dynamic OCing, I don't know that there is really a big market for that. I think a lot of us just do the OC ourselves and feel better about it that way, but that is just my opinion.
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Re: Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2008 7:13 pm

C1E doesn't change the voltage on my overclocked system, and I'm pretty sure SpeedStep doesn't either, although I have it disabled anyway since I don't bother to mess with the Windows XP power options. Granted, my system runs at 100% cpu usage 24/7 anyway so it never actually throttles. I'll do a few quick benchmarks to see if there's a difference in performance.

I did a quick google search to find the exact number of clock cycles it takes to switch modes but couldn't come up with anything definitive. Intel's Core 2 data sheet does say it takes on the order of 5 microseconds to switch to a lower VID and fsb multiplier when TM2 is tripped but I think that would be dependent on clock speed. I imagine switching to SpeedStep or Extended Halt state would be similar.
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Re: Motherboards offering dynamic overclocking

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2008 10:29 pm

I use SS and CnQ whenever I can. However, my systems always Fold so it's almost always pegged at 100%.

And if I feel like to have a cooler room, I just stop the Folding client and enjoy some coolness. 8)
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