— 11:24 AM on February 3, 2005

Howdy all. No news from me this morning because I've been recovering from the effects of a couple of ultra-late nights working on the PT894 and desktop Pentium M articles. I'm thinking I'll go for the trifecta: a chipset, CPU, and graphics review all in one week. Stay tuned.

Oh, and I should mention this extremely handy little utility that Chris from GamePC pointed out in the desktop Pentium M thread. RMClock will allow you to turn on SteedStep or Cool'n'Quiet/PowerNow! on motherboards that don't support such clock throttling features (including the DFI Pentium M board.) It's also configurable, so you can control the amount of throttling that happens. Before, I was never able to get my Athlon 64 FX to do the Cool'n'Quiet thing on my (not-so-great) Asus SK8N mobo. With RMClock, I was able to turn on CnQ and drop my idle temps (during the workday when the box isn't Folding) by about 20 degrees C. That's a couple of thresholds down on the CPU's temp-controlled fan speed ladder, making a real noise difference. Rather than drop the clock speed all the way to CnQ's lower limit of 800MHz, though, I chose 1.6GHz as a lower limit, just to keep the system's responsiveness up. RMClock's docs say that using it in an unsupported config could cause problems, so tread carefully. So far, though, this thing has worked like a charm for me.

On the subject of noise, I should have mentioned in the article that DFI's Pentium M cooler isn't especially loud. (In fact, I should have measured it with a sound level meter, but I'm a lazy slob.) I believe the GeForce 6800 GT's cooler was louder on our testbed, though it's sometimes difficult to sort out how much each fan is contributing to the overall noise levels when both are running at once. The DFI cooler isn't as quiet as it could be, though. A good Socket 478 cooler with linear fan control would be much nicer.

Fortunately, the folks at DFI say they are working on a new revision of the 855GME board, the 855GME-PRO, that includes a mounting bracket for Socket 478 heatsinks and adjustments for DIMM and CPU core voltages. I believe the PRO board will support SpeedStep, too. That's coming soon, and we'll try to get our hands on one. A little later, but before the end of the first quarter, DFI will have an Alviso-based solution, as well.

By the way, I will be doing CPU power consumption testing with SpeedStep and CnQ enabled. Just bear with me. I have a few things on my plate that need some attention first.

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