Unhinder your CPU

I got an email from Robert Bray a few months ago, and got permission to post the following:

I was reading the upgrade article in the PC Magazine you gave me and this link [to CPU-Z] was one that was suggested to test performance. I downloaded it and my CPU speed looked very low.

I started looking though the FAQ and Forums and saw a response that suggested that maybe the AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet was not activated. So I went to AMD and downloaded the AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet Dashboard to double check the first results. Sure enough, the power savings were maxed and the CPU voltage was at minimum. The CPU speed was stuck on 50%. So, not knowing if I already had the AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet software, I read the installation instructions first.

To enable the software, it said to go Start > Control Panel > Power Options, and change the power scheme to “Minimal Power Management”. Eureka! Both dashboards immediately showed the CPU reacting to the demand of the programs and would kick up to 100% to run my video software! Now I’m going to run a test video project to test this new discovery. I’ll [sic] let you know Monday how it worked.

Man, I don’t know how I did it, but I must have changed the settings some time ago. I’ve been worried for months that something was wrong with my [computer] because the video processing had slowed so much. I’ve been bugging the guys at work, telling them that everything works great on my computer except that it was slower on the videos. They would give me suggestions; I would run all the virus scan, spyware scans, defrag, everything we could think of. I could never find one thing wrong and I didn’t have any viruses or spyware. And I never even use half of the memory on anything I do, so that wasn’t it.

I just ran a test video and I am back to as fast as it was when new! I just doubled the speed of my CPU for free!

[I] just wanted to tell you of my good fortune in case you ever have to correct a computer that belongs to a “dangerous user” like me. (Someone who knows more than they understand!)

I’m not sure what article he read from PC Magazine. In any case, I hope this helps if you’re trying to troubleshoot speed problems with a fast AMD-based processor. Thanks Robert Bray!

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

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