Mobile Athlon runs at 40% speed

By jodhpur
Feb 16, 2011
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  1. My daughter has complained that her machine feels sluggish and slower than usual for a while and I have been less than attentive, putting it down to her impatience.

    The board is an A7N8X-E Deluxe at Reev 1013 with a 2400 Mobile Athlon XP-M processor, about which the writeup at Wikipedia is extremely complimentary:

    Athlon XP-Ms were popular with desktop overclockers, as well as
    underclockers. The lower voltage requirement and higher heat rating
    resulted in CPUs that were basically "cherry picked" from the
    manufacturing line. Being the best of the cores off the line, the
    CPUs typically were more reliably overclocked than their desktop-
    headed counterparts. Also, the fact that they weren't locked to a
    single multiplier was a significant simplification for the
    overclocking process. Some Barton core Athlon XP-Ms have been
    successfully overclocked to as high as 3.1 GHz.

    As per AsusProbe, her processor is only running at 800 MHz. That's 1/3 of what's possible and less than half the1867 it should be. Confirmed this with CPU-ID, so it really is pitiful.

    The BIOS settings were on Automatic, and the grayed out values (identified by square paren set) look like the correct numbers (14X is spot on for a 2400 processor).

    Not knowing why the actual was only 6X, I tried to force a higher rate by modified the settings as shown behind the slash.

    New effect: zilch.

    Code:
     Advanced Chipset Features
       CPU External Freq. (MHz)             133 MHz
       CPU Frequency Multiple Setting          Auto   / Menu
       CPU Frequency Multiple           []    14.0X   / 14.0X
       System Performance                   Optimal   / Aggressive
       CPU Interface                        Optimal
       Memory Frequency                         SPD 
       Resulting Frequency                  166 MHz
       Memory Timings                   []  Optimal 
       SDRAM Active Precharge Delay     []        7
       SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay           []        3
       SDRAM RAS Precharge Delay        []        3
       SDRAM CAS Latency                []     2.5T
       FSB Spread Spectrum                    0.50%
       AGP Spread Spectrum                 Disabled
       CPU Vcore Setting                       Auto    / Manual 
       CPU Vcore                        []   1.575V    / 1.650V
       Graphics Aperture Size                  64MB
       AGP Frequency                           Auto
       System BIOS Cacheable               Disabled
    
    That it is running slower is not her imagination. When the CMOS was lost due to a weak battery, the previous settings disappeared. They must have been set to maximize performance from the Mobile chip.

    If anyone can point out what it takes to make the Mobile chip run faster I would certainly appreciate it.

    Note: When external frequency is forced to 166 to match the memory, the chip accepts it and runs at 998 Mhz.
  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    The Barton 2400+ is supposed to be clocked at 1800MHz. Check whether AMD Cool And Quiet is enabled in the BIOS. If it is, disable it. The CPU should then definitely function at 1800MHz at all times. Cool And Quiet usually lowers the speed when the system is idle to conserve power.

    The Bus Speed should be 266MHz with the multiplier at 13.5, I think.
  3. jodhpur

    jodhpur Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    > Check whether AMD Cool And Quiet is enabled in the BIOS.

    I suspected a trigger somewhere, but I can't find anything in the BIOS (it is the latest) about Cool and Quiet.

    Even the Asus Overclocking Utility has nothing that looks like it could be useful to trigger 'normal' operation.

    Thanks
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Could you please post a screenshot from CPU-Z.
  5. jodhpur

    jodhpur Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    As you requested

    Attached Files:

    • mbl.pdf
      File size:
      7.5 KB
      Views:
      3
  6. jodhpur

    jodhpur Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    JIC 200 MHz memory is seen as a factor, here is the same screen w/133 Memory.

    Attached Files:

  7. jodhpur

    jodhpur Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Mobile Athlon running at 75% Nominal

    The owner of an Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev 2.00 led me to a solution, The A7N8X BIOS can step up/down in Mhz increments, and he runs his machine at 2.1 GHz using a 14X multiplier at 150 MHz.

    The rate choices on the A7N8X-E Deluxe are 100/133/166/200 MHz. After the battery was pulled the BIOS chose settings of 100 MHz and 11X. By incrementing on each learned that any multiplier >12X will fail, even though 1300 MHz is only 2/3 of what can be achieved by raising the frequency.

    The following are what worked:

    11X @ 166 MHz (1833) is stable and runs for hours w/Prime95
    12X @ 166 MHz (2000) is stable and runs for hours w/Prime95
    11X @ 200 MHz (2200) is stable for my use but errors occur w/Prime95

    Running Prime95 at 12X/166 causes the CPU temp to rise above 60C, so it is either buy a better cooler or keep it at 11X/166.

    Code:
     Advanced Chipset Features
       CPU External Freq. (MHz)             166 MHz
       CPU Frequency Multiple Setting          Menu
       CPU Frequency Multiple                 11.0X 
       System Performance                   Optimal
       CPU Interface                        Optimal
       Memory Frequency                         SPD
       Resulting Frequency                  166 MHz
       Memory Timings                       Optimal
    


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