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HP Media Smart EX470/475 running Sempron 3400+ CPU at half speed? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have no personal experience with the HP product. I built my own WHS boxes. A cheap minimum spec for the RC. Then a hardware upgraded version for the OEM. Based on the threads I've read either of them perform much better than the HP offering.

     

    It looks like HP is running the already weak Sempron at about HALF-SPEED! Maybe for thermal reasons. The CPU may have a passive heatsink and rely on air flow through the case for cooling.

     

    The specs for a standard 3400+ 1.8GHz Sempron (cheapest one from Newegg).

     

    http://www.amdcompare.com/us-en/desktop/details.aspx?opn=SDA3400IAA3CW

     

    Notice the CPU speed of 1800Mhz and the HT speed of 1600. Here is the CPUZ output from a member of this forum for the CPU in an HP Media Smart.

     

    http://www.homeserverhacks.com/2007/12/looking-into-processor-upgrade.html

     

    The CPU speed is 1000MHz! The HT speed is 800! Maybe I'm missing something, but it looks to me like HP took a very weak Sempron processor and under clocked it? Add that to the minimum spec memory which is a single slot so it cannot run in dual channel interleaved mode which doubles memory bandwidth. What you end up with is a very poor performing server which many of the posts in this forum have commented on.

     

    Warren

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:50 PM

Answers


  • Warren,

    AMD has something they call "Cool n Quiet."  It is a technology that ramps down CPU frequency during periods of low CPU utilization.  I'm sure HP is using that.

    I believe Intel refers to their version of this technology as "Speedstep."

    Most people never notice the drop in CPU frequency when their PC is idle (or even web browsing) because they aren't running utilities which display their current clock speed.
    Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:13 PM

All replies


  • Warren,

    AMD has something they call "Cool n Quiet."  It is a technology that ramps down CPU frequency during periods of low CPU utilization.  I'm sure HP is using that.

    I believe Intel refers to their version of this technology as "Speedstep."

    Most people never notice the drop in CPU frequency when their PC is idle (or even web browsing) because they aren't running utilities which display their current clock speed.
    Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:13 PM
  • You know I looked right at that 1000 MHz and didn't even notice. It should be either 1800 MHz or 2000 MHz depending on what procesor this really is. I agree that it looks like the procesor is underclocked.

     

    BTW, you can see that there is simply a passive heat sink on the CPU by looking at the picture in step 14 of my "Upgrade the Memory in your HP EX470" article.

     

    Interesting to note, there *is* a connector on the motherboard labled FAN1 with nothing connected to it. If/when a faster CPU is found (and the underclocking figured out) there will at least be power to run a CPU fan.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:13 PM
  •  LiveGadgets wrote:

    You know I looked right at that 1000 MHz and didn't even notice. It should be either 1800 MHz or 2000 MHz depending on what procesor this really is. I agree that it looks like the procesor is underclocked.

     

    BTW, you can see that there is simply a passive heat sink on the CPU by looking at the picture in step 14 of my "Upgrade the Memory in your HP EX470" article.

     

    Interesting to note, there *is* a connector on the motherboard labled FAN1 with nothing connected to it. If/when a faster CPU is found (and the underclocking figured out) there will at least be power to run a CPU fan.



    As I note above, drops in clock speed during idle are very common on AMD Sempron and Athlon processors.  My Athlon64 X2 does the same thing.  It routinely drops the cores to about half their normal frequency during idle.

    If you have a computer with an AMD processor, and Cool 'n Quiet is enabled in your bios, you can watch your CPU frequency change constantly using the "AMD Clock" utility from AMD's web site.

    On a related subject...

    Do you have any higher-resolution pictures of the mainboard and heatsink?  Or do you how much space was between the heatsink screw holes?  I would be curious whether the HP uses a standard AMD heatsink mounting bracket.  If so, that would allow us to use our own heatsink instead.

    And how much clearance is there between the heatsink and other components once the motherboard is reinstalled.  Is there actually space for a fan?
    Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:19 PM
  •  KenAF wrote:

    AMD has something they call "Cool n Quiet."  It is a technology that ramps down CPU frequency during periods of low CPU utilization.  I'm sure HP is using that.

    I believe Intel refers to their version of this technology as "Speedstep."

    Most people never notice the drop in CPU frequency when their PC is idle (or even web browsing) because they aren't running utilities which display their current clock speed.

     

    Yeah, I forgot about AMD "Cool n Quiet". That probably explains the CPUZ output.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:26 PM
  • Ken, You are absolutely right about the Cool n Quiet mode. I've modified my article with a new screen shot.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:27 PM
  • HP's own Proliant ML110, xeon 3040, 512mb looks like a much better bet to me, especially for £210 as it is at the mo

     

    Friday, December 14, 2007 8:44 AM