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Intel E8200 core 2 2.66 GHz, reported core speed is 2 Ghz

Posted on 2011-10-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
Hi,

my Intel E8200 sometime drops to 2 Ghz instead of 2.66.

This is reported in the BIOS as well as apps like CPUID-Z.

It happens about 40% of the time.

I have searched loads but with no joy :(

Any help greatly appreciated.
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Question by:nibblebit
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by:fleamourian
ID: 36898010
Older Pentiums used to make use of SpeedStep Technology where the CPU was throttled back when not going full pelt.  I would suspect something similar is happening here.
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 36898020
Well it has never done this before and the CPU is never at full-pelt during POST so i don't think that's the answer, but thanks for taking the time.
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by:fleamourian
ID: 36898030
It calls on the full grunt only when needed, throttling back when under light load.  If I am right then this is regarded as a feature & not a problem.
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by:fleamourian
ID: 36898039
Have you Wiki'd your processor spec?
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by:fleamourian
ID: 36898052
As I suspected:

Intel Spec

Your CPU features "Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology" which power saves wherever it can "depending on processor load..."
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by:fleamourian
ID: 36898055
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by:nibblebit
ID: 36898208
Yes but, it has never done this before.

Unless my logic is flawed, why would this feature suddenly appear after three years of use ?

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by:fleamourian
ID: 36898295
I'm not sure, however there may be an option in BIOS to run at "Fixed Max".
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by:garycase
ID: 36898678
As noted above, it's NORMAL for the E8200 to drop to 2GHz when the CPU isn't being stressed.
I doubt this has "just happened" ==> it's far more likely that you've recently got a newer version of CPU-Z that more accurately reports it ... or perhaps just noticed it.     Note that the Windows properties box always reports the specified speed (2.66GHz in your case) -- not the actual current speed (which CPU-Z reports).     So you may have simply never noticed this before.
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 36899153
Hi and thanks for replies so far.

I've worked in IT for 18 years and i'm normally sitting at the PC as it's booting up and i always read POST mesages. It's not something i would have missed.

Also, i have speedstep disabled in the BIOS, the option in my BIOS is 'Intel C-State Tech'.

Thanks again.

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Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 36899863
With SpeedStep disabled in the BIOS you're right -- the CPU should run full speed at all times.

Have you recently updated your BIOS?

Also, when was the last time you changed your motherboard's battery?    If the battery needs replacement, then the CMOS settings may not be persistent ==> if that's the case the BIOS would redetect the CPU on bootup and would use default settings ... which most likely have SpeedStep enabled.     This issue may be as simple as a new $3 battery :-)     [This battery is almost always a CR2032 coin cell -- there are a few exceptions, so check your motherboard.]

Note you can also disable SpeedStep in Windows' power management -- just set it so the CPU always runs at 100%.

As an aside, why do you disable SpeedStep?    It's an excellent feature the keeps the CPU running cooler, and instantly ramps up whenever there's a significant power demand.    I've not seen ANY performance degradation from using it.
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 36901687
I last updated the BIOS last year.

The mainboard is an MSI P43 NEO-F (MS-7519).

CMOS settings are persistent, my custom changes are persistent.

Perhaps i should enable SpeedStep, especially with the warm weather we are having here in London. I won't enable it for the moment because it would obiously change the state of things while we're trying to diagnose this problem.

I find it very strange, i have had CPU's die on me back in P4 days, but this is the first time i've seen this happen.

Thankyou :)
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by:garycase
ID: 36901965
I think it's unlikely the CPU has "died" on you.    It seems more like a BIOS issue where it's not "enforcing" the fact that you disabled SpeedStep.      See if it works okay if you disable SpeedStep in Windows power management => CPU-Z should then always report 2.66GHz.     If that works, then the BIOS simply isn't setting it correctly.
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by:nobus
ID: 36908164
maybe it is heat related - install speedfan to monitor them : http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
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Assisted Solution

by:The_Antman
The_Antman earned 250 total points
ID: 36997387
Please clarify -
Is the observed drop in CPU speed seen on the POST screen?  And it is seen in BIOS?

If yes - all references to SpeedStep, SpeedFan, Windows power management are off the mark.

Something in your BIOS settings has changed, FSB, multiplier, CPU freq (I have not referenced your PC/BIOS manual).

A faulting PSU can cause this affect.

It is interesting that you state "...it happens about 40% of the time".  If that is true at POST, you have a motherboard/BIOS/PSU problem.

If that statement is true only while the OS is booted, all references to SpeedStep, SpeedFan, power management are valid.
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 36999091
Thanks Antman, i've been trying to make those points clear :)

Yes it's seen in POST and BIOS. My CMOS battery is charged, the PSU is only 2 years old and all voltages read fine.

It hasn't happened now for about two weeks ...
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36999153
try resetting the laptop like this
remove AC and battery - now hold the powerbutton for 20 sec
reconnect everything and test

you can also try a bios update
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 37000124
Thanks nobus. It's a desktop, BIOS is up-to-date.

The problem hasn't occured in two weeks so ...
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by:The_Antman
ID: 37000367
I have never seen an ATX laptop.  It must be a nice one ;-)

I must take your comments re: battery and PSU are good at face value and conclude that you are qualified to make that assessment (18 years - what is the smiley for thumbs up?).

We need to clarify further -

When the affect presents, what is the corrective measure?  You imply that you take no corrective action in BIOS.  If you were taking a corrective measure in software, this thread would not exist.  

If the affect 'toggles' with power cycles, AND BIOS settings are persistent, something in the powertrain (to misuse a commonly understood term) is awry.   If this was my system, I would replace the power supply, if only for test purposes.  A transient flaw in your PSU could present good voltages on testing and droop under load.  I would also replace that good battery, again for proof of concept.

Failing this -
Get out your glasses and a magnifying glass.  Examine each capacitor on the mobo.  See http://badcaps.net/ for detailed guidance.  Caps are about $0.25 each.  Practice your soldering or get a new motherboard.

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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 37000415
Thanks Antman, i shall do both :)
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by:nobus
ID: 37000611
>>  My CMOS battery is charged  << HOW?   afaik those are cr2032 button cells - which cannot be charged
but it should have 3V
you can reset the biso simply by removing AC - and the bios battery for a minute
what is your mobo model ?
i doubt it has bad capacitors - since they are not electrolytes, but polymer type
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Expert Comment

by:The_Antman
ID: 37000828
nobus makes a valid point re: polymer caps.  If they have failed, there will be no visual indication.  Your mobo has both types. MSI P43 Neo3-F mobo with cap type indicated
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 37000854
CMOS charge is 3.2 V.

Interesting about the caps.

I can't test just now because the problem hasn't occured in a while.
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by:nobus
ID: 37001300
yes - but thes e are not the problem; since they are not around a heat source
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Expert Comment

by:The_Antman
ID: 37001509
High ambient heat is not the only cause of popping.
Not all failed capacitors pop.

Causes of capacitor failure
http://www.electrocube.com/support/why_capacitors_fail.asp Numerous electrolytic capacitors located near a high heat source
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Expert Comment

by:The_Antman
ID: 37001552
To me, the intriguing aspect of this thread is the intermittent presentation of the affect.  The OP reports that BIOS settings are persistent, yet this statement belies the reported problem.  The POST screen will only show the value set in BIOS.  Therefore, BIOS settings cannot be persistent at the time the affect presents.

I did some reading on the CR2032 cell.  In this cell's chemistry, it seems that high ambient temperatures can cause high self-discharge.  Maximum temperature limited to about 60 °C.  Further, the lithium chemistry may allow the battery to return to nominal operating condition when cooled.  I am guessing re: this point.  I am not a chemical engineer.  However, this is consistent with the OP's report in light of the caveat presented in my first paragraph.

For this reason, I would examine the efficacy of the cooling system.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37004840
or just replace the battery -4$
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by:garycase
ID: 37004916
"... I can't test just now because the problem hasn't occured in a while. "  ==>  While this is an anomaly that indicates your BIOS setting to disable SpeedStep is not working, it's not really a "problem" ... your CPU is working as designed, and I presume that whenever you present it with a load it bumps up to the rated 2.66GHz speed -- right?

... if your system is otherwise working well, this is definitely not worth worrying about.

Put a CPU-Z window in a corner of your display and watch the speed when you're actually using the system.   If it bumps up to 2.66GHz whenever you load a program, do any CPU-intensive activity, etc. than all is well.
The E8200 is SUPPOSED to drop to 2.0GHz when it's not subjected to a load.



 
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 37005327
Ye, because it's not occuring at the moment then the speed is constantly 2.66.

I need to order a new PSU for another machine so i will test that in it if the problem occurs again.

Also i will try a fresh CMS battery if it occursa again.

Thanks for all the help chaps, stuff to try,

I'll close the question now and split the points three ways.


Thanks again,

nibblebit.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 37005342
No solution offered, i have been working in IT for 18 years and i have never seen anything like it, which is why i came here.

Hats off to the guys for trying though, the fact that it was an intermittent problem made it even harder to diagnose.


Cheers,

NibbleBit.
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 37013762
Hi,

OK i've 'requested attention' to change the grading to a B.
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Author Comment

by:nibblebit
ID: 37014418
Thanks Matt.
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