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Thread: Performance regressions with C'n'Q, C1E, SB750

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    22

    Default Performance regressions with C'n'Q, C1E, SB750

    Hello,

    after running a few tests I have come along some major performance regressions when using AMD's power saving options.

    My System:

    • MB: ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
    • CPU: Phenom II X4 810
    • Memory: 8GB DDR3
    • SSD: Intel X25-E
    • HD 4850
    • Ubuntu 9.04, Kernel 2.6.30


    Test tools were hdparm -t and ET:Quake Wares at max setting 1920*1200.

    Results

    C'n'Q on, C1E on

    System Idle: SSD 135 MB/s, ETQW 24 fps
    System Full Load with prime: SSD 185 MB/s, ETQW 30 fps

    C'n'Q on, C1E off

    System Idle: SSD 150 - 170 MB/s, ETQW 26 fps
    System Full Load with prime: 180 - 190 MB/s, ETQW 30 fps

    C'n'Q off, C1E off

    System Idle: SSD 200 - 210 MB/s, ETQW 36 fps
    System Full Load with prime: 180 - 190 MB/s, ETQW 31 fps

    System SSD performance drastically depends on power saving options and from the results it also looked like it depends on CPU load, so I have done a few other tests.

    C'n'Q off, C1E off, 1000 Mhz fixed

    System Idle: SSD 170 - 180 MB/s

    C'n'Q off, C1E off, 1600 Mhz fixed

    System Idle: SSD 200 - 210 MB/s

    As the results show, the SSD maxed out at a CPU Clock of 1600 Mhz. It looks like the SB750 doesn't support SATA natively and offloads alot to the CPU.

    What is wrong with AMD? It can't be that you have to turn off all the power saving options and keep the CPU under low load just to get normal performance for one SSD!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    155

    Default

    That is to be expected. It's the same with Intel. When you enable CnQ or speedstep, it takes *time* to change states. It isn't a lot of time, but that delay will reduce performance. It is for this reason I don't use those features. I set my clocks and voltages manually in the BIOS before booting based on what I am going to use the system for. This way I get the best of both worlds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Linuxland
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    Default

    The time taken to switch between power states is what Via minimized in the Nano. Can't comment on their chipsets though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    117

    Default

    It is simple. You lose 10% performance while you save 50%+ in power consumption when idle. Idea behind power saving is to lose a little bit in performance while saving a lot power. If you don't want that then don't use power saving.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Greece
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    The kernel configuration docs ("conservative" frequency scaling governor) have this to say about AMD64 CPUs:

    "If you have a desktop machine then you should really be considering the 'ondemand' governor instead, however if you are using a laptop, PDA or even an AMD64 based computer (due to the unacceptable step-by-step latency issues between the minimum and maximum frequency transitions in the CPU) you will probably want to use this governor."

  6. #6
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    May 2009
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    The governor is already set to ondemand.
    Only Intel's advanced C-steps affect perfomance.

    Speedstep's perfomance loss is around 1%.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muad'Dib View Post
    The governor is already set to ondemand.
    Only Intel's advanced C-steps affect perfomance.

    Speedstep's perfomance loss is around 1%.
    The point those docs are trying to make is that "conservative" might be a better choice than "ondemand" and that AMD's freq scaling is much slower than speedstep (though it fails to mention on what chips it's actually slower; Athlon? Phenom? Phenom II?)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    22

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    With Athlon 64 and X2 I have never noticed similar performance issues.

    The difference in benchmarks were always sub 10%.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hello,

    I have used "conservative" for a while and it really affected performance.

    C'n'Q on, C1E off

    System Idle: SSD 150 - 170 MB/s, ETQW 33 fps
    System Full Load with prime: 180 - 190 MB/s, ETQW 31 fps

    It can't be that a system doesnt' meet its specifications.

    Even my old rig could handle a higher Disk-Throughput without being that depended on the cpu performance.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default

    ATI 9.9 drivers improved a bit:

    ---- Render ----
    Renderer: ATI R600 1024Mb
    OpenGL vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
    OpenGL renderer: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
    OpenGL version: 2.1.8918

    Unigine_Sanctuary-2.1
    Benchmark finished
    Time: 179.766
    Frames: 8052
    FPS: 44.7916
    Scores: 1899.16

    Unigine_Tropics-1.1
    Benchmark finished
    Time: 201.78
    Frames: 7412
    FPS: 36.7331
    Scores: 925.306



    ATI 9.2 drivers:
    ---- Render ----
    Renderer: ATI R600 1024Mb
    OpenGL vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
    OpenGL renderer: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
    OpenGL version: 2.1.8494 Release

    Unigine_Sanctuary-2.1
    Benchmark finished
    Time: 179.888
    Frames: 5782
    FPS: 32.1422
    Scores: 1362.83

    Unigine_Tropics-1.1
    Benchmark finished
    Time: 201.928
    Frames: 4025
    FPS: 19.9328
    Scores: 502.108

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