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  1. #1
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    Disable SpeedStep on P4 - faster or slower?

    Have a very old Intel Pentium 4 3GZ (family F, Model 4, Stepping 3) - Dell Dimension 5100
    Im trying to squeeze out as much "performance" as possible.

    Will I get better performance with SpeedStep disabled in the BIOS or enabled? Im seeing conflicting answers online.
    ie. will disabling it let it run at full speed all the time or does it not let it go to 11 (full speed)?

  2. #2
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    What happens if you change the BIOS setting and test? (After a disk image, of course.)

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    I believe SpeedStep is a power-saving technology, not a performance-boosting technology.

    According to this Wikipedia reference:
    In Windows XP a user can regulate processor speed indirectly by changing power schemes. The "Home/Office Desk" setting disables SpeedStep, the "Portable/Laptop" power scheme enables SpeedStep, and the "Max Battery" uses SpeedStep to slow the processor to minimal power levels as the battery weakens.

    Although that specifically mentioned XP, I think the implication is clear that disabling SpeedStep provides maximum performance.

  4. #4
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    I agree with dg1261... it's a power-saving technology.

  5. #5
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    but doesnt it save power by throttling back the processor, thereby effecting speed?

  6. #6
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackPollack View Post
    but doesnt it save power by throttling back the processor, thereby effecting speed?
    Yes, but 'performance' is both a trade-off and personal judgement in this case.

  7. #7
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    Intel SpeedStep reduces the cpu speed when the system is idling or doing simple tasks that don't require much processing power. This reduces the amount of electricity the computer is using as well as reducing the amount of heat generated. This is desirable so long as it doesn't prevent the cpu from giving more performance when needed. When you launch any task or tasks that require more processing power then SpeedStep immediately / instantly ramps up the cpu speed to provide the extra performance needed. Even the older versions of SpeedStep are effective and efficient. It's like how an experienced driver who begins driving up a hill will press down on the gas pedal without needing to stop and think about it. It's an automatic response to a know situation. Having said that, you can of course set your Power Plan in Windows to High Performance, and the cpu will run at full speed all the time.

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