FPS tip for Intel speedstep CPUs

AussieKidAussieKid Join Date: 2012-08-07 Member: 154896Members, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Gold, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 99 Advanced user
Intel speedstep is technology which automatically changes the speed of your CPU depending upon the situation, this technology is designed to save on power consumption and heat generation when your PC is not doing intensive tasks. I have an Intel i5 2500K and have found that turning off speedstep and turbo-boost in my BIOS has resulted in a more consistent FPS overall in-game. The difference for me was quite dramatic where I used to get down to 10-15 fps in heavy combat situations, I now sit in the 20-30 fps range. I can't guarantee this will have the safe effect for others but thought it was worth mentioning here.

Note: Please be very very careful before attempting to change anything in your BIOS settings.

Vivisector

Comments

  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 4,983 mod
    This is a bit counterintuitive, because disabling speedstep should, in theory, lower performance since you are not getting the boost to the highest clockspeed. I'm curious
    - Are you overclocking?
    - Can you try running the benchmark shown in this thread with speedstep on/off?
  • Jonp_11Jonp_11 Join Date: 2003-08-24 Member: 20161Members Posts: 42
    edited August 2012
    Interesting, I have an i5-650 I might have to try it. I read before that disabling speedstep wouldn't have much of a performance increase in general for gaming, not that I deny yours. I have power options set on High Performance which I thought would have the same effect, given that it's supposed to keep your CPU state at 100%.

    I just wonder how did you get your benchmark? It seems like trying to benchmark a multiplayer game could be very inaccurate due to so many factors.
    Steam: Harriet Tubgirl
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 4,983 mod
    Most games are bottlenecked by the GPU power, so speedsteps extra CPU power does little. However, NS2 is usually (though not always) bottlenecked by the CPU, which is why the speedstep can help.

    The benchmark is not a 'true' benchmark (because we're not keeping everything constant), but its a useful measure of what people are actually experiencing in-game.
  • deathmongerdeathmonger Join Date: 2012-07-06 Member: 153953Members Posts: 166
    Speedstep is like AMD's cool 'n quiet - it drops your processor speed down to 1.6GHz under a light load. Now turbo boost gives you an extra boost under especially taxing situations--if you haven't overclocked your CPU then I recommend keeping that enabled. But you can definitely disable speedstep without losing any benefits other than less power consumption when you don't really need all of that processing power.

  • AussieKidAussieKid Join Date: 2012-08-07 Member: 154896Members, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Gold, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 99 Advanced user
    QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Aug 9 2012, 02:02 PM) »
    This is a bit counterintuitive, because disabling speedstep should, in theory, lower performance since you are not getting the boost to the highest clockspeed. I'm curious
    - Are you overclocking?
    - Can you try running the benchmark shown in this thread with speedstep on/off?


    - No overclocking, stock speeds on both the cpu and gfx.
    - benchmark results:

    In both tests below, intel turbo boost was set to disabled. I have not yet done any benchmarking to see if turbo boost makes a difference, this primarily shows the difference between intel speedstep settings.


    Test 1: Intel Speedstep ON, ns2_summit, 16 to 18 players, marine
    CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k @ 3.3Ghz
    Ping: ~70ms
    GPU: ASUS GTX580 Direct CU II @ 782/1576/4008
    OS: Windows 7 Professional, 64 Bit
    DISK: OCZ SSD
    RAM: 16GB, 1600mhz
    Minimum FPS: 4
    Maximum FPS: 102

    Average FPS: 30.752
    Build: 216
    Resolution: 1280 x 800, high, all options on.



    Test 2: Intel Speedstep OFF, ns2_summit, 16 to 18 players, marine
    CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k @ 3.3Ghz
    Ping: ~70ms
    GPU: ASUS GTX580 Direct CU II @ 782/1576/4008
    OS: Windows 7 Professional, 64 Bit
    DISK: OCZ SSD
    RAM: 16GB, 1600mhz
    Minimum FPS: 20
    Maximum FPS: 101

    Average FPS: 48.605
    Build: 216
    Resolution: 1280 x 800, high, all options on.

  • DghelneshiDghelneshi Aims to surpass Fana in post edits. Join Date: 2011-11-01 Member: 130634Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 941
    edited August 2012
    Did you make a playthrough before the benchmark to precache stuff in case that's what's causing the 4fps slowdowns? If that's not it, this is a really mysterious issue.
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 4,983 mod
    Oh wow, that's a big difference. Does this mean that speedstep is sometimes throttling down while NS2 is running?
  • AussieKidAussieKid Join Date: 2012-08-07 Member: 154896Members, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Gold, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 99 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Dghelneshi @ Aug 10 2012, 06:47 AM) »
    Did you make a playthrough before the benchmark to precache stuff in case that's what's causing the 4fps slowdowns? If that's not it, this is a really mysterious issue.


    No I didn't, this is a good idea though and would give us more accurate results. I might do this before I start the next benchmarks for the turbo boost settings.
  • AussieKidAussieKid Join Date: 2012-08-07 Member: 154896Members, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Gold, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 99 Advanced user
    QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Aug 10 2012, 02:23 PM) »
    Oh wow, that's a big difference. Does this mean that speedstep is sometimes throttling down while NS2 is running?


    I don't want to draw that conclusion yet which is why I'm curious to see if anyone else gets similar results to me.
  • kamupkamup Join Date: 2012-08-13 Member: 155556Members Posts: 5
    Well, I tested that on my laptop and in my case I lose about 5-10 fps with speedstep disabled. For me works better with speedstep ON ( 30 fps VS 20 fps OFF ), also there's no turbo-boost option in my bios.
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 4,983 mod
    I'm a bit surprised that speedstep has an effect either way actually. In theory, shouldn't it only slow down the CPU during low power applications (i.e. idling)?
  • DghelneshiDghelneshi Aims to surpass Fana in post edits. Join Date: 2011-11-01 Member: 130634Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 941
    edited August 2012
    Windows Performance Monitor offers ways of monitoring sleep states and CPU frequency (not the Turbo Boost frequency though). It's a bit of a pain to set it up, but I've played NS2 with it running and saw nothing strange. Frequency was at maximum all the time, no matter whether I set windows to handle core affinity or set it to only use the first to cores. I still have to test this without SpeedStep to compare the sleep states as I'm not well versed in their meaning (C3 hovered around 50%, rest was near 0).
  • jkennyjkenny Aztlan Join Date: 2016-07-27 Member: 220720Members Posts: 1
    AussieKid wrote: »
    Intel speedstep is technology which automatically changes the speed of your CPU depending upon the situation, this technology is designed to save on power consumption and heat generation when your PC is not doing intensive tasks. I have an Intel i5 2500K and have found that turning off speedstep and turbo-boost in my BIOS has resulted in a more consistent FPS overall in-game. The difference for me was quite dramatic where I used to get down to 10-15 fps in heavy combat situations, I now sit in the 20-30 fps range. I can't guarantee this will have the safe effect for others but thought it was worth mentioning here.

    Note: Please be very very careful before attempting to change anything in your BIOS settings.

    Dude Im from the future, xD, i just register here to thank you very much. This tip helped me a lot, i think it was the last choice/option to try to improve FPS on my laptop and i can tell you that I love you man. Thank you very much. It works for me with my Intel Core i5 2450m.
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributor Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Posts: 8,191 admin
    In general, you want to disable speedstep unless you are mobile and gaming (to save battery life)
    You especially want to disable it if you are overclocking.
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • snbsnb Join Date: 2006-11-09 Member: 58499Members Posts: 37 Fully active user
    IronHorse wrote: »
    In general, you want to disable speedstep unless you are mobile and gaming (to save battery life)
    You especially want to disable it if you are overclocking.

    Why? I don't want my CPU to be at 4.6 GHz permanently.
  • VivisectorVivisector Tacoma, Wa Join Date: 2016-06-27 Member: 219168Members Posts: 16 Fully active user
    Huh. Maybe I should try it out. My FPS is all over the place.
    -"No."
  • vartijavartija Join Date: 2007-03-02 Member: 60193Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 99 Advanced user
    snb wrote: »
    IronHorse wrote: »
    In general, you want to disable speedstep unless you are mobile and gaming (to save battery life)
    You especially want to disable it if you are overclocking.

    Why? I don't want my CPU to be at 4.6 GHz permanently.

    It's more stable when disabled. (=more Hz!)
    IronHorse
  • snbsnb Join Date: 2006-11-09 Member: 58499Members Posts: 37 Fully active user
    Just tried it. There's no noticable difference.

    There would be on my electricity bill, though, if I kept it.
  • vartijavartija Join Date: 2007-03-02 Member: 60193Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 99 Advanced user
    You nee also push that sweet voltage! But if you are not going all the way I think it's fine to keep it.
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