Saturday, November 19, 2011

ASUS Turbo Unlocker may not be 100% stable in some cases

I've been tracking a problem seen on a test bed. To make sure none of our software was involved, I removed all our products, and indeed most everything except what I knew to be affected at random times. I then continued evaluation. Eventually, I traced the sporadic problems to use of the ASUS utility Turbo Unlocker which has the intent of boosting AMD Turbo Boost compatible processors even further.

For those that don't know, AMD Turbo Boost allows individual cores to be scaled up in frequency when only a few are in use. If they all were in use, then there would be too much heat to scale them all up. Well, ASUS's little utility does boosts more cores at the same time, most likely through small additional voltage boosts, with the assumption that the user has sufficient cooling, sufficient margin of error exists, or the system load is small enough.

I've found inconclusive evidence that this utility may destabilize *some* PCs under *some* high load scenarios. This is all very speculative right now, but I'm confident enough to say this to report it. Now, there is a good chance you'll never see problems. However, if you see random crashes during high loads, you might want to try turning off ASUS Turbo Unlocker and see if it mitigates the random crashes. I would have never noticed had not exposed this test bed to high loads for sustained periods and evaluated for potential errors like this.

This is all speculative, and my own opinion, and so take it with a grain of salt. I have no conclusive data to back up this empirical observation.

No comments:

Post a Comment