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Operating the SMD FX4100 in Win XP - processor speed question

  1. Aug 30, 2012 #1


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    I just did a new build and I am waiting on my Win 7 disc to arrive. in the meanwhile I have transplanted my old drive with XP on it. everything boots fine and I get no errors. When I check the properties under my computer it correctly IDs the processor name however it only lists the speed as 1.57GHz even though the listed speed of the chip is 3.6GHz. The next day I upgraded an XP machine at work and installed the FX4100, and again it lists the speed at 1.57GHz. is this due to the limits of a 32bit OS? is it a limitation specific to Win XP?

    On a similar note when I do a more in depth Diagnostic of the chip it lists each of the 4 cores as fully functioning however the stats lists the L2 cache as 2MB. The chip specifications on AMD's website list the L2 cache is 4MB. are the specs wrong or do I need to unlock something on my chip? or is this again a limitation of the OS?

    any insights would be appreciated.

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2012 #2
    Download CPU-Z from cpuid http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/cpu-z/1.61-32bits-en.zip [Broken]

    This will give you accurate information about your CPU, motherboard, ram ect.

    There is nothing wrong with your cpu, it runs at 1.57ghz as a downclock to save power when it is not in use, (stepping is what this is usually referred to)

    The 2mb of cache however, i would personally run CPU-Z and tripple check that it is correct

    The only limit's i can think of for a 32bit OS is the 4gb of ram. 1tb hard drives(1.5tb and higher do not work) win xp only.

    You can disable the hardware stepping in your Bios when you first turn on your PC, this will ensure it is using full power even when you are not using it, in windows it will still state your processor is running at 1.57ghz although if you check cpuz it will show the correct speed of which it is currently running at.

    i hope i have helped you understand what it is that your computer is doing when your back is turned.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Aug 31, 2012 #3


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    Thanks for the link to that utility. personally I use Speccy from Piriform, this sounds a lot like that but I will give it a shot anyway, never hurts to have two different sets of tools.

    Thank you for letting me know about the stepping, that makes sense, and personally I dont mind the CPU taking a break when I am not working, as long as it brings it's A game when I have a dozen programs going at once :)

    I just ran CPU-Z. a very nice program, lots of details that speccy was missing. In fact it shows what Speccy was missing about the L2 Cache, it is indeed 4MBs but its broken up into (2) 2MB sections, Speccy only saw the first module and that is all it reported.

    Thank you again for introducing me to CPU-Z, I think I will get alot of use out of it.

    PS. ok CPU speed tested and confirmed. I just opened CPU-Z and looked at the speed, it was idling at 1.4GHz. I opened Photoshop,Bridge, Light room, Dreamweaver,Outlook,Notebook and Firefox simultaneously and the CPU jumped to 3.6GHz for about 5 seconds, then stepped back down when the programs where loaded. very nice indeed.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
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