7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2010 6:30 AM by RSS

    Turbo Boost overheats Sony

    megacal

      Hi,

       

      has anyone had this problem with Turbo Boost? 

       

      the Sony VAIO F136 fx laptop I bought recently shut down after rendering 1/2 of an approx 4hr image sequence.

       

      I bought the Sony to replace an older slower HP6226 laptop (still running fine, no problem with long renders requiring

      100% resources) in order to cut down on render times.

       

      When I started rendering even 1 frame with the Sony, Turbo Boost (TB) kicked in, rev'd up the fan and started overclocking

      the processor. This is probably not a problem for most apps, but 3D rendering is very CPU intensive regardless of the particular

      3D app.

       

      I checked the Intel Turbo Boost page, and it said the TB can be turned off via the bios. Unfortunately, the Sony bios has no switch, and

      is basically useles for anything else except settting a password.

       

      I returned the Sony to Fry's (they were nice enough to not charge me a 15% re-stocking fee).

       

      While there, I checked the bios settings on the HP & Toshiba machines. Only Toshiba has a setting to enable/disable

      TB. 

       

      Maybe Toshiba, HP and other laptops have a better ventilation system and don't overheat....I couldn't test them in store. Maybe the Sony is

      the only one with a problem (or that model, or even that particular machine).

       

      BTW, I called Sony tech support and was impressed how quickly they called me (~30 sec) when I asked for help at their website.

      The 1st tier tech in Manila was curtious, but had no experience with the problem, and handed me off to tier 2 in Rancho Bernardo,

      just 5 mi from my home.....ironic. But they also were unable to help or explain why the bios had no switch or tell me how to

      disable TB another way.....but they'd pass it on to their engineers, so hopefully Sony will address the problem down the road.

       

      Instead, I found and bought an ASUS G73JH at Best Buy....has a bigger screen, better GPU, [b]AND[/b] is very well ventilated.

      In fact, you can hardly tell it's overclocking it's so quiet and cool. (it also has the TB, but handles it extremely well)....plus it was

      $200 less.

       

      The bottom line is and why I  posted, is to caution everyone who is considering a new laptop.

      If you will use it for 3D or any CPU intensive app, try to test it in the store to see how it reacts when under load.

       

      Also, I hope someone at Intel will provide a firmware fix so the Turbo Boost can either be controlled to set the

      max clock speed, or at least give us a way to disable it if there is no switch in the bios.

       

       

        • 1. Re: Turbo Boost overheats Sony
          Terabytes

          There is more than one way to disable turbo mode if the option is not available from the laptop vendor's BIOS. Setting bit 38 of MSR 0x1A0 is one way. If you are using Windows you could possibly change the maximum processor performance state using the "Power Options" to 99%. On a typical standard system this should be enough.

           

          Here is an example using an i7-860 with turbo multipliers from 22x to 26x. Super Pi, a single threaded application was made to run on core 2-0 by setting the Windows affinty mask. Turbo is seen as yellow in the EIST monitor.

          100a.png


          Changing to 99% drops the turbo performance state (100%) from the Windows OS selection and therefore turbo mode is not initiated by the OS.

          99a.png

          • 2. Re: Turbo Boost overheats Sony
            megacal

            Terrabytes,

             

            thanks for the info....really appreciate it.

             

            That's way above my skill level though...looks scary! =O

             

            I haven't the same problem with the ASUS even though it has

            TurboBoost....much better ventilation.

             

            But TurboBoost should be controllable on any machine at least through the bios

            if not a GUI.

             

            Cal

            • 3. Re: Turbo Boost overheats Sony
              Doc_SilverCreek

              Turbo Boost should not cause a failure condition.

               

              Turbo boost (if correctly configured in the hardware) is opportunistic.

               

              If you are running less than max current draw for the CPU as determined by the Imon curve on the board hardware

              and

              If you have thermal head room

               

              The system will turbo boost. In most cases this requires 1 or more cores to not be running at maximum.

               

              If all your cores were maxed out with your app and the system was still in Turbo Boost and over heating till it shut down, I would say it was a good thing you returned the unit.

              • 4. Re: Turbo Boost overheats Sony

                Thanks for the feedback.

                 

                Turbo Boost pushed the Sony too hard. If it didn't have the TB and ran at

                it's base speed of 1.73ghz, even for several hours, I doubt it would have over-heated.

                But even though the TB only kicked in a fraction of the time, the fan was rev'd

                at full speed the whole time. 

                 

                Who's to blame? Intel for not providing a way to control the clock speed, Sony for

                not providing a decent bios, and for putting an over clocked processor in a machine

                that is not vented adequately.

                 

                But for the majority of users, it probably won't be an issue.

                 

                The ASUS I bought is in the middle of a 4hr render session and is

                room temp on the bottom. All the heat exhaust through the rear.

                The 2 vent fans are barely audible. It overclocks to 2.80 for about 5" out of

                40" for each frame.

                 

                I don't know how the HP, Acer, or Toshiba would do in the same circumstances,

                but I can vouch that the ASUS is fine laptop and has no problems with heat.

                Here's the review if anyone is interested.

                • 5. Re: Turbo Boost overheats Sony
                  Doc_SilverCreek

                  Blame is such a harsh word

                   

                  Intel publishes a detailed specification for OEM's on how to set-up the mother board IMON curve to support Turbo Boost mode.

                  IMON is a feed back circuit to the processor from the mother board which the processor uses to determine if it can or should be in a Turbo Boost mode.

                  OEM's are strongly warned to not under report IMON as that would allow the processor to stay in Turbo Boost when the current draw is exceeding maximum.

                   

                  Whats is the old saying.. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink?

                   

                  ASUS makes a good laptop (I got one of my daughter a few years back). Only problem we ever had was the battery failed after ~ 4 years. (which is not too bad either)

                   

                  The ASUS sounds like it is Boosting correctly.

                  • 6. Re: Turbo Boost overheats Sony
                    Terabytes

                    Doc_SilverCreek wrote:

                     

                    OEM's are strongly warned to not under report IMON as that would allow the processor to stay in Turbo Boost when the current draw is exceeding maximum.

                    I think most likely it would be the TDP limit would be exceeded long before the TDC limit but still the same problem of the CPU operating out of specification. This begs the questions, is Vcore measured internally via the sense pads or calculated from the VID?

                     

                    IMHO I'd put the Sony down to bad luck for now unless a flood of them are returned because of overheating. Maybe my next laptop will be an ASUS too, hope they keep up the good work

                    • 7. Re: Turbo Boost overheats Sony
                      Blame is such a harsh word

                          -Doc_Silvercreek

                       

                      Guess I was a bit upset as it seemed incredible that Intel would attach something like Turbo Boost to

                      its processors without a gas peddle, and Sony compounding it by using a bios that isn't able to do

                      anything except set a password (it did have a switch for VMN...?)

                       

                      I'd put the Sony down to bad luck..

                         -Terabytes

                       

                      Maybe....it's probably a non-issue for the vast majority since most don't use 3D apps. Someone at

                      the forum suggested testing the machines in the store using Blender on a flash drive.

                       

                      It's academic for me now as the ASUS is working perfectly.....it is room temp on the bottom even in

                      the middle of a 4hr render. The intake vents are in the middle so are not blocked if you use it in your

                      lap.

                       

                      All my apps run smoothly & quickly.....a real pleasure to use.

                       

                      Thanks for all the feedback even if it was geek to me.

                       

                      BTW, if you haven't tried 3D modeling & animation, I highly recommend it for pure fun and creative satisfaction.

                      Several of my Bryce images & animations are here:   www.bryce5.com  under Landscapes & Space

                       

                      Also, Bryce & Carrara are available at www.daz3d.com ...earier versions, still very powerful, are virtually free.

                       

                      .....you are limited only by your imagination.