I recently purchased a pre-built PC without OS installed:
CPU: AMD FX 6300 3.5 GHz, 14.0 MB Cache, Black Edition with heat sink fan
Motherboard: ASUS M5A 78L-M LX Plus (with ATI HD3000/ AMD 760G graphics)
RAM: 4GB DDR3
Initially I installed XP Pro 32-bit, as I had used on my old PC, whilst making up my mind
whether to upgrade to Win 7 or Win 8. As I had been my previous practice with XP, I installed
the proprietary drivers provided on the ASUS motherboard support DVD
(AMD 760G/SB710 Chipset Support DVD Rev.V1016.02) namely:
AMD Chipset Driver
RealTek Audio Driver
AMD Graphics Driver
RealTek LAN Driver
ASUS EPU-4 Engine
Everything seemed to function well and the system ran quietly. After some deliberation, I decided to upgrade to
Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM). I had read that Win 7
is rather better (than XP used to be) in finding the right drivers.
I did however run the MS ‘Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor’ utility
beforehand, which indicated that I would need to install two additional
AMD CoolnQuiet Utility V21801 - the Win 7 upgrade advisor provided
the web link to the required version.
RealTek PCIe GBE Controller - for which I located the Win7 version
on the RealTek web support site
So, I installed Win7 letting it select it’s own drivers.
Since the RealTek PCIe GBE controller driver was required for LAN
connection to the internet, I installed that, and at the same time the AMD
Cool ‘n Quiet Utility. Then I let Win 7 do all of it’s auto-updates. However, as I was checking through the installed
programs and I clicked on AMD Cool ‘n Quiet, it displayed the message
that ‘Cool&Quiet is not supported by this CPU’, which I thought strange.
Why did the Win7 upgrade advisor point to it if it wasn’t supported?
I phoned the shop who built the PC. They said don’t worry about the
Cool ‘n Quiet and just install and use the ASUS EPU-4 Engine utility
as it serves the same purpose. I asked if I should change anything in BIOS,
and they said, no, as the Cool ‘n Quiet would be Disabled by default in
BIOS. So I simply uninstalled the Cool ‘n Quiet application.
1. I ventured into BIOS, for the first time, and found Cool ‘n Quiet
was in fact Enabled.
2. From what I have read, ASUS EPU-4 acts purely at the software
level and so is not a real substitute for Cool ‘n Quiet which modulates
the CPU directly.
3. Searching the web for more information I see many posts, typically
on gaming forums, where someone is querying whether Cool ‘n Quiet
should be enabled or disabled when over-clocking the FX-6300.
Now, I am not a gamer....at all, and, frankly all of this over-clocking stuff
is over my head. My main reason for choosing a 6-core AMD based-PC, wasbecause I do a lot of video editing, processing and encoding and the
FX-6300 was recommended to me as a good mid-range multi-core processor
for that type of ‘cpu-intensive’ work.
So, whilst I am not particularly interested in pushing the FX-6300 to
it’s limit, I can see the benefit of a functionality that automatically provides
more CPU juice when needed.
When I was running XP Pro (32-bit), the EPU-4 Engine utility appeared to
be doing just that. Set to Auto, it appeared to switch from Max Power Saving
Mode (when idle) to Performance Mode when required. I could hear the fan
blowing a little harder, but otherwise it stayed fairly quiet. Now that I have
installed Win 7 (64-bit), it still runs quietly when idling, but when Performance
mode kicks in it is a lot noisier than before, with a kind of buzzy-hum that
vibrates the casing. Of course, I’m a little concerned.
I have also noticed, on several occasions, that the EPU-4 Engine status icon
doesn’t appear in the system tray when I boot into windows and I have to
manually open it from the Programs menu. Never had that problem when
I was running XP Pro.
The EPU-4 Engine version that I installed (EPU-4_V10201_Win7VistaWinXP3264)
was the (only) one listed on the ASUS website for the M5A 78L-M LX Plus and
Windows 7, so it surely can’t be a matter of compatibility. So, I don’t know -
is it normal that the PC should sound noisier with Win 7 64-bit? Is it maybe the
CPU heat sink fan worker harder? There is no other casing fan installed.
And I’m also still wondering about this Cool ‘n Quiet thing.
Is Cool ‘n Quiet technology supported by the FX-6300 or not?
If it is supported, why would the program say it is not on my PC?
Would replacing the existing “windows drivers” with the latest
MB chipset drivers (for Win 7) from the ASUS website make any difference ?
And, if it is not supported, should I Disable the Cool ‘n Quiet
setting in BIOS, or does it not make any difference.
P.S. Sorry about the inconsistent paragraph formatting. It came out that way when I pasted in my message.
09:10 PM by