My 2ghz laptop auto underclocks to 800mhz

Dell / INSPIRON 6400
March 19, 2010 at 03:38:16
Specs: windows xp/vista, Intel Core Duo T2500 2.00ghz / 1gb ddr2 533 ram
Here are my specs
Dell inspiron 6400
Intel Core Duo T2500 2.00ghz
1gb ddr2 533mhz

Whenever I start my laptop, cpu-z reads 2ghz.
after 5 minutes or less, my laptop slows down
and cpu-z reads 800mhz. The worst part is it
hangs up sometimes for 3-5 seconds, then
continues back to what it's doing.

I've tried everything that a normal person would
do. I updated my bios, installed new drivers,
tried vista and xp, and improved my cooling
system( I changed my fan supply to usb +5v
instead of variable supply). My temps would go
around 30deg idle and 39load (and I'm in the
Philippines where the ambient temp is 28deg
for comparison, and this laptop was bought in
saudi arabia, way hotter of course).

Disabling speedstep on the bios would lock
my speed to 800mhz so this isn't helping.

I just couldn't find my way out of this mess.
Dell support just say the same old crap, they
tell me speedstep is kicking in.

Do you guys think my Mobo is the culprit?

If yes, I can finally close this case and get the
best out of my laptop.


See More: My 2ghz laptop auto underclocks to 800mhz

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#1
March 19, 2010 at 03:52:40
U wanna see the cpu running at full speed (2ghz)? Try to run tasks that require alot of attention from cpu, like converting video files. don't disable speedstep it helps saving battery. Cpu temp are fine.

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#2
March 19, 2010 at 04:18:55
Yes, tried that. Same thing happens. It just slows down.

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#3
March 19, 2010 at 04:24:22
To give you an idea, I compressed an AVI format movie Iron Man
(more than 2hrs movietime) to an mp4. and it took my laptop 5-6
hours.

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Related Solutions

#4
March 19, 2010 at 06:19:18
Overheating cpu can cause cpu to run @ slow speed but in your case your cpu isn't overheating (30 idle 39 @ load). I think u have power problem, try to remove adapter and run with battery then converte video file and watch cpu speed via cpu-z.

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#5
March 19, 2010 at 09:11:48
I dont run on battery, my battery is busted, works only for 30
mins.

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#6
March 19, 2010 at 09:28:21
"they tell me speedstep is kicking in"

And they're exactly right. Laptops are designed to vary the CPU speed based on load. This is done to keep the CPU running cool & to prolong the time between charges. If your CPU was to run at 2.0GHz at all times, you'd run the battery down in about an hour. 39C is not even close to overheating. Your CPU would have to get well over 60C before it would start to throttle back, so I doubt that's your problem.

"Disabling speedstep on the bios would lock
my speed to 800mhz so this isn't helping"

You also have to change the Power Scheme settings. It *should* currently be set to 'Portable/Laptop'...try one of the other settings such as 'Always On' or 'Home/Office'.

1GB isn't much RAM these days, especially for Vista. But if you're getting an occasional 3-5 second lag, you should check for spyware/malware/viral infection. You should also use CCleaner to clear out all the accumulated garbage files & you should disable all unnecessary programs from loading at startup.

Try this: press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up Windows Task Manager...in the lower left corner, how many processes do you have running? And which anti-virus program are you running? One of the bloated resource hogs such as Norton/Symantec or McAfee?


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#7
March 19, 2010 at 11:12:09
@jam
do u think it's normal for his pc to converte movie for 5hrs? If speedstep is enabled or disabled the cpu speed should raise automatic when doing heavy tasks like converte movie.

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#8
March 19, 2010 at 13:44:18
Either:

1. It's simply reducing speed when at idle, run something and then look at the speed. Or...

2. You don't have the correct chipset drivers installed and windows is not seeing the speed of the CPU correctly. For the most part, this is only text and doesn't effect real world performance.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#9
March 19, 2010 at 16:44:49
Thanks for your input guys.

"You also have to change the Power Scheme settings."
I already set mine to ALWAYS ON.


" you should check for spyware/malware/viral infection. You
should also use CCleaner to clear out all the accumulated
garbage files & you should disable all unnecessary programs
from loading at startup."

My mistake, I didn't tell you guys that I fully reformatted my
hard drive(which I did btw).


"You don't have the correct chipset drivers installed and
windows is not seeing the speed of the CPU correctly."

I've tried this, I took all the drivers designated for my laptop
through Dell's download site.

One angle I'm currently looking at is that my laptop's
Speedstep is tuned backwards. When it doesn't need
processing power, it goes fast and when it needs more juice,
It slows down.


Anyways, It all started when my laptop was returned to me by
my cousin. Who told me he lend the laptop to another guy.
Which by the way made most of the parts of my laptop
defective .Some keys don't work (they ate infront of the laptop
leaving foodbits on the keyboard which ants chewed into), fan
doesnt turn on (reason why I changed the fan supply to Usb),
and battery lost its capacity (for I don't know why).

I checked all the parts and none of it was swapped since I
already opened my laptop a few weeks back to clean away
dust from the heatsink.

So far, the keyboard and fan problems were solved. The
battery low battery life can be tolerated since it was 2 years
old. But what bothers me is that it slows down.


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