Monday, February 18, 2008

Out of the Dark into the Light with RightMark

RightMark CPU Clock Utility

RightMark CPU Clock Utility (RMClock) is a small GUI application designed for real-time CPU frequency, throttling and load level monitoring and on-the-fly adjustment of the CPU performance level on supported CPU models via processor's power management model-specific registers (MSRs). In automatic management mode it continuously monitors the CPU usage level and dynamically adjusts the CPU frequency, throttle and/or voltage level as needed, realizing the "Performance on Demand" concept.

So what does all that mean?

Basically this application allows you to see how your CPU is performing and how it is configured to perform, taking the guess work out of it. This isn't just a benchmark application. It is a very light weight utility that gives you control over CPU and battery profile settings.

My Laptop was extremely slow. I did some serious investigation and determined the processor speed was running at 600mhz on a 1.6Ghz CPU. This was a Intel stepping processor. The Stepping feature allows you to conserve battery life when unplugged. The Windows OS power scheme controls this feature. When I set the feature for maximum performance when on batteries I was still seeing problems with performance when docked and on battery.

RightMark allowed me to see the current clock setting and allows me to force maximum performance at all times. You can tweak this as you see fit. Maybe there is an application you use on the road. You can tweak the processor stepping to meet you minimum requirements.

This is a free utlity and when running it can show a status in your system tray. For some CPUs you can monitor temperature as well. This may not be something you need to actively run all the time but I would have it in my tool chest until needed.

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