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This is kind of not entirely overclocking related, more a generic interest in this whole modern thing about dynamic horsepower adjustment. I'm hoping to get some technical insight, if someone around here might have an idea or two to share... :-)

TLDR can be found in the final chapter. This became a bit long post.

I posted on generic forum because this is kind of an generic question, and applies to all modern CPUs. Well, and to GPUs, and probably all kinds of microchips. Things have become so much more intelligent during past 20 years.

So, a bit of history. Last time I messed with hardware was basicly in 2009, when I bought a brand new intel i7 920, and built a system on X58 platform with it. Back then, all this dynamic crap, speedstep, c-states, and so on was regarded largely a hindrance to any overclocking. So, I pretty much disabled everything, got a decent overclock, made it stable, and so on so forth. (In the end I thought I didn't need that much horsepower at the time, so I actually reverted to default clocks for many years to come. But that's besides the point.)

So I had a nice static voltage with nice static clockspeed, with quite static temps (well, those fluctuated according to load, but still took some time to cool or heat up) - I would get nice static graphs when looking at different aspects of my hardware.

So anyway I finally upgraded my system, to a brand new core i7 6700K in January 2017. Long story short, it did come as quite a shock for me when the temps and voltages and frequencies would go up and down multiple times per second and so on. From 25C to 80C in an instant, and then back again to 35C or so in another. And no, I'm not here to ask some basic questions such as "Is it safe?" "Is it normal?" (answering to myself) Yes: it's perfectly, safe, normal and expected behavior. And nowadays apparently not even that much of an overclocking issue, due to vastly improved support by motherboard and cpu/gpu manufacturers.

I made a nice annotated graph of my past 24 hours of computer use. Take a look at it first: http://i.imgur.com/eXA2A9j.png

Now to the main subject: the crazy amount of fluctuation in voltage, clockspeed, temperature... is it truly worth it? I mean, on the other hand I think "It's been engineered that way. Very intelligent people in labs have thought this over. Trust their judgement." On the other hand, layman's wisdom tells me that when something goes up'n'down and ping pong and from one extreme to other (especially the heat - thinking simply of the amount of heat expansion and contracting that must occur), things generally tend to, well, wear out due to that. One would naively assume supplying static voltage is less strain on VRMs than the constant hammering from zero to full and back again requested by modern semiconductors.

Or is it just that all the components involved are very thoroughly designed to be able to handle this hammering for years and years. I'm especially puzzled by how much idle or near-idle conditions cause the spiking - running cookie clicker on firefox (it is a pretty big resource hog, actually, but still rather minor compared to the capabilities of a quad-core CPU) alone causes CPU to throttle from the idle to half-point and back again every second or so. I mean, a generic consumer system nowadays is very rarely "completely idle", so this whole deal about instantaneous reaction to load changes seems bit... excessive. Is anything really saved?

I'm all for efficiency, power or otherwise, but if we save few percents out of electricity bill but have to counteract that by very refined chips with very complex manufacturing processes (which in turn require even more intermediate steps to produce, thus generating extra materials and energy consumption), are there truly any net gains?

Uhh... anyway, this became bit of a rant text in the end. I have a tendency to do walls of texts. Maybe someone even manages to read this long version.

TL;DR: I made a graph of my computer use: http://i.imgur.com/eXA2A9j.png - shocked by all the fluctuations all the time. Wondering if it's really saving anything in the end, taking into account complexity of manufacturing and wear and tear and stuff. Kinda confused of the miracles of the modern world.
Valkur
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™ i7-7700K Processor Gigabyte GA-Z170-Gaming K3 (rev. 1.1) MSI GeForce® GTX 1060 ARMOR 6G OCV1  Kingston 32GB HyperX FURY DDR4-2666 DIMM CL15 Q... 
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Thermalright Macho Rev. B Windows 10 Education Logitech generic 10 euro keyboard :p Fractal Design Define R5 Blackout Edition 
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Valkur
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™ i7-7700K Processor Gigabyte GA-Z170-Gaming K3 (rev. 1.1) MSI GeForce® GTX 1060 ARMOR 6G OCV1  Kingston 32GB HyperX FURY DDR4-2666 DIMM CL15 Q... 
CoolingOSKeyboardCase
Thermalright Macho Rev. B Windows 10 Education Logitech generic 10 euro keyboard :p Fractal Design Define R5 Blackout Edition 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G5 laser mouse steelseries something 
  hide details  
Reply