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Old 26th Aug 2004, 06:24   #1
riluve
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Who stole my bandwidth?

OK - this is a new one for me. I have two identical MoBo's - one has dual Opteron 1.8G's the other has dual 2.4G opterons. Other than that (and their video cards) they are identical.

Funny thing is though, when no applications are running (system idle is 99%), the performance panel on one of the systems shows it is still running @ 40-50% capacity.

The other MoBo does as one would expect and drops to like 1% system usage when no applications are running.

OK - so when I noticed this, I freaked out that some virus or spyware had grafted itself into my system - so I scanned the heck out of it and found nothing.

So, I exchanged the hard drives of these two systems and what do you know - that first system still "idles" at 40-50% of its capacity and the other still idles normally. So obviously it wasn't anything ugly on the HD (now I wish it had been).

So - yeah I set the BIOS to its default settings which did not help.

And its not just some "phantom" reading, I noticed this when trying to play Doom III and noticed that it could get jerky (even on the lowest graphic setting)- which I honestly don't think it should have any trouble with. To wit - its sister handles Doom III rather smoothly.

Anyway - other than playing hopscotch with the CPU's (which I don't want to do), I am at a loss as to the possible cause / fix.

Any ideas?
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Old 26th Aug 2004, 06:45   #2
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go to the processes tab in the task manager and look for anything using cpu other than system idle process
before i had gotten updated drivers for my video card one of the services would crash every time windows started and it would show up as 100% cpu usage
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Old 26th Aug 2004, 06:50   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go4t
go to the processes tab in the task manager and look for anything using cpu other than system idle process
before i had gotten updated drivers for my video card one of the services would crash every time windows started and it would show up as 100% cpu usage

yeah - thatís what I am saying - thatís the first thing I did- thatís what I meant by the system idle process is reporting 99% CPU usage. And when this is true - one would expect 1% system utilization. But I am getting 99% system idle and 40-50% utilization (concurrently), which should not be possible.
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Old 26th Aug 2004, 07:08   #4
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Sounds like a just plain whack Windows error to me. Unless its actually affecting your performance though, you might just have to back up data and format the hard drive.
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Old 26th Aug 2004, 11:30   #5
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Sounds very much like spyware or a virus TBH, although you said you'd checked. Agree with roto, backup the data and fully format the hdd and see if that solves it..
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Old 26th Aug 2004, 12:51   #6
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Yeah that would be nice, but as I mentioned, I fully removed and swapped the HD from the offending machine with the HD of a similar machine without the problem. The issue stayed with the first machine and did not appear on the identical machine.

This means, both windows installations fail on machine A but work perfectly on machine B and (as I mentioned) machine A & B are identical.

So I don't think a format / re-install is likely to help.



and yeah - as I mentioned it does effect performance.



oh well
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Old 26th Aug 2004, 14:46   #7
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Maybe theres a hardware issue then... sounds liek its time to start swapping things out :S
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Old 26th Aug 2004, 16:25   #8
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Hrm, thats definitely an odd case. Try swapping out one of the opterons; it could be that one of them is damaged?
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Old 27th Aug 2004, 13:55   #9
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Yeah, I guess its down to messing with the CPU's which is something I loath.

But hey when you're at the end of your rope, you have to make cheese - or something like that.
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Old 27th Aug 2004, 17:24   #10
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Any ideas for some utility that would help me see whats going on better?
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Old 27th Aug 2004, 22:19   #11
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I had this same problem with my P4 Northwood 2.8, but when i upgraded from 98 to XP pro, the problem ceased to happen. It also reduced my idle temperatures from 43C to 32C
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Old 27th Aug 2004, 23:51   #12
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First let me get your problem straight:

One system runs normal when no applications are running at 1%.
The other system runs at 40% to 50% even when the system is idle.

Is it constant, or does it come in spikes?

First: What OS are you using?
Second: What motherboard?
Third: Latest BIOS, Drivers etc???

Normaly, as mentioned above this type of behavior is related to spyware or an overactive driver running in the background.

The task manager, under the "Processes" tab can show you exactly what process is taking up CPU time.

Is there any difference between the network connection on these systems?
If you have a CPU heavy NIC, and that NIC is connected to an active network then your CPU could be busy all the time.
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Old 28th Aug 2004, 04:37   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapWizard
First let me get your problem straight:

One system runs normal when no applications are running at 1%.
The other system runs at 40% to 50% even when the system is idle.

Is it constant, or does it come in spikes?

First: What OS are you using?
Second: What motherboard?
Third: Latest BIOS, Drivers etc???

Normaly, as mentioned above this type of behavior is related to spyware or an overactive driver running in the background.

The task manager, under the "Processes" tab can show you exactly what process is taking up CPU time.

Is there any difference between the network connection on these systems?
If you have a CPU heavy NIC, and that NIC is connected to an active network then your CPU could be busy all the time.
Yup - thats the problem and its constant, not spikey, it stays constantly in the 40-50% range. And yeah, under the processes tab it is saying the system idle process is taking up 99% of processing time on both machines.

Both machines have the same version of BIOS and both are set to the failsafe boot defaults. The NIC is built into the MoBo, and thus the same for each machine.

As for drivers - since I completely removed and swapped the only HD's on the systems (I exchanged the HDs), without effecting the problem, it should eliminate the OS (XP Pro) and the drivers.

Both systems are on a TYAN S2875ANRF
-AMD8151 AGP Tunnel
-AMD8111 I/O Hub
-Winbond W83627HF SIO
-1GB Intel 82541 Ethernet
-Realtek ALC655 Audio

Currently the offending system is configured with:
-dual Opterons @1.8g
-nVidia FX 5200 AGP8X
-512M PC3200
-500w RAIDMAX PSU

The system working propely has:
-dual Opterons @2.4g
-nVidia 6800 AGP8X
-2G PC2700
-500w RAIDMAX PSU

The PSU's are identical. The memory and VGA cards have been moved back and forth between the two, without effect on this issue.

sigh.

lol - I feel like I am making a $1,000,000 question - seems to be a stumper. I guess I will be moving the CPU's around to see if the problem follows. They are the only thing left I can test.

I just wonder if there is some utility out there someplace that might give me some more detail / ideas.

Last edited by riluve; 28th Aug 2004 at 05:33.
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Old 28th Aug 2004, 04:56   #14
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I dunno if its possible but can you turn off a CPU in the bios? Like on a P4 board you can turn off HT. I havent used a Opteron board yet so i dont know if its an option.
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Old 28th Aug 2004, 05:57   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froggy
I dunno if its possible but can you turn off a CPU in the bios? Like on a P4 board you can turn off HT. I havent used a Opteron board yet so i dont know if its an option.
Well . . . this is a good idea, but a dual proc system is not exactly the same as hyper threading. In ACPI (the contemporary way for BIOS to describe the HW to the OS), there needs to be an entry for every physical processor so that the OS knows the IRQ routing and such.

For HT, there is only one physical processor, rather the "second" processor is just a duplicate entry in the ACPI tables which specifies it as a logical processor. So turning off the HT function is as simple as not including that duplicate entry, for a dual processor system, you have to completely describe the entire IRQ routing - which includes the 2nd processor.

Soo . . . to make a long story short, in more expensive dual processor systems this might be an option (it would cost more for a MoBo company to implement this option, but it is a possibility with some intricate work), but mine is a low end dual MoBo (mainly because I wanted and ATX formfactor) so its not an available option.

But that did give me the idea to try messing with the ACPI configuration, so that is much appriciated, but unfortunately I have now found out that XP is very touchy about its ACPI and anything I tried just kept the system from booting entirely.

Anyway - thanks again for the inspiration.

additional observations

I tried booting in safe mode, with no effect.

I notice when running F@H, if I only run one process, the system idle stays at about 80-90% (normally on a dual processor system this should be 50%. To get 100% 2 clients must be run). So here is the interesting part - if I run a 2nd client, the system idle finaly drops to 0% and each client gets its 50%.


Last edited by riluve; 28th Aug 2004 at 06:02.
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Old 28th Aug 2004, 09:41   #16
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This is a puzzling saga indeed... Have you tried the latest drivers installed on the system? (Can't remember if you've tried it.) If that has no effect try rolling back the drivers to the ones that came on-disk with your mobo's... If nothing we've suggested works, and swapping around the processors has no effect either, i'd say iti's RMA time for that mobo mate...
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Old 29th Aug 2004, 07:03   #17
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You can also try posting your question on the offical AMD support forums:

http://forums.AMD.com
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Old 31st Aug 2004, 04:33   #18
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Well I played musical chairs with my MoBos and Opterons and the problem stays consistantly in the first MoBO, so I guess its time to call Tyan.
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Old 31st Aug 2004, 04:50   #19
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I guess so, Riluve :/
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