Dell Mini 9 Hardware Issues / Problems Inform everyone on any issues or problems with your Dell Mini 9 hardware.
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Join Date: May 2009
Disabling Intel SpeedStep improves USB performance - 05-02-2009, 12:42 AM
I thought others might find this useful information. I work for a company that is using the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 as part of a field update kit that technicians will use to do software upgrades of embedded devices in the field. We have 20 of these netbooks (Inspiron 910s running XP Home, some with 8GB and others with 16 GB SSD). One of the issues we ran into was inconsistent USB performance. On other PCs (laptops, desktops) running XP and Vista, the time to transfer data was roughly 60 seconds, and this time was always consistent. With the Dell Mini 9, the times would be between 68 seconds and 270 seconds. There seemed to be odd patterns in the USB delivery times (seemed to be worst just after a PC reboot; would have consistent runs and suddenly the time would get faster or slower, and stay that way).
After testing several things that might have been the cause (disabling the wireless adapter, wired Ethernet, audio driver), removing pointless-ware, etc., we still had this problem.
The problem now appears to be Intel SpeedStep setting under the Advanced BIOS settings. After setting this to Disabled, the USB performance is now much more consistent (68 seconds with a full battery, 98 seconds with half-battery-charge).
I realize there are other threads with references to SpeedStep, but I thought if others have come across this problem, they might want to see if disabling SpeedStep improves performance. We also did some comparison tests to see if there were any battery savings by leaving SpeedStep on, and the answer was no. By running the same tests (roughly) the SpeedStep enabled Mini had 22% of charge remaining, while the disabled SpeedStep Mini had 21% of charge remaining. I should caution that this may not apply to your application, but from what we can tell, SpeedStep is ineffective in saving battery power and is awful in terms of peripheral performance consistency.
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