Dell Mini 9 Hardware Issues / Problems Inform everyone on any issues or problems with your Dell Mini 9 hardware.

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DeltaDev DeltaDev is offline
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Default 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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Rikki Rikki is offline
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Default Re: Disabling Intel SpeedStep improves USB performance - 05-02-2009, 02:19 AM

Thats quite interesting.

I hadnt played with that but had noticed if you change power modes from Always On to pretty much anything else performance drops off. As if there is some magic slow the CPU code invoked when that power saving mode is active.
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default Re: Disabling Intel SpeedStep improves USB performance - 05-02-2009, 02:31 AM

Fortunately, I haven't noticed any USB slowdown with my Mini. Maybe I just haven't been paying close attention.

Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default Re: Disabling Intel SpeedStep improves USB performance - 05-02-2009, 12:20 PM

The CPU speed throttles down to 800MHz under light load - I could see that having some effect on USB responsiveness.

Mini 9|2GB RAM|64GB RunCore|Intel 5300|Windows 10
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xokeman xokeman is offline
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Default Re: Disabling Intel SpeedStep improves USB performance - 05-04-2009, 05:58 AM

This is great info that should be made more public as I am to make my USB drive a major feature of my computer ...
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