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Performance tuning with FakeSMC

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Last updated 13 Jul 2016

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Further to our article on the matter, it's probably useful to provide a list of successful settings that provide native SpeedStep and, possibly, improved GPU management on some of our good old legacy Dell laptops.

 

:excl: This applies to Intel Core2Duo/Core2Quad, 1st gen Arrandale i3/i5/i7 (and affiliated Xeon) systems with vanilla AICPUPM

:excl: 2nd/3rd gen Sandy/Ivy bridge i3/i5/i7 (and affiliated Xeon) systems require patched AICPUPM kext + generated SSDT

:excl: 4th/5th/6th gen Haswell/Broadwell/Skylake i3/i5/i7 (and affiliated Xeon) systems require patched kernel + generated SSDT

:excl: Works for OS X versions: SL10.6, Lion 10.7, ML 10.8, Mavericks 10.9, Yosemite 10.10, El Capitan 10.11, Sierra 10.12, etc.

 
Dell Latitude D430 Intel GMA950

Dell Latitude D620 Intel GMA950

  • with 32/64bit FakeSMC v5.2.678 & plugins version
  • SMC keys -> use id of MacBook5,1 i.e. 1.32f8
  • SMC compatible -> use "smc-napa"
  • SMBIOS plist -> use MacBook5,1 profile from Chameleon Wizard
  • Remove CPUMonitor + NullCPUPowerManagement + VoodooPState + SleepEnabler kexts from /Extra/Extensions
  • Keep VoodooTSCSync kext in /Extra/Extensions
  • Native SpeedStep fully supported through entire CPU speed range
  • Native Sleep/Wake with System password set in BIOS + hibernatemode set to 0 and /var/vm/sleepimage file deleted
  • No monitoring for GMA950

 

Dell Latitude D620 nVidia Quadro NVS 110M

Dell Latitude D820 nVidia Quadro NVS 120M

  • with 32/64bit FakeSMC v5.2.678 & plugins (except GPUSensors) version -> GPUSensors kext causes KP
  • SMC keys -> use id of MacBookPro5,1 i.e. 1.33f8
  • SMC compatible -> use "smc-napa"
  • SMBIOS plist -> use MacBookPro5,1 profile from Chameleon Wizard
  • Remove CPUMonitor + NullCPUPowerManagement + VoodooPState + SleepEnabler kexts from /E/E
  • Keep VoodooTSCSync kext in /E/E
  • Native SpeedStep fully supported through entire CPU speed range
  • Native Sleep/Wake with System password set in BIOS + hibernatemode 0 and /var/vm/sleepimage file deleted
  • No monitoring for NVS 110M or NVS 120M

 

Dell Latitude D630 Intel GMA X3100

Dell Latitude D830 Intel GMA X3100

  • with 32/64bit FakeSMC v5.2.678 & plugins version
  • SMC keys -> use id of MacBook5,1 i.e. 1.32f8
  • SMC compatible -> use "smc-mcp"
  • SMBIOS plist -> use MacBook5,1 profile from Chameleon Wizard
  • Remove CPUMonitor + NullCPUPowerManagement + VoodooPState + VoodooTSCSync + SleepEnabler kexts from /E/E
  • Native SpeedStep fully supported through entire CPU speed range
  • Native Sleep/Wake with hibernatemode set to 0 and /var/vm/sleepimage file deleted
  • X3100 monitoring should be supported but appears bugged (it works in 64bit kernel mode, not in 32bit)

NB: With OS X, IDA BIOS activation supported only with Penryn CPUs (eg: T8xxx or T9xxx),  not with Merom CPU (eg: T7xxx)
 
 
Dell Latitude D630 nVidia Quadro NVS 135M

  • With 32/64 or 64bit FakeSMC v5.2.678 & plugins version (or later v6.x.xxxx)
  • SMC keys -> use id of MacBookPro5,1 i.e. 1.33f8
  • SMC compatible -> use "smc-mcp"
  • SMBIOS plist -> use MacBookPro5,1 profile from Chameleon Wizard
  • Remove CPUMonitor + NullCPUPowerManagement + VoodooPState + VoodooTSCSync + SleepEnabler kexts from /E/E
  • From Mavericks onwards, remove AppleACPIPlatform kext v1.3.x from /E/E (i.e. run vanilla kext). Use/keep it only for Lion and ML.
  • Native SpeedStep fully supported through entire CPU speed range
  • Native Sleep/Wake with hibernatemode set to 0 and /var/vm/sleepimage file deleted
  • GPU/memory clockings showing at 168/100, 275/300 and 400/594MHz

NB: With OS X, IDA BIOS activation supported only with Penryn CPUs (eg: T8xxx or T9xxx),  not with Merom CPU (eg: T7xxx)

 

 

D830 nVidia Quadro NVS 135M/140M

  • With 32/64 or 64bit FakeSMC v5.2.678 & plugins version (or later v6.x.xxxx)
  • SMC keys -> use id of MacBookPro5,1 i.e. 1.33f8
  • SMC compatible -> use "smc-mcp"
  • SMBIOS plist -> use MacBookPro5,1 profile from Chameleon Wizard
  • Remove CPUMonitor + NullCPUPowerManagement + VoodooPState + VoodooTSCSync + SleepEnabler kexts from /E/E
  • From Mavericks onwards, remove AppleACPIPlatform kext v1.3.x from /E/E (i.e. run vanilla kext). Use/keep it only for Lion and ML.
  • Native SpeedStep fully supported through entire CPU speed range
  • Native Sleep/Wake with hibernatemode set to 0 and /var/vm/sleepimage file deleted
  • GPU/memory clockings showing at 168/100, 275/199 and 400/399MHz

NB: With OS X, IDA BIOS activation supported only with Penryn CPUs (eg: T8xxx or T9xxx),  not with Merom CPU (eg: T7xxx)

 

 

Dell Precision M2300 nVidia Quadro FX 360M

Dell Precision M4300 nVidia Quadro FX 360M

  • With 32/64 or 64bit FakeSMC v5.2.678 & plugins version (or later v6.x.xxxx)
  • SMC keys -> use id of MacBookPro5,1 i.e. 1.33f8
  • SMC compatible -> use "smc-mcp"
  • SMBIOS plist -> use MacBookPro5,1 profile from Chameleon Wizard
  • Remove CPUMonitor + NullCPUPowerManagement + VoodooPState + VoodooTSCSync + SleepEnabler kexts from /E/E
  • From Mavericks onwards, remove AppleACPIPlatform kext v1.3.x from /E/E (i.e. run vanilla kext). Use/keep it only for Lion and ML.
  • Native SpeedStep fully supported through entire CPU speed range
  • Native Sleep/Wake with hibernatemode set to 0 and /var/vm/sleepimage file deleted
  • GPU/memory clockings showing at 168/100, 275/199 and 400/399MHz

NB: With OS X, IDA BIOS activation supported only with Penryn CPUs (eg: T8xxx or T9xxx),  not with Merom CPU (eg: T7xxx)

 

 

:excl: Edit SMC keys/compatible of attached fat-binary FakeSMC kext as required. Use attached HWMonitor app for hardware monitoring (under SL, use older HWMonitor app v2.3.20).

FakeSMC_v5.2.678.zip     FakeSMC_v5.2.678_no-GPUSensors.kext.zip     HWMonitor_v5.2.678.zip     HWMonitor_v2.3.20.zip

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Yes, it's an acceleration/boost feature (i.e. a frequency/rate increase) available on some Core 2 Duo CPUs where 1 core can briefly run at a higher multiplier/speed than the maximum nominal speed whilst the other core is idle. A kind of ancestor to Turbo boost modes of Core "i" CPUs.

 

Let's take the example of a Core2Duo T7500, a very common CPU on laptops such as the Dell D630:

  • FSB: 800MHz quad-pumped (i.e. 4 x 200MHz)
  • nominal max multiplier: x11
  • nominal max. frequency: 2.2GHz (i.e. FSB x multiplier -> 200 x 11 = 2200MHz)

Dynamic Acceleration allows this T7500 CPU to briefly run 1 core at x12 = 2.4GHz whilst the other core is idle.

 

More info at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Dynamic_Acceleration

http://www.cpu-world.com/Glossary/D/Dynamic_Acceleration_technology.html

http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/reseller/apac/eng/products/mobile/processors/core2duo_m/feature/index.htm

 

The reason we mention IDA is because, although it's fully supported in Windows for all C2D that are IDA-capable, it's not the case with Mac OS X. For instance, with IDA enabled in BIOS, we notice reduced/lower (~10%) FSB and CPU speeds with Merom T7x00 CPUs in Mac OS X. However, FSB and CPU speeds are properly reported when IDA is disabled. On the other hand, we don't notice this misbehaviour at all if IDA is enabled with Penryn T9x00 or T8xxx CPUs.

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If anyone is weighing-up the extra effort to perform these tweaks like I was.. don't hesitate.. go for it!

 
The benefits are HUGE. My Dell D630 x3100 feels faster than my late 2007 real iMac? Is this possible?
A GeekBench test also seems to confirm it in the scores. Before: 800. After: 2700 - on average almost 3.5x faster.

For the D630 X3100 OS X 10.8.4 MLPostFactor v0.3 (I can't speak for the others), after much digging through the forums, I:

 

1. Removed the following kexts from /E/E/:

  • IntelCPUMonitor.kext
  • NullCPUPowerManagement.kext
  • SleepEnabler.kext
  • VoodooPState.kext
  • (AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext - remove it if you have it)

2. Added GenerateCStates and GeneratePStates to org.chameleon.boot.plist via Chameleon Wizard.

 

3. SMBIOS plist -> use MB5,1 profile in Chameleon Wizard

 

4. Hacked and replaced 32-bit FakeSMC 5.2.678 in /E/E/. Modified version here:

http://simonbarnett.co.za/downloads/FakeSMC_D630.zip

 

5. Run full MyFix and reboot..

 

6. Hit F2 and disable Intel Dynamic Acceleration (IDA) in the BIOS if you have it enabled. Save changes and fasten seatbelts 8¬] 

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This performance tuning can now be further improved with AGPM tuning in order to achieve best possible GPU performance. Experimentation was made with the D630 nVidia but the same principles should naturally also apply to nVidia-fitted D830/M2300/M4300 or other systems.

 

Initial posts also updated with Sleep/Wake info.

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AGPM experimentation successfully reproduced on the D620 with nVidia NVS 110M GPU so it's pretty safe to say this extends to the D820 nVidia too.

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