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    SubjectRe: BIOS Flash changes PowerNOW frequencies?
    On Sun, Jan 11, 2004 at 12:56:10PM -0500, Mark W. Alexander wrote:
    > I'm not currently subscribed. Please cc: me on responses.
    > I'm running 2.6.0 on an HP Pavilion ze4420 Athlon version (lspci -v below). I
    > recently flashed the BIOS (hoping against all odds for suspend to ram
    > capability) and the CPU frequencies discovered by PowerNOW (K7) has changed.
    > This is obviously caused by the BIOS update, but the stupid question of the day
    > is "Why?". If the CPU and chipset support both sets of frequencies with
    > different BIOS, wouldn't the _real_ set of supported frequencies be the union
    > of the 2?

    In reality, yes.
    However BIOS programmers have a different perception of reality to the rest of us.
    The spec for PST tables allows for up to 256 FID/VID pairs, yet everyone just
    seems to offer 5-6 as maximum. I guess they figured no-one needed the granularity
    of the full range.

    > As startling as it was to come up at 532Mhz the first boot, I can see where
    > this could provide some dramatic power savings (say, while using vi),
    > but the now missing 1064, 1463 and 1596 frequencies were more practical
    > for actually doing something worthwhile (say, using vi while watching a
    > DVD ;).
    > Is there anything I can do to persuade PowerNOW/frequency scaling to see the
    > full range of frequencies that I've seen this box can do?

    Something that has been planned for quite a while has been a means of overriding
    the tables using sysfs. I haven't had time to implement this, and no-one else
    has found the time/motivation to do so either it seems.

    Something I was tempted to do at one point (due to the number of broken PST's out
    there) was to offer a 'ignore_pst' module parameter, which exposed the full table
    to sysfs. The only problem being some VRMs can't handle certain frequencies at
    certain voltages whilst some can, making it hard to find a set of 'safe' values
    for each frequency.

    How to find out which one VRM can handle frequency X at voltage Y ?
    Through the PST tables.

    *sigh*, back to the drawing board.


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