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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC] x86, tsc: Allow for high latency in quick_pit_calibrate()
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On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 12:33 PM, Thomas Gleixner <tglx@linutronix.de> wrote:
>
> Is there really no smarter way to figure out the TSC frequency on
> modern systems?

Sadly, if there is, we have yet to find it.

I don't think the mentioned intel_pstate thing gets it right either.
Yes, it gets some "theoretical frequency", given the pstate and the
scaling factor, but that assumes the base clock (BCLK) is something
trustworthy. That's a big assumption, and I can pretty much guarantee
it's not a valid assumption.

I'm sure that's the *common* case, but how much do you want to bet
that some motherboard makers noticed that they get good press from
good benchmark numbers, and that they can tweak BCLK a bit higher than
the competition? "Oooh, motherboard from Xyz is really good, it's 1%
faster than the competition".

Or all those overclockers? Yes, some of them buy unlocked CPU's and
leave BCLK alone. Or maybe they do both. Or maybe they just buy locked
CPU's and tweak BCLK.

The only *well-defined* clock in a modern PC seems to still remain the
PIT. Yes, it's very sad. But all the other clocks tend to be
untrustworthy for various reasons, like "frequency is stated in the
ACPI tables", which we know is basically just a fantasy that may be
right *most* of the time, but I can almost guarantee that some BIOS
guys decided that they can get slightly better random benchmark
numbers by "tweaking" the truth a bit. It's the "BIOS version" of
overclocking by increasing BCLK - lie about the PM frequency, so that
any benchmark that times things that way will give better numbers..

But pretty much nobody messes up the PIT. That will change, just
because it's clearly getting to the point where people are just
emulating it, and it's probably not going to be any more trustworthy
than anything else.

So rather than get a new and truly trustworthy reference clock, the
patch makes me suspect we're losing the old one...

Linus


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