“We set out on investigating this issue immediately after it was discovered, but soon found out that it was a lot more complicated than we thought upon first glance. We’ve spent almost the past two weeks performing non-stop battery life testing on five notebooks with up to 4 different USB devices, testing theories, trying to pinpoint exactly what causes this problem and testing Microsoft’s fix. What follows is the process that we went through in our labs when faced with this strange bug.”
Intel Core Duo USB Issue: a Mischaracterized Bug
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2006-02-14 1:41 amTyr.
Not to gloat, but perhaps Apple should have stuck with PPC.
Why ? The article reiterates that this is a Windows driver issue :
Windows XP SP2 installs a USB 2.0 driver that initializes any connected USB device. However, the USB 2.0 driver leaves the asynchronous scheduler component continuously running. This problem causes continuous instances of memory access that prevent the computer from entering the deeper Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) processor idle sleep states. (…) the computer uses its battery power more quickly than you expect.”
They go on the add that this in fact is NOT an intel core duo bug : “the problem affects Sonoma platforms just as much, if not more, than Core Duo platforms.”
2006-02-14 2:28 amMediaSex
“Not to gloat, but perhaps Apple should have stuck with PPC. ”
Apple didn’t have a choice.
They were dumped as a customer by IBM.
Just wait till Apple tries to replace the quad-970 with something from Intel later this year. That’s going to be painful to watch.
2006-02-14 2:51 amCelerate
Can you actually back that up, or is it still nothing more than speculation?
After Apple made the switch a lot if different stories flew around, I don’t remember seeing anything more than speculation behind your theory. If someone can prove what you’re saying I’m waiting for a link, otherwise please don’t say such things as if they were fact because that’ll just confuse people.
2006-02-14 7:25 amRenatoRam
Simple logic. Apple is known for bullying the chip manufacturers to induce them to produce exactly what they need (they did it with Motorola, and continued with IBM).
Then, after many millions in R&D are spent, they place *tiny* orders. Just enough to fulfill the contract.
Then they can write “sold out”, and request the manufacture of the chips another time.
All this process is costly to the manufacturer, but could be accepted… if Apple did not have also a long record of using his hw manufacturers as scapegoats (“oh, it’s not us, it’s the evil Motorola that does slow chips”…).
Apple is a tiny customer for IBM, and a tiny customer that is an utter nuisance.
IBM dumped Apple. Simple logic.
(bear in mind that *before* selling the PC and Laptop line to Lenovo IBM was already getting more than half its revenue from consulting, NOT production)
2006-02-14 3:19 amrayiner
The 970 can’t hold up to an Opteron at the same clockspeed, and Woodcrest is projected to both have better IPC than Opteron and launch at 3+ GHz. Given Yonah already scales to 2.16 GHz on a power-optimized 65nm process, I wouldn’t count on Intel missing the 3 GHz mark with Woodcrest when they have more than 2x the TDP of Yonah to work with. In pure general purpose CPU performance, Woodcrest is going to dominate.
Now, super Altivec-optimized code is going to suffer, because SSE really isn’t a great replacement, but to tell the truth, vector extensions are overrated for general purpose processors. They were big on the Mac platform, because until the G5 the regular FPU performance was extremely weak. Given the very strong FPU of the G5, Altivec becomes much less useful. There is a reason IBM has left VMX out of POWER4, POWER5, and POWER6. Heck, the G5 already has a rather scaled-back Altivec implementation, compared to the G4, but nobody really seems to complain about it. When CoreImage/CoreVideo take up the slack for image and video processing, the only people who are really going to miss Altivec are people doing signal processing, which is of course what Altivec was designed for.
Edited 2006-02-14 03:22
2006-02-14 5:09 amMediaSex
I don’t even know how to respond to that heap of rubbish.
Straight out of x86 fanboy lalaland.
2006-02-14 8:28 amsuryad
Have you seen benchmarks? I mean come on. Go to here http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=3556… and read the benchmarks. The Opteron is faster than G5s. As for Yonah, it is clock for clock just as fast as AMD Athlon 64s as shown in Anandtech benchmarks. Right now honestly Intel does not have anything worth gloating over. They are catching up right now to AMD whereas AMD is already planning on releasing AM2 socket as well as the socket F platform which has some crazy innovations in it. If you thought the current Hypertransport in AMD platforms was fast wait till you read about the new speeds.
2006-02-14 10:24 amevangs
Uh, did you look at those benchmarks you posted? If the Opterons did poorly, something would be seriously wrong. They’re comparing dual dual-core Opterons against a dual G5. That’s 4x Opteron cores vs 2x G5 cores. It’s amazing that the G5 holds up as well as it does! Wait till they benchmark the dual dual-core G5s then come back and gloat.
2006-02-14 10:38 amDrumhellar
I suppose this is the wrong place for this comment, seeing as this is about an XP/USB 2.0 issue, but, I suspect Apple switched to Intel not for performance reasons, trouble with IBM, or the need for laptop chips, but rather it is TPM that Apple is after.
Apple wants to eventually sell movies through their iTunes store, and the movie industry is even more uptight about copy protection than the record industry (just quieter about it). The TPM chip gives Apple a much more effective means to enforce the fair-use limitations that the movie companies would love to see.
2006-02-14 12:46 pmnzjrs
I agree, its sad that as soon as the fanboys get involved, apple articles always turn into a love/hate/flame fest and tend to obscure issues like TPM, DRM, fair use, and freedom in general.
If the world is to wake up to the freedom that is being stolen from them by comperate america then even the fanboys have to open their eyes.
note: I am not trying to steer this discussion to a DRM flame war, i am just particuarly sad about the future at the moment!
why? The article states that it only effects windows, it has nothing to do with apple.
yeah I know, I was hoping :p I can’t help it I’m a PPC fan boy. ^_^
/me begs forgiveness :-p
USB technology is the worst technology that plauges PC industry since it existed. Alot of Motherboards have serious issues with USB devices.
This is one of the USB errors I have encountered:
1. Current is insufficient to the device—> device will not start
2. BIOS boot delay upto 3 minutes till it will recognize the device correctly
3. Device will not be recognized as v 2.0 but as version 1.1 or 1.0 and thus reduced speed
4. Device will freeze the whole OS if plug & play function decided so.
5. USB conflect with networking cards.
I think that the standards which were put on USB were either not good or its implementation by OEM is not good.
2006-02-14 3:39 amAnonymous
Or maybe you’ve just got a cheap motherboard with a buggy USB implementation and/or buggy BIOS.
USB has always been flawless for me on my quality hardware.
2006-02-14 3:59 amhraq
I have many motherboards and the issues seem to be huge with cheaper motherboards, but issues still exists with good ones too.
1. Ausu P4C800 Deluxe (180 $); issues are limited
2. Shuttle FT61 (250 $ including the case and Power supply); issues are many
3. ECS P4VXASD2+ (30$); issues are limited but more than in #1
Please, can you tell me of your motherboard make/model to consider it in the future purchases; Thanks
2006-02-14 7:29 amMr. Tan
Have you updated chipset drivers for your motherboard? i have 2 Pentium4 and a Centrino laptop and haven’t experience any problems with regards to the usb port
2006-02-14 5:11 amCelerate
“USB has always been flawless for me on my quality hardware.”
Even on average hardware I’ve never had trouble with USB besides a slight delay during boot up while the bios recognizes the USB devices plugged in, and that’s so minor it’s a non-issue. I’ve never heard of anyone having noticable issues with the actual USB ports, this would have to be the first time I’ve ever seen someone complain about it.
I’ve seen plenty of problems with USB ports. They tend to just go bad on laptops all the time. After a while nothing will work in them. I’ve also seen many issues with plugging a usb device in and the system rebooting or bluescreening. The BIOS hang is probably the most common nuisance though. There were times where I couldn’t get a machine to boot until I took a pendrive out of the usb port.
Why there is some people to recommend an OSNews article, when it is only a link to another web site. Just recommend directly anandtech …
I am really impressed at the quality and style of the anandtech article. Great investigative journalism!
According to Anandtech article, this bug affects laptops with the MS USB 2.0 driver and C3 (or lower) states.
So, wouldn’t AMD laptops with Cool ‘n Quiet be affected also?
Or is this bug matters only for Intel laptops (which implies the AMD laptops uses another USB2.0 driver altogether).
Not to gloat, but perhaps Apple should have stuck with PPC.