MSI blew away the Wind’s Turbo mode, now it underclocks

Msi_wind_turboSince I couldn’t sleep at 3:30am, I decided to make good use of my time. Of course, that meant some Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone followed by Tiger Woods ’09 on the Xbox 360… I just love that Game Face feature. After the early morning productivity, I decided to unwind and actually view the manual for the MSI Wind. I got through the basics and found myself unexpectedly at the end of the manual. Hmm… I saw no mention of the Turbo mode which is Fn+F10 on the keyboard.

Now when I press that key combo, I do get an on-screen icon but it sure doesn’t look like the Millennium Falcon starting up its famous Kessel Run. No streaks of light, no hyperspace, and no seat-pushing acceleration; yup, our artificial grav generator is on the fritz. Instead, I get an icon that resembles a battery. And my screen became dimmer. Hmmm……

Lo and behold, the Turbo function that used to overclock the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU is now an Un-Turbo mode. Instead of overclocking, it underclocks the CPU to a fixed 800 MHz in order to save battery life. Now that’s not a bad thing for me personally, but it’s worth a mention to any prospective MSI Wind owners. Since the Intel Atom supports SpeedStep technology, you can let the CPU optimize its speed as needed, but if you want to force a drop to a constant 800 MHz, just hit "Turbo". ;)

Oh, the reason I was looking into this? Brad Linder from Liliputing is on his way to my home office this morning. He’s bringing his Asus Eee PC 1000H so we can do the legwork for that "netbook deathmatch" I’ve been talking about. The two devices are extremely similar but the Asus also offers some CPU optimizations that I want to look at for comparison purposes. Brad and I have each run our BatteryEater tests on the 6-cell batteries; he’s posted his results but I’m going to hold off on my results just yet. We may have used different power modes, so I want to confirm that bit first. More to follow… in fact, who knows what we might do today: some live streaming of the two devices, a short podcast, some postings? Don’t get too excited: we could just settle down in front of the HDTV and watch NCAA College Football… either way, it should be fun!

Update: since the remnants of Hurricane Gustav are Tropical Storm Hanna is in our neck of the woods today, Brad and I are planning to get together some time next week. I still have some data to share on the BatteryEater test later today based on my conversation with him. College football it is, then! ;)

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