Changing L2 Cache Size...

By cyberghost_1 ·
Hello again... I'm using a Compaq Mini Netbook CQ10-120LA...Win7 Ultimate x86, Atom N270 @ 1.60GHz, 160GB SATA-II HDD and now 2GB DDR2-800 PC2-6400 RAM. My Q is: What are the effects of changing my L2 Cache from 256k to 512k?? The thing is that CPU-Z (CPUID) and Everest Ultimate tell me that my L2 Cache is 512k...BUT Windows 7 Manager tells me that its actually at 256k... Truthfully I'm confused... What's better as far as performance is concerned?? 256k or 512k?? I honestly don't know much about what the L2 Cache does and its purpose... Please help me out guys I would really appreciate any and all info concerning this... THX...

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How do you intend to change it?

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Changing L2 Cache Size...

It's a spec of the CPU... it's likely not a chip you can pop out and replace...
Intel says 512, so that's what you have.
CPU cache is explained below...
You may not need to know.

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You gave a much better description of CPU L2 Cache

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How do you intend to chan ...

Than I attempted so here's my reward to you.






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by AnsuGisalas In reply to You gave a much better de ...

Did ya mean the Wikipedia link, or the "You may not need to know"

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With Windows 7 Manager...

by cyberghost_1 In reply to How do you intend to chan ...

I have a program called Windows 7 Manager that lets me me tweak/modify/optimize/clean Win7... Under the Optimizer section >System Speed >Increase the Performance of your CPU (Second Level Cache) there are options i can select from to set the L2 Cache... ranging from 256k up to 16mb. There is an option that says "Query" and it gives me the actual L2 Cache size... at first it said 256k, then i selected the option to change it to 512k... The thing is that Everest Ultimate and CPU-Z show me that I had 512k to begin with... i know that my Atom N270 is Single Core with 2 Threads and it is in HT mode...

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RE: i know that my Atom N270 is Single Core with 2 Threads and it is in HT

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to With Windows 7 Manager...

So it is using both Threads and splitting the L2 Cache equally between then as it should hence the Windows Manager showing you 256 K of L2.

While you can alter this under the software that you have as much as you like all it is going to achieve is to set aside more of the HDD space and Virtual RAM commonly called your Page File or Swap File and make them mimic the CPU's L2. It may help with performance but it may also make things worse attempting to confuse the system into performing out of specification.

You can give it a try but you need to understand that the CPU has 512 K split between the 2 Threads it is running.


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by cyberghost_1 In reply to RE: i know that my Atom N ...

What might be the consequences of altering the L2 Cache with the software to 512k...I'm assuming that my system will be using 512k for each thread instead of splitting it in 2 and like u mentioned 256k per thread... I realize that my Netbook isn't designed for Win7 Ultimate and neither is the Atom N270 @ 1.60GHz...but I have upgraded to 2GB DDR2-800 RAM Memory and I have noticed a considerable increase in performance... I can't really notice any further increase when I set the L2 Cache to 512k... at least not yet. Does the L2 Cache have anything to do with running large programs?? Like Photoshop, CorelDraw, AutoCAD or any other Memory hoggers?? Might I notice the increase in performance there??

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Little to do with "memory hog" applications.

by seanferd In reply to Consequences??

It is a processor instruction cache, not a code/data cache like system RAM.

Any improvement would be in the speed of your more processor-intensive applications. Try running a processor-intensive operation on an image in PShop with and without the setting modified, and time these.

Negative consequences could be just about anything.

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You assume wrong.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Consequences??

It will be using 256 for each thread (unless your program tells the BIOS not to allow HT, somehow... which is unlikely - unless the process contains a very scary period of "DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER WHILE SETTINGS ARE CHANGED" or something to that effect).
There will likely be a couple of 256 HDD caches set aside for "CPU L2 emulation", with instructions for it's use... somehow.
It's never going to be the same as CPU L2, no chance.
It's just some furry setting in a "performance optimization app" which are usually of limited usefulness anyway.
The only way to see if it does more good than harm (I'd say that's about a 50/50 at best) is to benchmark it with and without it.

It's going to take some processing power to use the HDD in that way, and it will put some read/write lag into the process, so I think it's not going to help at all, but you go and benchmark it, then you can educate us on it!

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by santeewelding In reply to You assume wrong.


Otherwise, you carom off into where angels fear to tread, not to mention epistemologists.

Even, were you to have said it the way I suggest, you got one tough row to hoe.

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by AnsuGisalas In reply to Assume

out of quack, I see.
How about "What you assume is wrong?"
Should have stuck with "Read more, think less", I guess.

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