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Fahlens Corner

CPU Spike every 2 minutes - Intel 9xx Chipset

© AGRONOVA/Anders Fahlén

This time I would like to raise a warning flag in reference to the Dell Dimension 8400 / D925XECV2 / Intel 925XE chipset. There are some recent and increasing number of reports from DAW users of intermittent CPU spikes every two minutes in combination with e.g. the Dell Dimension 8400 and Intel D925XECV2 mainboards based on the Intel 925XE chipset.

It seems to be largely related to the SATA AHCI control driver. Once upgraded to Intel's Application Accelerator version #4.5, or newer, the problem is significantly improved though some users still report intermittent problems with pops and clicks.

Any users with the Dell Dimension 8400/Intel D925XECV2 mainboard @ Intel 925XE chipset are invited to share their findings, specifically if you have been able to tweak the chipset/mainboard to reliable performance, with the DAW community.

IMHO, until further evidences of reliable DAW performance are established with the Dell Dimension 8400/Intel D925XECV2 @ Intel 925XE*, I would currently not recommend it for pro DAW usage.

* Present user audio test results presented at the RME forum and based on the Intel 925XE chipset actually range from good performing (Abit AA8XE/ Leadtek Nvidia 6200 PCI-E/ RME Fireface/RAID enabled [BIOS]) to experiences with random sets of glitches/pops/clicks independent of latency setting (Asus P5AD2-E Premium/Asus EAX600 XT PCI-E, ATI Radeon X600 PCI-E/RME HDSP 9632, RME Fireface 800).


The author/RME cannot be held responsible for any eventual damages as a consequence of using the information found in this document. The author has done his best to cross-check and verify information presented in this document but there is no liability to guarantee against any eventual damages caused by the user. The user and reader are fully responsible for any eventual damages caused by implementing or misusing information in this document. This information is provided 'as is' and may be subject to change if audio stress test results with the 925 chipset show verifiable signs of improvements.

Any imperfections left in the document are solely the responsibility of the author. Readers who may want to get in dialogue with the author (e.g. to suggest improvements, corrections, etc). should make contact at

March 18, 2005

Anders Fahlén, Agronova, Sweden