[Rd] Whine in dual core Windows PC if R uses full CPU capacity

From: Ulrike Grömping <groemping_at_tfh-berlin.de>
Date: Mon 15 Jan 2007 - 17:02:32 GMT

Dear R-developers,

the following may seem a weird question for R-devel – I try anyway, because it does seem to be related to usage of R and R's way of interacting with the hardware.

When running R (2.4.0) on my new dual core Windows XP system (Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, Mainboard ASUS P5B, BeQuiet Power Unit), I observe various types of sounds (not related to fans) when running at full usage of at least one of the cores.

The most annoying sound – a high-pitched noise like a whine – I have so far observed running simulations in R only and couldn’t reproduce with any other software (sometimes it’s also more a rustle than a whine, that one is not disturbing). I can clearly track it down to particular instances of R – as soon as I left-click on a blue window bar in the affected R-Gui, the noise stops (and there are sometimes other instances of R running in parallel which are completely unrelated to the whine). I’ve also stopped R when the computer just whined and started SAS, fully using the CPU as well – no whine. Shut down SAS, restart R à whine again. Apparently, it can also be related to what exactly R is doing at the particular moment. For example, I just discovered that simulations of one type were finished, because the computer – running another simulation under full load on R in a quiet way – started whining at the moment it switched to the new type of simulation.

The hardware technician I’ve asked about this issue does not have any idea and suspects R to do something peculiar that causes the noise. It’s not the mainboards fault (that has already been changed for another reason, and the behavior remains). I can’t definitely locate the source of the sound. I suspect that it’s the Power Unit, but there are so many parts close together that I am not really sure.

I do not know enough about interactions of R with hardware to know whether it is even possible for anyone deeper into the matter to develop an idea what could be behind this behavior. For the moment, I can get rid of the whine by using the mainboard tool „AI Gear“ to reduce the processor’s speed from 2.4GHz to 1.7GHz when I want to concentrate – then the whine is gone (but the simulation is slower).

Does anyone have any idea – or hints regarding what else I could think about ?

Regards, Ulrike



Prof. Dr. Ulrike Grömping
Fachbereich II
TFH Berlin
Luxemburger Str. 10
13353 Berlin
mail: groemping@tfh-berlin.de
www: www.tfh-berlin.de/~groemp/

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Grömping
Fachbereich II
TFH Berlin
Luxemburger Str. 10
13353 Berlin
mail: groemping@tfh-berlin.de
www: www.tfh-berlin.de/~groemp/
 

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