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madsandrup
2008-10-11, 23:07
Hi.

I have a very strange problem with my SqueezeBox3 and SqueezeCenter 7.2.

My setup:
The SB3 is connector to my wireless network (signal strength: 85%).
The SC server is wired and runs on a newly out of the box Asus Eee Box B202 (Intel Atom 1.6GHz and 1GB ram, XP Home), which should be well powered to run SqueezeCenter.
The music (in Flac) is stored on a Synology DS107+ NAS.

My problem:
When first booting the server and starting SC everything seems to work normal. There are no delays while browsing the menus and change brightness on the SB3.
But after a while browsing, the menus are very slow, and sometimes nothing happens.
Pressing the brightness might in some cases change the brightness and if anything happens it is delayed for maybe 5-10 sec. it feels mostly like the remote has run out of battery.

My observations:
To monitor the Asus Eee Box power consumption I have connected a power meter to the mains.
When the SB3 is running perfect the power meter shows about 13.5W, and the CPU load is 0-1%. But after a while the power drops to about 11.5W and now the SB3 response are useless. In this state the music can still be streamed, but changing track or brightness is a none existing feature.
What I find a bit funny is that the SB3 reverts to normal response if I on the server starts streaming a movie or even runs a simple VB script only containing a Do..Loop. This will raise the power to about 15W, but when stopping the streamed video the power drops to 13.5W and the system is still usable. Exactly (or around) 405 sec after stopping the video stream, the power again drops to 11.5W and the SB3 response are useless.

I have measured the 405 secís many times to be sure and it never fails, something happens, but what and where??

It seems like there is strong connection between the power consumption and the SB3 response, but I canít figure out what it can be!!
Why canít the SC run under these "conditions" like all other normal programs??
Internet Explorer and other programs doesnít seems to be affected.

Can someone please help me, before Iím going totally crazy???


Kind regards,
Mads

Phil Leigh
2008-10-12, 00:56
I'm not familiar with your PC but this sounds rather like classic Notebook CPU power throttling - have you checked your BIOS settings for power saving options?

madsandrup
2008-10-12, 21:36
Hi Phil.

The only settings in BIOS under Power is ACPI 2.0 support Yes/No and power mode S1/S3/Auto.
I have tryed changing these settings with no luck.
Does anybody know what "functions" the SC use which could be affected by the power trottling??
It might give me a clue to start digging.

Mads

mvalera
2008-10-13, 12:41
If you contact support they will be happy to help you with your problem:

http://www.slimdevices.com/su_tech.html

Mike

madsandrup
2008-10-14, 03:25
Thank you for the answer.
I have now contacted support.

Mads

bassoonde
2008-11-07, 00:41
Is your problem solved? If yes, what was the reason?

madsandrup
2008-11-07, 11:40
No unfortunately not, but it is still a question about where the problem is.
After a bit more of testing I found another remarkable behavior. Ping time to e.g. www.google.com will after the mentioned time (405 sec) drop from 40ms to 3ms.
I have been in contact with SlimDevices support, but have set my question on hold, because I think the problem is caused by the Asus Eee box.
I have made a support question to Asus, but have got no usable answer.
If I ever find a solution to the problem I'll post it here.

Kind regards,
Mads

upstatemike
2008-11-09, 11:37
Just looked at the Asus tech forum and saw no answers there. I am very interested in the final solution to this since I plan to go a similiar route except with a locally attached USB drive instead of a NAS.

Just curious if the Eee Box timeout kicks in if music is playing on the SB3 or only if the player is idle?

madsandrup
2008-11-09, 12:16
Hi upstatemike.

The mysterious timeout always kicks in playing or not :-)
But I have created a task which is executed every 3 minute (just to be sure):
"powercfg /DEVICEQUERY wake_from_S1_supported". This will indeed keep the Eee Box running and my setup runs like a charm.
I don't know what the powercfg command does, besides of listing devices supporting wake from S1, but it works.
The only thing which is not working while keeping the Eee Box "alive" with a task is automatic standby after a specified period in windows.
But I have overcome this problem by running another task which will bring the Box in Standby at 22.00.
Of course I hope a more "clean" solution will be found in the future.
But as I said, my setup now works like a charm.


Regards,
Mads

upstatemike
2008-11-09, 12:57
Thanks for the update... I was actually going to order the Eee Box today so this is very timely information. I will probably hold off now to see what response/explanation you get from Asus.

I was thinking that that if SC was actively doing something the problem would not occur. Since I have several players running the SuperDateTime plugin I was hoping the constant updates to those displays might prevent the throttle-back of the Eee Box CPU but I guess not. Please post any more info you discover on this problem.

nicoleif
2008-11-11, 07:41
No unfortunately not, but it is still a question about where the problem is.
After a bit more of testing I found another remarkable behavior. Ping time to e.g. www.google.com will after the mentioned time (405 sec) drop from 40ms to 3ms.
I have been in contact with SlimDevices support, but have set my question on hold, because I think the problem is caused by the Asus Eee box.
I have made a support question to Asus, but have got no usable answer.
If I ever find a solution to the problem I'll post it here.

Kind regards,
Mads

Still no answer from Asus Support?

madsandrup
2008-11-11, 08:19
Hey.

About a month ago I got this answer:
"We will forward this to our technicians and get back to you when we have a solution to this problem."

In one of the next days I'll try to contact Asus again, but I think their support really stinks.
As a comparison Logitech was ready with a second tier supporter after two days :-)


Regards,
Mads

nicoleif
2008-11-11, 09:41
Hey.

About a month ago I got this answer:
"We will forward this to our technicians and get back to you when we have a solution to this problem."

In one of the next days I'll try to contact Asus again, but I think their support really stinks.
As a comparison Logitech was ready with a second tier supporter after two days :-)


Regards,
Mads

Hi Mads.
I think I will purchase the eee Box anyway and maybe make the same task you mentioned (the missing standby funktion is no problem for)!

upstatemike
2008-11-11, 10:35
I also decided to go ahead and order one. I have some other apps on high power PCs that I want to move to lower energy platforms so I know I can use it elsewhere if it doesn't work out for SC.

My current SqueezeCenter PC also runs Internet Explorer and provides a constant view of my streaming ActiveX security cameras. I wonder if I did this on an Eee Box if it would keep things running at full speed? Or would this additional duty be too resource intensive for the atom processor and 1G of RAM?

I am also running a PC that takes data from my weather station and displays it on my TVs. I wonder if an app like that could co-exist on an Eee Box based music server? And if it did, would it keep the processor running at full speed?

madsandrup
2008-11-11, 11:31
Hi.

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, just run the "powercfg" command every 3. minute and there is no problems with the SqueezeCenter/SqueezeBox :-)
The Eee box is for me still a much better choice then running the SC on e.g. my Synology DS107+ NAS. Because using the NAS to run the SC will give a terrible read/write performance, and maintaining the SC under Linux is for me totally out of the question.

Running the SC on the Eee box and streaming to one SB3 does not utilize the CPU usage to more then about 1%.
Streaming a .mpg video does not raise the utilization to more the about 5%, but I don't know what it can't do.

If You are buying a Eee box, please post the problem to Asus :-)


Regards,
Mads

nicoleif
2008-11-11, 13:11
Madsandrup -are you danish? If so where did you buy the eeeBox?

madsandrup
2008-11-11, 22:52
Madsandrup -are you danish? If so where did you buy the eeeBox?

Yes I'm. I bought mine at shg.dk, but I have seen it in this week at Elgiganten a little cheaper.


Regards,
Mads

nicoleif
2008-11-12, 01:51
Yes I'm. I bought mine at shg.dk, but I have seen it in this week at Elgiganten a little cheaper.


Regards,
Mads

Yes, the El-giganten has a very favourable price. I will buy the eee Box after receiving my DAC from repairment, which hopefully will happen one of the following days! Thanx for the info!

radish
2008-11-12, 21:26
No immediate solution to your issue, but some questions and observations:

1. 3ms ping to Google is false, unless you're physically in their data center :) Something weird is happening with the network stack when it enters this low power mode.

2. What makes you say that the music is still streaming although control doesn't work? Is it just that the music is still playing? That could simply be the buffer on the SB playing out. My suspicion is that the network interface is being shut down - that would explain the lack of SB control and might go someway to explaining the weird ping results.

3. Can you still browse web sites after the timeout? Including ones you haven't got cached? If so, does that raise the power consumption again?

madsandrup
2008-11-19, 09:44
Hey radish

First sorry for my late response :-)

Comments/answers to you:

1. You are absolutely right.

2. The SB3 control works, but is terrible slow and sometimes some commands disappears. E.g. pressing the brightness button will (maybe) change brightness, but it can take as long as 10 sec. before the SB changes brightness, if it happens.
I have tried playing music (flac) for about 15 minutes for now without loosing the sound. But titles in the display is NOT scrolling smooth, rather "jumping" across the display. "Time played" for the current track is updated with an interval of about 3-6 sec.

3. It is still possible to browse the web while in "low power state", but power will raise on requests.
Opening www.google.com in IE raises power shortly, and then reverts to low power in about 2 sec.
Opening www.youtube.com raises power but SB text scrolling is still not smooth. Menus and brightness seems to work better in this state then when in "low power state". But closing IE the power immediately drops to "low power state" and the SB is slow again.
Pinging while youtube is open in IE gives 28ms, closing IE ping drops to 3ms, but firing the "powercfg" command ping raises to 50ms like my other desktop pc.

Regards,
Mads

trifonius
2009-04-17, 00:56
I also have SC running on a Asus B202 Eee Box with Windows XP. I probably have the same problem as the topic starter. However I am not yet fully convinced that it isn't a problem with the wireless network.

I am curious if their is any news about this issue since. Is it already solved?

madsandrup
2009-04-17, 07:29
Hi trifonius,

I have been in "one way" contact with Asus for several months and it ended up with this answer:
"Unfortunately, we cannot answear why this happens when you use other, non-ASUS products, together with the eee BOX."

End of discussion. They really don't care about supporting customers!
So the only fix I have found for XP is to run "powercfg" every 3. minute.

But for about a month ago I decided to do some research on the problem, but where to start?

First at all I wanted to find out if it is a hardware design bug or a software bug. A software bug may be fixed over time, but a hardware bug will never be fixed unless I do it myself :-(

To check the hardware I fired up an Ubuntu live cd (USB), and from there i installed the SC 7.3.2 and that worked like an charm, out of the USB :-)
I got a little caught by my Linux success, so I ended up with an installation of a Debian "lenny" which has now been running SC 7.3.2 since.

But I still don't understand why the Linux is running without any problems and XP doesn't.

Regards,
Mads

Monosde
2009-04-23, 02:11
Hello,
i`ve the same problem with my boom and the eee box. Could someone describe me how to create such a task under XP (powercfg /DEVICEQUERY wake_from_S1_supported)?
Sorry but i normaly use os x.

trifonius
2009-04-23, 10:15
Create a batch file with the command you like to be run. Go to conf.panel--> scheduled tasks and a the batch file.

lhmperth
2009-05-26, 01:50
So the only fix I have found for XP is to run "powercfg" every 3. minute.



I have decided to try this as well to get my Eeebox to respond more effectively. (I assume a better solution has not yet been found).

However, my problem is that when I schedule a task, the best I can select is to run the task once a day. How do I run it every three minutes!?

madsandrup
2009-05-26, 03:22
Hi lhmperth,

I have created a vbs which will fire the powercfg command every 3. minute.
Unpack the attachment, and place the file in All Programs -> StartUp.

To help me convince Asus about this problem, I need a little help from other Eee Box owners. So could you all please try pinging www.google.com and post the response time.
Of course without anything running, and at least 6 minutes and 45 seconds after bootup. (see my first post)

TIA.


Regards,
Mads

lhmperth
2009-05-26, 18:52
Thanks! Your little program works very well. I am getting excellent response times now!

Tue
2009-06-01, 12:45
The problem occurs because the Intel Atom processor supports SpeedStep technology.

The problem is solved by simply disable the SpeedStep technology. This can be done in the BIOS or by selecting "Control Panel" > "Power Options" > Select the Power Scheme "Always On".

The reason it works perfectly in Ubuntu is that SpeedStep is only supported by Windows systems.

trifonius
2009-06-02, 10:45
Unfortunattaly there is no option to disable speedstep in the BIOS.

My Windows XP was configured for Home/Office Desk. This should also give max CPU speed, since the EEE box is always using wired power. I just changed the Power Scheme to Always On. I will see if it makes any difference.

jo-wie
2009-06-02, 11:00
The problem occurs because the Intel Atom processor supports SpeedStep technology.

The problem is solved by simply disable the SpeedStep technology. This can be done in the BIOS or by selecting "Control Panel" > "Power Options" > Select the Power Scheme "Always On".

The reason it works perfectly in Ubuntu is that SpeedStep is only supported by Windows systems.

It's not the processor, it looks like that something in the chipset is throttled. Timers are not running with the correct timing. Have a look at the weird ping response times you get.

Tue
2009-06-02, 13:11
It's not the processor, it looks like that something in the chipset is throttled.

It appears that speedstep will not be deactivated by being using the "Always On" power scheme. I have downloaded CPU-Z (http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php), and this shows that the processor multiplier jumps from 6x to 12x.

radish
2009-06-02, 13:22
The reason it works perfectly in Ubuntu is that SpeedStep is only supported by Windows systems.
That's completely false - Linux supports speedstep just fine (likewise BSD, OSX and Solaris).

I also doubt that this is as simple as speedstep causing the problem, as even when my server is cranked down to min speed simple things like network pings are unaffected. I'm going to guess some weird issue with drivers/bios/chipset interactions - as it seems specific to one family of machines.

madsandrup
2009-06-05, 07:43
I also believe this has nothing to do with the speedstep technology.
I think radish is right about the drivers/bios/chipset has some issues.

But to other Eee Box owners, help yourself, create a technical inquiry to Asus on this issue.


Regards,
Mads

madsandrup
2009-08-14, 21:40
Hi.

Finally I think this thread regarding the SC running slow on a Asus Eee Box B202 is solved by a BIOS update.
For a couple of days ago I updated the BIOS to V1111. In the release Asus wrote: ďAdd C state option in BIOSĒ.
So after updating, I went to the BIOS setting and disabled the C state Tech, and my system has been running like a charm since :-)
No strange ping response, no slow response from SC, so I'm happy...
But what does C state disable mean?
I havenít really figured out 100%, but it has something to do about different power saving states the processor can enter.
The power saving is about 3W (from 14.5W to 11.5W) when enabling C state.
But if the trade off of using 3W more is a working system I will do that.

Regards,
Mads

dsdreamer
2009-08-16, 16:48
Good info about CPU C-States here:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/611