Athlon 64 processors have a tecnology called Cool’n’Quiet that allows noise, heat and consumption to be reduced. This technology works by monitoring the computer usage (this is done 30 times per second), reducing the CPU clock if your PC is not needing high performance. Running at a lower clock, less heat is generated and less power is consumed from the electrical grid. This tecnology also reduces the CPU fan speed, lowering the noise generated by your system. When your PC needs performance – if your run a game, for example – the CPU clock speed and the CPU fan speed go back to normal.

To use this feature you will need an Athlon 64 processor, a motherboard with this feature enable at its setup, to install the Athlon 64 CPU driver and Cool’n’Quiet software. To accomplish this, go to, Support & Downloads, Utilities, Drivers & Updates, AMD Athlon 64 Utilities, Drivers & Updates and download and install the CPU driver and the Cool’n’Quiet software according to your operational system. If you run Windows XP or Windows 2000 you can also install the “AMD Cool’n’Quiet / PowerNow! Dashboard Demo” software, which plots a chart monitoring the CPU power, clock, saved energy and CPU load.

After installing the driver and software, on Windows XP you have to click on Power Options icon on Control Panel and configure, on “Power schemes” field the “Minimal Power Energy” option to enable Cool’n’Quiet. Click on System icon on Control Panel. If your CPU is being listed as a 800 MHz CPU this means that Cool’n’Quiet tecnology is up and running.

Cool n Quiet

Figure 1: Enabling Cool’n’Quiet on Windows XP.

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Figure 2: Checking if Cool’n’Quiet was correctly enabled.

On other Windows versions, you have to click on Power Options icon on Control Panel. Now a tab called “AMD’s Cool’n’Quiet ™ Technology” will appear. On this tab, configure Performance option at “Automatic Mode”. To test if Cool’n’Quiet is working, run Wcpuclk software. If your CPU is listed as a 800 MHz one this means that Cool’n’Quiet is up and running.

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Figure 3: Enabling Cool’n’Quiet on other Windows versions.

We’ve made a quick test in a system with an Athlon 64 3400+ CPU installed to check if this feature really works. Without Cool’n’Quiet, the CPU temperature was between 118.4º F and 122º F (48º C and 50º C) while we performed basic tasks (surfing on the net and listening to MP3 songs). After we enabled Cool’n’Quiet the CPU temperature dropped a lot and stayed between 86º F and 93.2º C (30º C and 34º C) while we performed the same basic tasks. With this feature enabled, the CPU fan ran slower, making our PC a lot more silent.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.