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Conspiracy theory: Intel's dirty trick to make you upgrade to the latest CPU

qubit

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#1
I saw this on vr-zone and couldn't believe what I found! This is a real, genuine conspiracy theory that Intel designed USB so that the CPU needed to poll the device, be slowed down and encourage CPU upgrades. Heck, it even comes with a disclaimer that this isn't vr-zone's general opinion!

I doubt that it's true, but it's better read while wearing your best tinfoil hat...


[Disclaimer: The following views are solely the author's and do not necessarily represent those of the VR-Zone team]

Blast from the Past - USB polling induced performance slowdowns
Reported by Nebojsa Novakovic on Thursday, July 12 2012 6:51 pm

You all remember how USB, even when used by the keyboards and mice, tend to ever so slightly slow down the system, due to the often unnecessary CPU polling? Well, once even these key input devices standardize on USB3 and Thunderbolt, that sorry story should be over...

The ancient (some 25 years old by now) PS/2 keyboard and mouse interface, developed by IBM for the same-named PC series in the mid eighties, is pretty much adequate for those two input devices, unless you're talking about extreme gamer-style super-responsive mice that send their movements like 1,000 times a second or so. The little Intel 8042 keyboard controller chip handled all the work, not bothering the CPU much there. However, these connectors are, despite the still wide device availability, increasingly rare on the modern mainboards nowadays. Why?

Well, conspiracy theorists say that when Intel first pushed their Universal Serial Bus, one major issue for them then was that the CPUs weren't fully loaded by then-typical OS and apps, so there had to be ways found to coerce buyers to part with their money for ever faster CPUs any possible way. One way was to load the CPUs with the I/O processing burdens, such as 'software sound' instead of Sound Blaster, 'software modems', and, yes, USB. The trick with USB was that it constantly had to be polled by the CPU, even if the peripheral connected did absolutely nothing, like the case of a keyboard without any key pressed. Polling introduces interrupts, task switching and such overhead, which of course bogs down the CPU, introducing the 'need for more speed'. Sometimes, even PC benchmarks were, and still are, slightly but still negatively affected by using the USB keyboard and mouse instead of the PS/2 one. Not to mention the battery drain on mobile devices...

Fast forward to today and USB 3.0. It is the first USB update to finally remove the need for polling. After all, the bloatware of today knows well how to load any CPU, even multi core ones, so too-probing I/O interfaces become a liability. Now, if you have a super-speed mouse that needs polling to get its response speed, it can have it - but a keyboard with a few letters typed per second, doesn't need it that much, obviously.

Here's the problem though - there are no USB 3 keyboards. Simply, they don't need USB3 extra speed, so why add the cost? Then comes the Thunderbolt, essentially an extended PCIe v2 lane combined with a DisplayPort link onto a single connection. Now, this goes, via the controller, directly to the chipset or CPU PCIe lanes, with minimal complexity - therefore less CPU load as well. So, both USB3 and Thunderbolt peripherals should, where possible, reduce or eliminate the unnecessary CPU I/O monitoring load left from the ancient USB times.

Again, you're not likely to see these two interfaces on keyboards and mice. So, to complete the picture, the old PS/2 should, in my mind, make the comeback - and yes, both connectors, just like in the good old days without the artificially induced slowdowns.
vr-zone
 
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cadaveca

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#2
:rolleyes:


Need I say more?
 
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#3
1000 whole times a second? really, tell me more how three USB devices loading 3Khz of CPU time that is running at 4Ghz is bad.

Standard polling rate is 250Hz BTW, so 750Hz unless the driver specifies a higher speed.
 
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#4
Should I upgrade to an i7-3960X? While I'm typing this on my USB keyboard I kinda feel that my machine is moving slooooower.
 
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#5
so many haters
 

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#6
Yeah, this might be a problem on a Pentium II machine, but on today's modern 3GHz+ CPUs there is no noticeable slowdown caused by USB. Yes, there might an ever so slight lowering in benchmark scores, but unless you are going for world records, who gives a sh*t?!?
 

qubit

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#7
Yeah, this might be a problem on a Pentium II machine, but on today's modern 3GHz+ CPUs there is no noticeable slowdown caused by USB. Yes, there might an ever so slight lowering in benchmark scores, but unless you are going for world records, who gives a sh*t?!?
Indeed. I reckon if the difference had been noticeable, then it would be mentioned in reviews and even have "with and without USB" benchmarks sections within them. I guess the outcry alone would be enough to force Intel to change the standard.
 
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#8
So, they finally they remove the cpu burden of polling, but can't give me a PCI USB 3.0 card with drivers for Win98? Infuriating to say the least.
Anyway, the article was interesting, didn't know that about USB 3.0 not needing to poll devices :toast:.
 
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#10
but can't give me a PCI USB 3.0 card with drivers for Win98? Infuriating to say the least.
Why would ANY company put out a PCI USB 3.0 card for an obsolete operating system that is over 13 years old? I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage of OS users of 98 was <1%.
 
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#11
Oh, conspiracy theories. Brings me back to the whole cd marker thing that was in a ton of magazines.
 

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#12
Oh, conspiracy theories. Brings me back to the whole cd marker thing that was in a ton of magazines.
Incredibly, that actually worked. What a useless DRM. :laugh:
 

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#13
what w1zzy said, this is a troll article.


fun to read however.
 

qubit

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#14
what w1zzy said, this is a troll article.


fun to read however.
Or the writer was just clueless. Could be 50-50 I guess. vr-zone is quite a well respected site, so I'm surprised that they ran this.

I think in hindsight, I would have called this thread "Conspiracy theory: Intel's dirty trick to make you upgrade to the latest CPU", but I can't change it.
 

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#15
Or the writer was just clueless. Could be 50-50 I guess. vr-zone is quite a well respected site, so I'm surprised that they ran this.

I think in hindsight, I would have called this thread "Conspiracy theory: Intel's dirty trick to make you upgrade to the latest CPU", but I can't change it.
you have half the forum staff in this thread, title fixed.
 
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#16
Incredibly, that actually worked. What a useless DRM. :laugh:
Oh yeah, I forgot they tried to put on DRM one point! I was referring to the audio trick back in the 90s (same thing, except putting on the marker supposedly made the CD sound better).
 
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#17
I saw this on vr-zone and couldn't believe what I found! This is a real, genuine conspiracy theory that Intel designed USB so that the CPU needed to poll the device, be slowed down and encourage CPU upgrades. Heck, it even comes with a disclaimer that this isn't vr-zone's general opinion!

I doubt that it's true, but it's better read while wearing your best tinfoil hat...




vr-zone
Should I upgrade to an i7-3960X? While I'm typing this on my USB keyboard I kinda feel that my machine is moving slooooower.
Funny Lenny in you avatar looks like "DAMN I AM GONNA HIT THAT TONIGHT" too Qubits avatar......
 
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#18
Now my i7-3770 is not enough i need Haswell CPU like yesterday:twitch:
 
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#19
Funny Lenny in you avatar looks like "DAMN I AM GONNA HIT THAT TONIGHT" too Qubits avatar......
Hrmmhmmm; Lemmy.. It's LEMMY.. . Lemmy Kilmister. :shadedshu

Edit: Lemmy already hit it. He's Lemmy.. Duh. Lol
 

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#20
I have not once, ever upgraded a CPU because of USB. No one I know has either. I think it is false--completely baseless.

PS/2 keyboard/mice aren't going to make a comeback.
 
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#21
Hrmmhmmm; Lemmy.. It's LEMMY.. . Lemmy Kilmister. :shadedshu

Edit: Lemmy already hit it. He's Lemmy.. Duh. Lol
LAMO Oops hit the N key right next to M ,My bad but your right he probably has already hit it.