A Closer Look at ESA

by Wesley Fink on 2/19/2008 1:00 AM EST


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  • cdl1701 - Friday, February 22, 2008 - link

    Should there be pics in this write up? I am not seeing any Reply
  • initialised - Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - link

    But using this to implement closed loop control for your overclocking and cooling setup is taking things to another level. e.g. Twc -> 1C fans -> 100RPM & Pump -> 10lph or Tcpu -> 1C Vtec -> 0.2V or more radical fps < 30 & fcore/fmem/fshader=stable, fcore/fmem/fshader -> 25MHz fan -> 10%.

    Most PC cooling is either crude or expensive. An OS independent control system like this with true dynamic control of BIOS CPU and Memory and GPU settings and cooling would be fantastic and could be done if crashes due to overheating/clocking can be handled before windows BSOD's. Needs a graphic (LabVIEW style) interface and low overhead though.

    Hopefully it can be retrofitted to older motherboards and graphics cards with BIOS/driver updates.
  • Tristesse27 - Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - link

    "To be fair, NVIDIA made it very clear that the current test system was put together to demonstrate the monitoring capabilities of ESA with no real finalizing of performance tweaking in ESA."

    Then to be perfectly fair, why would you even mention that it crashed when you try to tweak through the OS? They told you it wouldn't work, and it doesn't. I bet when the waiter tells you the plate is hot, you put your hand right on it, don't you?
  • stevekgoodwin - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    So... turns out SMART has been subverted by various HDD manufacturers to misreport problems (because problems that might hurt sales). Which pretty much makes SMART useless.

    What's to stop this going the same way? There's no guarantee components are not distorting/faking results.

    It'll be an interesting one to watch.
  • Kevin Day - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    Could you imagine the kind of information you could gather on your corporate machines if someone wrote a plugin for say System Center Operations Manager? You could monitor client health not only from an applications perspective, but from the hardware as well. You could, for instance, detect a power supply that was having voltage fluctuations and replace it BEFORE it fails saving the user much down time. Reply
  • IKeelU - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    Sorry if this has been address before, but will ESA interfaces be available for hardware that is not related to nVidia (e.g. intel chipsets, etc...)? It would be great to have a relatively consistent interface between manufacturers, similar to what a BIOS is now. If not, then I will definitely be swayed to the nVidia mobo camp. Being able to change profiles without going into the bios is going to be awesome. It's not like I need my C2D running on max overclock to use uTorrent or MS Word.

    Is there any chance of AMD adopting this? Does the spider platform cover most of what ESA does?
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - link

    NVidia is not charging licensing fees for ESA and the USB standard, with ESA approved to sit on top of that standard, is an Open Standard. Anyone who wishes could use ESA, and there don't appear to be unsurmountable artificial barriers to any computer manufacturer using ESA technology. Reply
  • LSnK - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    "This begs the question of whether ESA is working now."

    Raises the question. Begging the question is the name of a logical fallacy wherein one assumes to be true that which they're supposed to be arguing.
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - link

    "Begs the question" expresses my thoughts. Reply
  • Slaimus - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    Isn't there already a much more well established ESA, the Entertainment Software Association? Reply
  • Clauzii - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    Heh, ESA is "European Space Agency". Reply
  • Schugy - Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - link

    you're right Reply
  • casteve - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    ...but what are the limits of what can be done without requiring reboot?

    I'd love to automatically underclock / undervolt when web browsing or idling and then go to max performance when gaming.
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    I especially like the profile capabilities, but personally I would probably rather have the profiles save-able, and load-able from within the BIOS. Call, me a hard core old timer, or whatever, but making these adjustments from within the OS always puts a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Also, this Implementation sitting on top of the USB (bus?), I can not help but wonder what the performance implications are. Especially for USB devices such as Flash drives, or USB HDDs. Granted, I am personally seeing eSATA as the external storage 'wave' of the future, so USB in this respect would not really be much of an issue.

    I really hope OEMs in the future do not try to shovel this down out throats however, like they have done with other 'cool' ideas they would like to think they have had . . .
  • LEKO - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    BIOS = Legacy

    PC industry should have moved away from that archaic technology long time ago. We can do nearly anything in a PC... But we can't adjust basic system parameters from the OS??? Come on, we are in 2008!
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    Sorry pal, without the BIOS, your system would not run, and since when is voltage changing, CPU frequency changing, etc, a basic system parameter ?

    If you want to pay a price premium for this technology, be my guest, but I would rather not have to pay for something you want.
  • Jedi2155 - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    I think its time for us to ditch the BIOS and get EFI on our systems... Reply
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    Quote: "ESA can be completely Mickey Mouse if done badly, but that will be the fault of the ESA interface writer."

    Can is ESA open enough that someone else can come in and write an application with their own interface? What NVIDIA is using now may be shiny, but there's no way in heck that's very functional. Programs like SpeedFan may not be eye-catching, but I'd much rather have a less-shiny more-functional interface like that than what NVIDIA is currently showcasing.

    How on earth did they find a way to make NVIDIA Monitor worse?
  • stmok - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - link

    Actually, that raises an interesting point.

    Wouldn't it be awesome to have a single app (Linux and Windows versions) for this ESA?

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