This could apply to the FW13 or 16 using AMD CPU’s.
While there is a pretty good BIOS guide community post, it doesn’t cover any options that may be available in the Framework laptops using AMD CPU’s. Does anyone have a list of any available options for CPU configuration in the BIOS for these laptops?
Specifically, here are some things I’d like to know about, if they’re available. Virtualization options. Any turbo boost or similar technologies, enable/disable. Any frequency clock shifting, enable/disable.
One of my main goals is to bring back the good old days, and run the CPU at a single clock speed. This won’t be the most power efficient method, but it should allow for greater responsiveness for use with a screen reader, especially after the system has been idle for a while, or while on battery power. Any ideas or information about this?
With older CPUs it took a little while (under a second but perceivable) for the clock speeds to ramp up. So holding the CPU at high clock speeds would keep it ready to provide full performance immediately.
However modern CPUs can ramp the clockspeed up much quicker. IIRC AMD has claimed under 2 ms. So it can’t reduce clockspeed to save power but still be ready to give full clockspeed within milliseconds of being put under load. So setting a fixed clockspeed doesn’t improve responsiveness, it just hurts battery life.
You could be correct, I have only my own experiences to compare it to.
My Asus TUF A15 has a Ryzen CPU, I think it’s the 5900HX, and there’s a noticeable difference when I’m on battery compared to connecting it to AC power. Unfortunately, in either case, I can’t tell the CPU to run at a single clock speed, even if I set in Windows to run the minimum and maximum CPU settings at 100 percent. It does help, but there’s still some behind the scenes adjustments happening to the CPU. Setting the voltage lower on battery, for instance.
I wouldn’t mind a loss in performance on battery if I could have better consistent performance on the CPU across battery and AC power, which may or may not be possible even with a Framework system, I won’t know until I can figure that out for myself. I tend to use my laptops with the lid closed anyway, since I need no display. That seems to double my existing battery life in some cases, since I’m not driving a display or using a GPU much, if any at all.
You can set the min clock and stuff without any bios settings but preventing it from going to sleep when idle is going to absolutely murder battery life even with the ridiculous performance per watt on those chips.
You can just kick it into ac mode on battery if that helps.
The display (and the gpu just drawing the screen) on the framework 13 uses very little power so I kinda doubt it’ll make a big difference there. Using it with the display closed will hurt cooling though. The gpu will still need to render stuff for the screen reader to work I suppose.
This just sounds like a huge XY problem to me, what you probably need is more aggressive/lower latency boosting or something unless that screen reader sw has some very weird problems.
Usually, performance is okay on battery using my screen reader, the problem comes when I’m doing something like going through a list of files in Explorer. The rate of speed I listen to my screen reader will cut my speed going through a list of files quickly in half, at least, on my TUF A15. This is the case even with maximum performance set on my power plan and in power and battery settings under Windows 11.
The screen reader I use is NVDA, so there’s no GPU use or video intercept like there is in Jaws, this saves some CPU and GPU use, with the screen closed especially. I’ve noticed an impact on battery life using headless HDMI or display port adapters with a screen of a laptop closed as well, so I avoid using them as well, as they don’t save me power.
In any case, this screen reader discussion has diverted us from my original question, what are the available settings for the CPU on the AMD BIOS Framework laptops?
Interesting, I have never used a screen reader myself so I have to do some guesses here. I assume it is supposed to read at a constant rate and then slows down from that, as in the software can’t keep up?
There are a few magic flags that are set on battery independent of power profiles and all that which may have a hand in that there.
No screen certainly uses power than some screen.
Frankly it’s quite barren. (But you can do a ton of stuff with smokeless though, I just recently managed to bypass the stupid stapm power limit XD).
But man there has got to be a better solution for this than manually messing with the clocks.
To explain what I mean when my rate of speed going through a list is cut in half a little better, it’s not the speech rate that’s the problem. It’s the response time of pressing a key, to receiving speech in reply. This is much faster on AC power than it is battery power.
Also, and unfortunately, programs such as smokeless like the one you’ve mentioned, are usually not accessible to screen reader use. I’ve not tried this one before, though, and my goal here would be to make adjustments in the BIOS if there’s any to be made.
I see, and running the cpu at a fixed clock helped with that? Stuff like slower file listing on battery would have pointed me more in the direction of overly aggressive ssd sleep than not enough cpu performance. What clock do you run it at?
I figured as much though same goes for the bios or does that somehow have screen-reader access?. Usability wise smokeless is probably more comfortable than the regular bios XD
I just checked, there is pretty much noting to that extent in the bios. Honestly the bios on this thing definitely isn’t it’s strong suit, it’s probably the worst bios I have ever used and I have used quite a lot of them (even the abominations dell and hp sometimes come up with).
I run my CPU at 3.3GHZ. I try, at any rate. I also don’t have my SSD going to sleep, at least, configured within the operating system. The CPU does run at a more stable consistent clock speed on AC power on my Asus than on battery, so yes. It does help.
You’re correct about BIOS not being accessible to use by someone that’s blind, so in that regard, any inaccessible programs on Windows would have the same result, no useability for me without assistance from someone who can see, so I could try and use some type of configuration tool in windows to access more advanced CPU options if I need.
Well on desktop you could easily do that with ryzen master but apparently they don’t support that on mobile platforms. There may be other windows programs to do that.
I can control quite a lot over on the linux side. not fixed clocks per se but power limits and performance hints and all that. If I set the kin and max clock the same it would just be either off or that clock but I don’t see how that’s better than regular boosting other than potentially bypassing power limits.
Still quite skeptical the actual problem here but between ac and battery profile there is so much going on it’s may be quite challenging to find the culprit there.
It does kinda suck that bios isn’t accessible but I also don’t really se a reasonable way that could be fixed.
I have no custom settings, programs, or otherwise to set my CPU clock speed, I just set minimum and maximum CPU states to 100 percent in Windows, which seems to work somewhat, though not entirely. As good as it can, anyway.
As far as BIOS being accessible, I actually was in a discussion with someone else on this matter last year for another reason, and I doubt it would be all that difficult. UEFI firmware can already support USB devices. A keyboard, a mouse. You’d only need to support an HID braille display driver for use in the BIOS and reconfigure some things in the UI and its API to properly interact with the braille display. From what I understand, flash chips for UEFI firmware are 8MB and up these days, so once the framework for these things is in place, it wouldn’t be too difficult to do. Sadly, no one has put in the work, and I don’t have the programming knowledge to get started on trying, or I would.
I’d love to see accessible BIOS some day, but I know of no manufacturer who’s making an attempt, I don’t even think Coreboot has any such accessibility features built in.
Even if there wasn’t plenty of free space worst case they could kick out some of the unnecessary background images they put in those these days XD. Space definitely isn’t the issue there.
Outside of coreboot you could not really do much yourself anyway, that stuff is all commercial and locked down af.
Probably not per se but it has serial support which could be adapted to a braille display or audio or whatever and is also largely manageable from the os. Mind you last time I used coreboot was ages ago so it may be different now.