Last week I stumbled across a good deal on Amazon for a batch of refurbished Dell OptiPlex 7050 Micro machines. The machine was from the i7 SKU, and they came with 32 GB RAM and a nice Samsung EVO NVMe SSD.
My thought was them being a great edition to my existing fleet of 7040's, that I had for years. The intended workload for these machines were strictly Hyper-V hosts, and for that the old 7040's have been absolutely great.
ConfigMgr taking forever to install…
Installing ConfigMgr on the old 7040 machines, having the same CPU as the new 7050's, same NVMe SSD, typically took about 25 minutes, but on the new 7050's it took a good hour and half. Why???
I quickly realized it was the CPU that was the bottleneck. For whatever reason it was running on 0.79 GHz instead if the usual 3.3, 3.4, or 3.5 GHz.
The first thing I tried was making sure the machines had the latest BIOS update installed. That did not help, but now I was at least using that. Time to enable enhanced research mode.
After a bit of research (well, Google), I stumbled across an article at the Dell support site that claimed the 0.79 GHz CPU limit could be related to the Real Time Clock (RTC) needing a reset. So, I tried that at first, borrowing steps from the Dell OptiPlex 7050 user manual that told me to hold the power button down for 20 seconds. That did not help, still had the same issue afterward.
More research (more Google), reading about people recommending disabling Intel Speedstep and Intel Turboboost in BIOS. Tried that, did not help.
Others suggested clogged CPU heatsinks or lack of cooling paste in between the CPU and the heatsink, but no, that looked ok as well.
Finally stumbled across a comment about trying a different type of power adapter, so I borrowed one of my OptiPlex 7040 adapters, which specification-wise are the same as the OptiPlex 7050 adapters. But low and behold, after changing the adapter, the CPU started to operate in full speed.
Temporary Workaround – Using ThrottleStop
Needless to say, once figuring out it was the power adapter, I simply ordered new ones, but this time for a 7040, that I will use with the 7050. But since I wanted to get going with my lab, I temporarily used the good old CPU tweaking tool ThrottleStop, that allows you override CPU throttling in real-time. You can download the tool here: https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/
By using the ThrottleStop tool I could immediately disable Turbo which unlocked the 0.79 GHz throttle and brought the CPU up to 3.4 GHz. #Shiny
New Power Adapters Arriving
Today the new power adapters arrived, and just like that, super-speed is back on the machines. In the below picture the adapter to the left is one of the borked adapter, and the adapter to the right is the adapter providing the right power to the machines.
Happy Deployment / Johan