For Day 7 of this series, I will talk about the incredibly useful CPU-Z utility, which is available for free from cpuid.com. The latest release of the tool is version 1.57, which came out on February 18, 2011. I always download and use the 64-bit, English, no install zip version of the tool.
This tool will give you a great amount of detail about your processor(s), caches, motherboard, and memory, among other things. The CPU tab is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: CPU tab of CPU-Z 1.57
For example, this shows that I have a 45nm, Intel Core i7 930, that has a rated speed of 2.80GHz, but it is actually running at 2.93GHz. This shows that the processor is running at full speed, with Turbo Boost increasing the speed to 2.93Ghz (at least on Core 0).
It also shows that this processor is x64 compatible, since we see EM64T as one of the supported instructions. We can also see the size and types of the L1, L2, and L3 caches. Finally, I can see that this processor has four cores and eight threads, which means that it has hyper-threading, and hyper-threading is enabled.
The mainboard tab shown in Figure 2 gives you a lot of useful information about the motherboard, chipset, and main BIOS version.
Figure 2: Mainboard tab of CPU-Z 1.57
Figures 3 and 4 show the Memory and Serial Presence Detect (SPD) tabs of CPU-Z, which give you very useful information about the type and amount of memory that you have in your machine. Note, on some machines, the SPD tab will be blank. This seems to depend on the type and age of your machine, and the version of CPU-Z that you are using.
Figure 3: Memory tab of CPU-Z 1.57
Figure 4: SPD tab of CPU-Z 1.57
Over the several times I have talked about using CPU-Z, I have gotten numerous questions about whether it is safe to run on a production SQL Server. All I can say is that I have been using it myself for years, with absolutely no problems. Many other well-known people in the SQL Server community have been doing the same thing. I think it is an extremely valuable tool.
If you don’t feel comfortable using this tool, then don’t use it…