So I have this Dual Intel Silver 4116 CPU server that will set the MHz to 132 randomly, the server becomes unusable after that point. Even reboots don't restore the MHz, only driving to the data centre and powering off the server for 10 seconds or so restores to 800 MHz (Idling clock speed).

I have:

  • disabled the intel_pstate driver and verified that acpi-cpufreq are running
  • set the governer to both performance or userspace
  • set the frequency manually
roderick@super:~$ cpupower frequency-info
analyzing CPU 0:
    driver: acpi-cpufreq
    CPUs which run at the same hardware frequency: 0
    CPUs which need to have their frequency coordinated by software: 0
    maximum transition latency: 10.0 us
    hardware limits: 800 MHz - 2.10 GHz
    available frequency steps:  2.10 GHz, 2.10 GHz, 2.00 GHz, 1.90 GHz, 1.80 GHz, 1.70 GHz, 1.60 GHz, 1.50 GHz, 1.40 GHz, 1.30 GHz, 1.20 GHz, 1.10 GHz, 1000 MHz, 900 MHz, 800 MHz
    available cpufreq governors: conservative ondemand userspace powersave performance schedutil
    current policy: frequency should be within 1.80 GHz and 1.80 GHz.
                    The governor "userspace" may decide which speed to use
                    within this range.
    current CPU frequency: Unable to call hardware
    current CPU frequency: 136 MHz (asserted by call to kernel)
    boost state support:
    Supported: yes
    Active: yes

roderick@super:~$ lscpu
Architecture:        x86_64
CPU op-mode(s):      32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order:          Little Endian
CPU(s):              48
On-line CPU(s) list: 0-47
Thread(s) per core:  2
Core(s) per socket:  12
Socket(s):           2
NUMA node(s):        2
Vendor ID:           GenuineIntel
CPU family:          6
Model:               85
Model name:          Intel(R) Xeon(R) Silver 4116 CPU @ 2.10GHz
Stepping:            4
CPU MHz:             132.425
CPU max MHz:         2101.0000
CPU min MHz:         800.0000
BogoMIPS:            4200.00
Virtualisation:      VT-x
L1d cache:           32K
L1i cache:           32K
L2 cache:            1024K
L3 cache:            16896K
NUMA node0 CPU(s):   0-11,24-35
NUMA node1 CPU(s):   12-23,36-47
Flags:               fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc art arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc cpuid aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 sdbg fma cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid dca sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm abm 3dnowprefetch cpuid_fault epb cat_l3 cdp_l3 invpcid_single pti intel_ppin ssbd mba ibrs ibpb stibp tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 hle avx2 smep bmi2 erms invpcid rtm cqm mpx rdt_a avx512f avx512dq rdseed adx smap clflushopt clwb intel_pt avx512cd avx512bw avx512vl xsaveopt xsavec xgetbv1 xsaves cqm_llc cqm_occup_llc cqm_mbm_total cqm_mbm_local dtherm ida arat pln pts hwp hwp_act_window hwp_epp hwp_pkg_req pku ospke

I am stumped as to how the CPU MHZ can drop like this, it's not overheating or over using I am logging temp and utilisation.

Setting the frequency under performance or userspace governers has no effect.

roderick@super:~$ sudo cpupower --cpu all frequency-set --freq 800MHz
Setting cpu: 0
Setting cpu: 1
... omitted for clarity
Setting cpu: 46
Setting cpu: 47

(In response to comment)

  • The server is about 6 months old, it's in a datacentre and I'm unaware how to upgrade the BIOS/if an update is available / how to do it (open to visiting and trying).
  • It seem's I'm running the latest microcode
roderick@super:~$ dmesg | grep microcode
[    0.000000] microcode: microcode updated early to revision 0x200004d, date = 2018-05-15
[  141.175011] microcode: sig=0x50654, pf=0x1, revision=0x200004d
[  141.359854] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.2.

roderick@super:~$ sudo apt-get install intel-microcode
[sudo] password for roderick: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
intel-microcode is already the newest version (3.20180807a.0ubuntu0.18.04.1).
  • This behaviour started about a week ago, it's a 48 core computer that was running at 80% capicity for 48 hours on end with no hickups for 6 months. But now I push it up to about 20% capacity and it drops the clock from between 800-2100 MHz to 132 MHz. If I restart it and let it idle, it's fine, but then when I run my machine learning stuff on it it goes down.
  • Have you tried to apply latest BIOS? In your Linux, do you have some recent microcode for Intel? Does it behave like this all the time or from some time? If not always, was there some action which could have triggered it? – Jaroslav Kucera Apr 12 at 9:42
  • @JaroslavKucera I have responded via edit – Roderick Obrist Apr 13 at 1:11
  • I downloaded instructions to update my BIOS, I'm going to give that a try. I'll keep you posted – Roderick Obrist Apr 13 at 2:09

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