PfSense performing at lowered CPU speed

  • Hi,

    I would like to know why pfSense is performing at lower CPU speed.. Below are the info from my dashboard

    Version 2.0.1-RELEASE (i386)
    built on Mon Dec 12 18:24:17 EST 2011
    FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE-p6

    Platform pfSense
    CPU Type Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.00GHz
    Current: 1500 MHz, Max: 3000 MHz

    As you can see, it only used 1500Mhz.  I have an SMP Supermicro Server with 2GB memory.

    Can anyone shed a light on this matter?

  • Netgate Administrator

    Usually that would be because you have powerd enabled which will adjusts the cpu speed as required. This saves power and keeps the cpu cooler (or the fans quieter).


  • Thank you for the info sir.  Anyway i have read the link you gave and search for that power_profile for more info.  Ill try to incorporate powerd using crontab like 100% during the day, and 50% or less during at night…

  • Netgate Administrator

    powerd is already integrated in pfSense, there is an option to enable it in  System: Advanced: Miscellaneous:
    If you haven't enabled that then something else is causing the processor to be underclocked, perhaps something in the BIOS? Is it overheating?


  • I've tried using PowerD and the CPU usage went up rather than down, it was rather puzzling.

    So if I understand this correctly its basically under clocking the CPU ….. therefor CPU usage goes up and CPU temperature falls. (Slower Clock requires more cycles to process the data therefore CPU usage goes UP)

    I did not realize Pfsense could manipulate CPU frequency, as I always thought the bios always had total control over it.

    If I'm wrong please correct me.

  • Sure, the Bios has control over it, but it's open to suggestion, as you've seen. ;)

  • Netgate Administrator


    it's open to suggestion


    The bios will usually only do any sort of CPU frequency control in response to overheating or it you've manually set the speed in the the setup.
    The dynamic frequency control that save's power during normal running has to controlled by the OS as only it knows what the current CPU loading is. As well as underclocking in any modern cpu (newer than P4) it also undervolts the cpu.


Log in to reply