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Intel Desktop Control Center

Frankly speaking, I wasn’t going to mention Intel Desktop Control Center (IDCC) tool, but we have already talked about it a while back, so I can’t just pretend that it never existed. In this case I would prefer to stick to just a few words, but again looks like it is not an option. Therefore, let me explain why we had to install this program at all in the first place. The thing is that “HWMonitor" utility, which I usually use couldn’t show the rotation speed of the processor cooling fan. By the way, as soon as I installed IDCC it stopped showing the voltages, too. In the meantime Intel DP55KG mainboard has very low startup fan speed of only 500 RPM. It is good, it is very quiet, but I couldn’t determine by ear if the fan rotation speed was increasing under load, namely, if the fan rotation speed control feature was working at all. To answer this question I needed to install IDCC.

The program looks exactly the same, nothing changed: a humongous window still take up half of my desktop space and this reason alone is good enough to make working with this tool extremely inconvenient. But let’s put convenience of use aside, as well as the fact that IDCC can’t show the current CPU clock frequency, and go straight to the monitoring section.

There is very little info here, just like in the corresponding section of the Intel DP55KG mainboard BIOS, but most importantly, all numbers are static. Nothing is changing: the voltages as well as fan rotation speed remain the same all the time. It doesn’t really monitor anything, but merely displays the numbers registered during program launch. By the way, you can notice that the voltage readings are different: there is 1.13 V in the mainboard window, and 1.12 V in the monitoring window, while the normal voltage settings should be 1.10 V. we saw the same exact difference at all times and in all operational modes. I wonder which of the two reported readings is in fact closer to reality?

It turned out that Everest utility suits best to monitor Intel DP55KG mainboard parameters. It controls not only the fans rotation speeds, but also all voltages, even those that are not mentioned in the IDCC, such as memory voltage. By the way, Intel DP55KG sets almost all voltages higher than what is set in the BIOS. However, we still couldn’t walk away from IDCC, because its settings have the priority over the BIOS settings. Namely, we suspected that it was the working fan rotation speed adjustment function that didn’t let the board show it real best during overclocking. Although we did disable this function in the BIOS, it turned back on immediately after we loaded Windows OS. We did increase the fan speed manually to maximum using IDCC, but even though later on we turned adjustment back on in the BIOS, the fan rotation speed again increased to its maximum after Windows loaded completely. We couldn’t lower the fan rotation speed anymore and when we tried to get back to the default settings, the program would hang.

We uninstalled IDCC and then installed it back on our system after completing all tests in order to take some screenshots for the review. And a miracle happened! After another reboot, monitoring suddenly started working! But who will actually need it if it only starts working after multiple system reboots and repeated program installations?

What else can IDCC do? It can overclock your system automatically. It requires long-term multi-step configuration procedure that takes place at night by default. Give it a try if you trust IDCC. As for me, I am confident that I can overclock my CPU better by myself.

Also, IDCC program can change almost any system parameters, starting from frequencies and voltages and ending with memory timings. However, there is one small but very serious issue here. Almost nothing happens right away. You can’t slightly adjust some selected settings right from Windows: any changes made to important parameters require a system reboot.

So, it appears that IDCC is a kind of a software superstructure over the BIOS. It is inconvenient, unreliable, unstable, and if you really have to reboot, then it would be easier to change the necessary parameter directly in the BIOS. The only advantage this program has over BIOS is the fact that it allows saving three user settings profiles, while in the BIOS you can only save one. However, this fact doesn’t highlight the advantages of the IDCC program but rather points out the drawbacks of the Intel mainboard BIOS. Other manufacturers’ solutions don’t have any restrictions like that. You may be able to find a way of using the functionality of Intel Desktop Control Center to your advantage, but I would prefer to put it aside for good.

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