Try changing HPET settings to improve your PC's performance - gHacks Tech News

Try changing HPET settings to improve your PC's performance

The High Precision Event Timer (HPET) is a hardware timer that has been developed by Intel and Microsoft. HPET is used in PC chipsets for nearly a decade.

Different timers may be used depending on which operating system you have installed on your PC, and tweaking the timers may improve the overall performance of your PC as a result. This is mostly useful for gaming related activities and other real-time activities that tax the system a lot.

The first thing that you need to find out is if HPET is supported by your system. You need to go into the BIOS or UEFI setup during boot to find out. Since there are that many different versions out there it is hard to say where you will find the setting on your system. I found the setting under Advanced Mode > Advanced > PCH Configuration > High Precision Timer.

windows timer test

Enabling or disabling the timer in BIOS is only one part of the change that you have to make though. Windows may use different timers as said earlier even if the HPET timer is enabled in the BIOS.

You need to run the following commands on the command line in Windows to enable or disable the exclusive use of the HPET timer.

  • Tap on the Windows-key, enter cmd, right-click cmd.exe in the results listing and select to run the command prompt with administrative privileges.
  • To enable HPET as the only timer run the command bcdedit /set useplatformclock true
  • To disable HPET in Windows run the command bcdedit /deletevalue useplatformclock

There are a couple of tests that you can run to see if the performance is better when the timer is enabled or disabled on your system. While you can check that out playing games or other applications as well, it is usually a good idea to run the following two programs as well:

WinTimerTest is a lightweight portable program that displays timer related information to you. You should get a value of around 14.3 MHz if HPET is enabled, and less than that, usually 3.9 MHz if it is disabled. You can download it with a click on the following link: Windows Timer Tester

DPC Latency Checker is the second program that tests how the computer handles real-time data streams.

I suggest you run both programs before you make any change to your system, and then again after you have made changes. Not everyone is noticing improvements after enabling HPET in both the BIOS / UEFI and the Windows operating system. Some notice slow downs and others that micro-stutters go away after disabling the timer on their system. So, it is definitely a good idea to test all possible settings to see if one makes a difference for you.

Summary
Try changing HPET settings to improve your PC's performance
Article Name
Try changing HPET settings to improve your PC's performance
Description
Find out how to detect timer settings on a Windows PC, to change them to improve performance, and to measure the performance using benchmarks.
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Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
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    Comments

    1. Capprice said on April 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm
      Reply

      So why are the cmd commands exactly the same?

    2. Robbie K said on April 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm
      Reply

      Should the commands be:

      [To enable:] bcdedit /set useplatformclock true
      [To disable:] bcdedit /deletevalue useplatformclock

      and reboot.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm
        Reply

        The commands start with bcdedit

    3. Keith Petersen said on April 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm
      Reply

      Martin, you missed the point. Look at the total command lines you posted. They are identical. Both say delete.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm
        Reply

        Sorry you are right, the command to enable is bcdedit /set useplatformclock true

    4. Rene V said on April 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm
      Reply

      Does this work on AMD systems?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 20, 2013 at 2:33 am
        Reply

        Yes it works on AMD systems as well.

    5. pilzy said on April 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm
      Reply

      +1 for the AMD query. Is this an intel only exercise?

    6. JohnMWhite said on April 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm
      Reply

      What sort of improvement could you expect to get? Is it noticeable or simply notional much of the time? I understand that this will vary widely based on hardware, but I’d be interested in hearing the results from other users and if it tends to make a significant difference.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 20, 2013 at 2:07 am
        Reply

        John, that is understandable. Some users reported more fps and better response times in games, while others claimed that turning it off removed micro-stutters in games. You can’t really break anything by enabling or disabling the setting, as you can always go back to the default setting in the end.

        If you are experiencing issues while playing games or doing real-time activities, then it may make sense to try the tweak. If everything is golden and all you can hope for are a couple fps more (which you may not even notice) then it is not really something that I would start to test as the gain is not worth it.

    7. pilzy said on April 20, 2013 at 4:24 am
      Reply

      I use my PC as DAW, (Digital Audio Workstation) running Ableton Live 9 and other audio production software so I am hoping this technique will avail some extra power.

      As soon as I have tried I will post a response.

      Thanks for sharing the knowledge. =)

    8. beemeup2 said on April 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm
      Reply

      It may also help to maximize the NT timer resolution, which can help lower your DPC latency and make certain programs much more responsive. There are two programs I know of that can do this:

      Timer Resolution: http://www.lucashale.com/timer-resolution/
      Fidelizer: http://www.windowsxlive.net/fidelizer/

    9. gagulik said on December 14, 2014 at 7:09 am
      Reply

      useplatformclock [ yes | no ]
      Forces the use of the platform clock as the system’s performance counter.

      *Note This option should only be used for debugging.
      How can it improve perf. if it enables debugging ?

      http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff542202(v=vs.85).aspx

    10. ghost said on July 1, 2015 at 3:43 am
      Reply

      What was the first program? Says download not found.

      1. WAZAAAAA said on September 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm
        Reply
    11. william said on September 8, 2016 at 9:26 pm
      Reply

      for me there’s barely any difference in latency or performance between hpet on and off except this: https://s19.postimg.org/nv23mw32r/hpet.jpg

    12. Anupa said on March 21, 2018 at 4:05 pm
      Reply

      When I try to disable it through cmd, I get the message, “An error occurred while attempting to delete the specified data element. Element not found.” Can someone please help?

      1. Exosetnza said on March 22, 2018 at 6:06 pm
        Reply

        That means you already have it disabled by default. I had the same message when going through the Ryzen tweaks and asked the question myself.

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