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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Intel i5-2500 CPU Features Missing in Action

    I've had an Intel Core i5-2500 (no "K" or "S" on the end) that I've been using for about a year as my home server, running Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V. The main reason I purchased this processor was that according to Intel's web site it has VT-x, VT-d, and AES-NI features. I need to be able to use very fast AES encryption/decryption, and I also run a virtual machine (sometimes two).

    However, a while ago I had been noticing that TrueCrypt says that encryption/decryption was NOT hardware accelerated. Recently the throughput from my encrypted partition has been very slow ever since I changed it from AES to AES-Twofish. So I finally downloaded, installed, and ran Intel's processor identification utility. It tells me that my i5-2500 does NOT have AES new instructions, nor VT-x (virtualization technologies). Has anyone heard of this before? Was there a time when Intel was selling the i5-2500 without these features? Or do I have some kind of knock-off, fake, or mislabeled CPU?

    I've got an ASRock H67M mobo. The general setting "Virtualization" is enabled in the AsRock UEFI, and at another section "VT-d" is also enabled. But I've been over the UEFI three times and can find no setting for enabling or disabling either AES or VT-x. I've updated the BIOS to the latest and still no AES-NI or virtualization features on the processor according to Intel's CPU ID program.

    Should I assume this cheap, early ASRock mobo doesn't support those features through the BIOS? Anyone have any ideas? I obviously didn't get what I thought I was getting when I got this processor and motherboard combination.

    Mike

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    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    The best thing to do would be to go to the ASRock website & find out.If your mobo in question does or does not,support the features you have in question.
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Also, check for a BIOS update while you're there.

    Jerry

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    Thanks, I already updated the BIOS and it didn't help. An interesting thing happened, though. I just bought a new Gibabyte mobo (GA-Z77-D3H) that support Ivy Bridge, also a new I7-3770 CPU. When I first installed Windows Server 2008 R2 on it and ran Intel's CPU ID utility, it reported back that virtualization and AES were both present. Now, after a re-load of BIOS from the backup version, a re-install of Server 2008 R2, patching it and adding "roles", Intel's utility now reports that neither virtualization or AES are present on the chip. This despite the fact that VT-x and virtualization are "enabled" in BIOS. I cannot find any setting for AES in the BIOS, neither is it mentioned in the PDF of the mobo manual. I'm thinking perhaps the Server OS for some reason kills these features, although that doesn't make any sense.

    I did get a chance, yesterday, to run a benchmark with TrueCrypt (using RAM) while the AES feature was present, and using AES it scored 3.4 GB/sec. Now, with the feature missing, it only gets 565 MB/sec.

    Just finished loading Optimized Default setting for BIOS, no help. Then cleared BIOS and reset everything, no help either.

    I'll try installing a copy of Windows 7 and see if that makes any difference. At a minimum the problem will remain, which means it's probably a BIOS issue, or, if those features show up in Windows 7, that means it's a software/OS issue.

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    Just re-loaded Server 2008 R2 and first and only thing I did was install the Intel CPU utility. ALL features are present! Then installed TrueCrypt and AES confirmed. Now I'm installing motherboard drivers one-by-one and confirming that all CPU features are present and accounted for, and after LAN, chipset drivers, and audio drivers installed, everything's fine so far. I'm not going to install the Intel RST (disk) driver -- I'm afraid that might kill my CPU features and waste the last hour of my time. It's still possible that it's a Windows update that killed my CPU features, so this process will be a slow slog, but eventually, if those features do disappear, I will know what caused it.

  6. #6
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    I found the answer for anyone interested. Installing the Hyper-V role in Server 2008 R2 disables AES-NI and, it seems, virtualization technology in the processor. However, virtualization may still be working, I may just be getting a mis-read because once Hyper-V is installed, your root partition is seen as a virtual machine. Here is what I found on Intel blog:

    5. Re: S5520HC Bios bug, Virtualization and AES-NI


    Edward @ Intel Nov 18, 2010 10:17 AM (in response to neominky)I'm not 100% sure, but I guess it's the same reason - AES-NI is not available in a virtualized environment. Remember that "after installing the Hyper-V role, the Root OS (or the parent partition) which holds the Hyper-V role is also seen as a virtual machine"


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