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  1. #1
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    "Intel Management Engine" / "Intel Active Management Technology" ! ?

    Hi folks,

    does anybody know, how I can completely disable (on RIVE) this mysterious Intel Management Engine chip ?

    Based on my knowledge, and the articles I've read so far (there is not so much of information to be found) Intel AMT is to remotely control, repair and maintain your computer. This works also if your computer is turned off. Initially it was only part of enterprise solutions and computers. But nowadays it's on most or every Intel chipset-based board ... WTF ? Why ? I've read this chip isn't the cheapest ($25). Why would a motherboard manufacturer integrate this kind of chip on a gamer or desktop board ? Or has Intel made it impossible to get a chipset without this AMT ?

    The strange thing is, it doesn't matter if your BIOS let's you disable this chip. Windows is in any case showing it in the device manager. Based on my readings, this communication device is enabled all the time. And if a network cable is connected somebody could theoretically control/observe your computer 24/7 also if it's turned off.

    And there is more: This technology makes it possible to have some kind of "sub-layer" under the OS, which means the OS can't detect any communication or other activities which are happening between your UEFI BIOS, AMT chip, network adapter.

    Besides these mysterious facts the AMT chip also allocates an interrupt (shared with a PCIe slot) and puts a (hopefully only standby) strain on the system bus.

    I REALLY DON'T NEED AMT, because I for myself want full control of my computer and additionally I'm running out of interrupts.

    Does anybody know more about this issue?

    Is it possible to modify the BIOS and "cut" the connections to this Intel Management Engine chip ?
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  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array R4E3960X's Avatar
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    It's cool.
    Intel Core i7 3960X C2 SR0KF @3.3GHz ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME BIOS 3602 03/15/2013 16 GB GSKILL ZL 9-9-9-24-1T @1600MHz Quad Channel HIS HD7979 1050MHz GPU 1500MHz DDR5 120GB OCZ VERTEX 3 SATA 6Gbps ASUS 24X DVD Corsair AX750 WINDOWS 8 PRO X64 6.2.9200.16384 RELEASE

  3. #3
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    R4E3960X, do you know if it's possible to cut this out of BIOS or is it even a part of BIOS ?
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  4. #4
    Tech Marketing Manager HQ Array Raja@ASUS's Avatar
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    Don't know all of the intricacies of the ME as I am not a UEFI/BIOS programmer.

    Here's what I do know for fact:

    1) AMT is a Q series chipset feature ONLY these days, at least for desktop boards. The posts you have searched are likely old and based on what the original intended purpose of the ME was - AMT. That is no longer the case.


    2) There's a whole host of other things that rely on the ME and it is part of the chipset itself - you don't pay for it to be added per se. Some of the startup routines rely on the ME firmware. The clockgen and all associated buses are controlled via the ME. Without it - NO OVERCLOCKING is possible. Windows also needs the ME driver to be installed to communicate with the ME based interfaces (any on-the-fly bus adjustments for example).


    That should be enough to put your mind at rest. Do not worry, "commies" are not trying to wrestle control of your PC :P

  5. #5
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    Thanks Raja, but do I need the ME driver, when every "dynamic" or onthefly adjustment is turned off in the BIOS?

    I'm trying to get the lowest DPC latencies and ISRs, because I want a somewhat "real-time" OS for audio and video applications. So I've configured my BIOS, Power Management, Clocks and OS for FULL STATIC performance.

    Do I need Intel ME driver in this case?
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  6. #6
    Tech Marketing Manager HQ Array Raja@ASUS's Avatar
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    Leave it out and if everything functions as you need it to, no need to install. If any monitoring tools stop responding then you know what you need to do...

  7. #7
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array R4E3960X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaptor View Post
    R4E3960X, do you know if it's possible to cut this out of BIOS or is it even a part of BIOS ?
    As I know, Intel new Management Engine like RAJA@ASUS said. There're many parts of CPU need it to be run.
    For RAMPAGE IV Series motherboards, Intel Management Engine has two components working together same as Intel SATA/RAID ROM.

    First was firmware, it was a binary file size 1.5 MB need to be flash to update like bios under DOS or Windows 98 Bootable
    USB with following command. " C:\> Fwupdlcl -f [XXXX].bin " for examples, original R4E came with 7.1.21.1134 firmware.

    Second was driver, it was driver to run on Windows working together with those firmware above, In case of R4E, the lastest WHQL is way to old 7.1.21.1134 release late 2011, too.

    Lastest firmware for our platform is 7.1.52.1176 and lastest driver for our platform is 8.1.0.1191 (BETA)

    As tested with my system. It look like lastest firmware 7.1.52.1176 working with 8.1.0.1191 driver extremely well both Windows 7 SP1 and 8 RTM.

    Intel Core i7 3960X C2 SR0KF @3.3GHz ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME BIOS 3602 03/15/2013 16 GB GSKILL ZL 9-9-9-24-1T @1600MHz Quad Channel HIS HD7979 1050MHz GPU 1500MHz DDR5 120GB OCZ VERTEX 3 SATA 6Gbps ASUS 24X DVD Corsair AX750 WINDOWS 8 PRO X64 6.2.9200.16384 RELEASE

  8. #8
    ROG Guru: Brown Belt Array HalloweenWeed's Avatar
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    I became aware of this when I researched a driver for my new Zenbook. Using a quick Google search i put together this summary:

    Intel Management Engine Interface is a software interface system for Intel's VPRO remote access technology. VPRO is a chip in the mobo that can communicate and be activated even when the computer is off, even without external RAM, and can be used to initiate a restore cycle to rebuild the OS to original state (using the restore partition). It is designed for use with remote session software, to be used with OEM (or enterprise) technical support. IMEI is the OS software component of this, to be used when the computer is booted.

    I uninstalled it on my Zenbook and every time I boot now I get 'Windows failed to install driver' with NO info on what device it was, and I have no yellow "!" triangle on any devices in device manager. FYI.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator - Coderat Array Nodens PC Specs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaptor View Post
    Thanks Raja, but do I need the ME driver, when every "dynamic" or onthefly adjustment is turned off in the BIOS?

    I'm trying to get the lowest DPC latencies and ISRs, because I want a somewhat "real-time" OS for audio and video applications. So I've configured my BIOS, Power Management, Clocks and OS for FULL STATIC performance.

    Do I need Intel ME driver in this case?
    You should have the driver installed anyhow. It won't affect DPC/ISR. Since I see you using Win8 and since I am actively troubleshooting DPC/ISR issues currently these are the facts for dropping DPC latency:

    Disable EIST and C-States.
    Disable Power saving features on PCI-Express cards, USB devices and Network NICs.
    Disable any NIC you are not using.
    Disable bluetooth if you are not using it.
    Use HPET as the only timer. (bcdedit /set useplatformclock true) while HPET is enabled in UEFI.
    Disable dynamic ticks (bcdedit /set disabledynamicticks on).

    Will all the above I am able to get down to <20 microseconds DPC latency BUT there are spikes caused by Win8 immature drivers.

    In my performance analysis so far Video and Network drivers on Win8 are the biggest source of of DPC latency spikes.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can notice where the spikes happen and at what functions (unfortunately I don't have symbols for the nvidia driver -- the bad side of being small fish:P).

    PS Do not use the DPC Latency Checker to check your latency it doesn't handle the Win8 changes in Interrupt requests. Use WPA/xperf if you know how to use it or latencymon which is almost accurate (Latencymon causes several spikes itself so only rely on it when you can't use WPA/xperf).

    EDIT: If you have abnormal spikes or very high average after doing the above, let me know and I'll tell you how to create a trace so you can upload it somewhere and I can take a look at it.
    Last edited by Nodens; 10-09-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Nodens, until now I've tested DPC/ISR with the latest LatencyMon. It looks similar to your analysis. nvlddmkm.sys and dxgkrnl.sys have the highest peaks (around 400 to 500 microseconds). If I remember correctly I had almost the same result on my old system (Phenom X4 940, W7, GTX470). At this point I only would like get rid of this nvlddmkm.sys spikes and the page faults (Can I rely on this result depending page faults?), which LatencyMon is showing. Did you post your results on any Nvidia-related forum ? I'm sure this is the Nvidia driver.

    I have done all of the optimizations you've mentioned and tried different other things. For example I have tried to put my 1394b (my audio interface RME Fireface 800 is connected to this card) PCIe on other slots, where the card didn't work at all.

    Could you please explain how the new interrupt structure works in W8 ? I've heard all devices are using only one interrupt.

    Anyway, I'll reinstall W8 again (ohh, how I love this ...), download WPA xperf and test again - definitely for the last time - I have a lot of work to do.

    Is this the right thing for W8 to get WPA xperf ? :
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/wind.../hh852363.aspx

    I'm happy that there is somebody else who also needs to have a snappy pseudo-real-time-OS Hopefully we can solve the Nvidia issues.
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