View Full Version : What the hell is "turbo boost"?

Jul 27, 2010, 01:26 PM
Why have I not seen this talked about before?

Jul 27, 2010, 01:28 PM
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology (http://www.intel.com/technology/turboboost/)

Intel® Turbo Boost Technology¹ is one of the many exciting features that Intel has built into latest-generation Intel® microarchitecture codename Nehalem.
It automatically allows processor cores to run faster than the base operating frequency if it's operating below power, current, and temperature specification limits.

via "intel turbo boost (http://www.google.com/search?q=intel%20turbo%20boost&oe=utf-8&biw=1502&bih=837&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=iw)"

Jul 27, 2010, 01:28 PM
performance enhancer for single threaded apps.

Jul 27, 2010, 01:28 PM
It temporarily shuts down the unnecessary cores and overclocks the remaining cores in order to produce better performance in apps that cannot utilize all cores


Jul 27, 2010, 01:29 PM
TurboBoost has been around since the original Intel Nehalem-core CPUs launched.

Basically, when the CPU detects single-threaded operation, it turns off unused cores to dynamically overclock itself for better performance.

It's supported by Core i3, Core i5 (dual-core models) and Core i7 processors, as well as Nehalem-based Xeons.

Jul 27, 2010, 01:31 PM
Turbo boost is a form of built-in overclocking that Intel has implemented in the Nehalem architecture.

It uses thermal headroom due to a couple of cores being inactive, to increase the clock multiplier on one or two cores that are actively processing, thus increasing their clock speed.

So a CPU that is rated for 2.93x4 can actually operate with 2 cores at 3.3GHz while 2 cores are effectivly shut-down/idle.

It effectively offers the best of both worlds... fast clocks for single-threaded workloads and more cores for multi-threaded workloads, without exceeding the thermal design limits of the system.

It's a great feature.

Jul 27, 2010, 01:32 PM
oh... so... nothing special if all cores are being used.

Jul 27, 2010, 01:43 PM
oh... so... nothing special if all cores are being used.

Not exactly.

If all cores are being used, it can increase too (depending on the processor). For example on the i5-750, if two cores are being used, and two cores are shut off, then it will overclock those two cores to 3.2ghz, but if all cores are being used, it can overclock all cores to 2.8ghz.

Depends on the processor.