Disabling Intel Turbo Boost in Mac OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jim468, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. jim468 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    Turbo boost is an awesome feature, but usually it makes the system generate more heat and eventually more noise.

    In Windows, turbo boost can be safely disabled so that one can keep the system noise and heat in check.

    I was wondering can this be also done in OS X? I came across this link, has anyone tried it?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's only during periods of high demands on system resources. Disabling it will mean that such periods of increased heat and fan noise will last even longer, since the Turbo Boost would have accomplished the resource-intensive tasks quicker. I can't think of a single sensible reason to disable it.
  3. jim468 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    You cannot think of a single sensible reason because you have not tried it yourself. It may seem that it cannot help much, but it makes a significant difference when using application that make high CPU usage throughout their running time, for example video conferencing in Skype.

    I run Windows 7 on my MBA and disabling turbo boost does not give me any "noticeable" performance hit, but instead it keeps the laptop significantly cool and the fans run at max 3K RPM instead of 6K.
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Do you realise how quickly tb kicks in and then stops?
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Who cares why? He is asking if he can, not whether he should or whatnot lol

    There might be a 3rd party tweak out there. I don't think the option is there in OSX
  6. jim468 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    Yes I do.

    Thank you for understanding my question and responding.
  7. ZackehSoul macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2012
    I began to wonder about this recently and I find it a lot better to have TB disabled, purely for the fact that I can actually have my MacBook Pro on my knee at all times without burning myself!

    If you're comfortable with command lines just load the kernel module from here.

    If you need it clearing up:

    • Download the source as a .zip (there's a button at the top of the page on the left) and extract it on your Mac.
    • Make sure you have XCode installed via the App Store. Once installed open it and go to XCode>Preferences>Downloads menu, and make sure to install the Command Line tools.
    • Once you've done that, open a Terminal in the extracted folder's location and type

    make load
    This should solve your issue and disable TB. You should notice the difference straight away (I did).

    Good luck!
  8. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    No, but it should work (changes a value in the model specific register (MSR), exactly what the kernel does).

    If you want to test the speed, use this test:

    Is it really much faster?
  9. jim468 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    Thanks for this. It's good to know that you noticed a difference.

    Thanks. Once I test, I will post the results.
  10. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    Am I wrong in thinking that Mac OS X disables TB by default when working on a battery?
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    I'm sure it's hardware based on that front don't quote me though
  12. ScottLind macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2012
    Sorry for digging up this old thread...

    But does this work on Mountain Lion? I can't make it work. I'm able to disable Turbo Boost in Windows, and it works incredibly, and the heat and noise problems are gone. But I would like it to be quite while using Mountain Lion as well.

    I've downloaded Command Line Tool from Xcode and tried to make load in Terminal, but I just get this message: *** No targets specified and no makefile found. Stop.

    Help please...

    - Scott
  13. jim468, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013

    jim468 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    I am able to load/unload it on ML. I followed the readme instructions and it worked fine.

    I was able to bring my fan RPM from 5-6k to ~2k (under load).

    You error states that it was not able to find the make file.

    Did you do "make" before "make load"?
  14. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have the exact same error as post #12

    Where does the terminal window have to be (what folder to open it in) to find the "make" command??

    I tried lots of the xcode folders... no luck!
  15. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Seems really drastic measures, when you can simply get a fan control application and raise the temperature thresholds for when the fans kick in full blast.
  16. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    im asking for a friend about this as well. her macbook pro is overheating when gaming. She has tried many things to disable TB under OSX.

    Seems like a major oversight not to allow users to do it!?
  17. jim468, Nov 27, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013

    jim468 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    Hi. It has to be in this folder that you just downloaded. You will not find a "make" command in the downloaded directory. Instead a "makefile". All you have to do is type "make" in the terminal window and hit return. And then continue with the rest of the instructions.


    This is not the best way. By increasing the threshold you are increasing the risk of overheating the system, and potentially reducing its life.


    I am not sure, but disabling TB may reduce gaming performance at the cost of fan noise (assuming some parts of the game are CPU intensive).
  18. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    When you refer to the file I just downloaded you mean the "DisableTurboBoost.kext" from nonoant right? If so I missed that before. I thought this was just an xcode command.

    If I now understand correctly I am Not so sure I want to try a 3rd party kext as opposed to some actual apple app for this.

    THANKS though!
  19. priitv8, Dec 7, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I would say this damn thing really works! I HandBraked a 1080p movie and the results are as follows:
    And the most interesting notion from this test: the conversion speed didn't change at all! Avg 21fps with Turbo Boost on or off!

    Attached Files:

  20. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Wilmington, DE
    That is well and nice, but I would not be comfortable running the CPU for operating temps exceeding 100C for any extended duration. Ivy Bridge series have a Tjmax of 105C before the processor will halt to prevent physical damage.
  21. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Handbrake uses all cores. Turbo boost only kicks in if you are NOT using all cores.
  22. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Yes, but how do you explain the substantial lowering of CPU Core temp? Does this same MSR bit also lower max permissible junction temp?
  23. bkribbs, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013

    bkribbs macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2012
    I would like to know as well.

    EDIT- Well disabling it in windows made a huge difference but I see no difference with handbrake as you did.

    You just make, and then make install right?
  24. bkribbs macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2012
    Also what app is this?
  25. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    No, I installed the Turbo Boost Switcher for OS X it has everything compiled and built plus a nice menubar item to trigger the switch.
    Just make sure you run the app from /Applications directory, because it contains the necessary kext and will not make much noise if it fails to call the kext. Just a message in system.log will reveal that the calling on kext failed. If it can't successfully execute the kext, it can't change the MSR register and Turbo Boost status is unchanged. But the label on menubar does change, thereby giving you wrong impression as if the program didn't work.
    See above.


    Didn't get your point! After disabling Turbo Boost I consistently run under 90 degrees centigrade. That's with 680% CPU load on all 4 cores. And the best part - fans remain inaudible!

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