Turbo Boost?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Benk3350, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Benk3350 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2010
    So what exactly is turboboost?

    I just ordered the 15" maxed out, and it says turbo boost up to 3.8ghz which is pretty ridiculous? This is the actual clock speed it can go up to?

    I went for the 2.6 because I wanted the highest CPU I could get. But if the 2.0 can actually go to 3.2ghz like it says, well that would be more than enough for me. I'm in video editing, but I doubt I would ever utilize a 3.8ghz quad core. I figured the 2.6 was a lot and I paid a lot more for it, but I guess I could have gotten the 2.0 with tons of performance for way less of a price? I think?

    Am I understanding this right? Could someone clarify this turboboost thing for me?
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    In electronics, 'turbo' means temporary or limited. In flashlights for example, it's a power level that can be reached while the LED is cold but cut off when to much heat has built up. This is the same idea.

    The CPU can't sustain the higher rate, so the system saves it until it's needed, gives it to you as long as it can, then cuts back down. Basically automatic overclocking.

    I usually get the second best CPU and put the extra cash into ram or SSD space.
  3. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Usually Turbo Boost is only used when one core is needed. So if you have an app which is not using multiple cores, the single core it uses can go up to 3.8Ghz. This is no problem as the other cores are near idle then and not using any power.
  4. TheCakeIsALie macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    Actually turbo is not temporary max clock speed. it is not sustained in the sense that if a process suddenly needs to process something it will boost up to the highest clock and spin back down to idle again if nothing is demanding cpu. however if a program is continuously demanding cpu power (e.g. video transcoding), the turbo clock speed will be maintained.

    you can see the max turbo speeds for the new haswell cpus in the link below (single core, dual core, and quad core max turbos are all on it). only the 4850hq is on it (the 2.3ghz rMBP) as the 2.6ghz chip is newer than that image, but you can get an idea of the speed.

    http://images.anandtech.com/doci/6993/Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 7.58.44 PM.png
  5. applegeek25 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2010
    Windsor, ON / Austin, TX
    Exactly. Turbo Boost is simply a fancy term for automatic over-clocking. It is a built-in feature that is activated under certain situations where additional performance is temporarily needed (i.e. to accommodate several CPU-intensive tasks at once). In my experience, typical users will rarely do anything that would cause turbo boost to activate.

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