Intel Turbo Boost

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The Intel Turbo Boost performance features are three in number and can be explained as follows:

•           Higher Single – Task Performance: when only one core is in use – as when only one single – threaded application is active, Intel Turbo Boost Technology provides performance only to a single nucleus, the active one.

•           Moderate – Multitasking: when two of the four cores of a quad – core processor are enabled, the Intel Turbo Boost Technology automatically increases the frequency of both active cores which results in better performance for both tasks.

•           Complex Multitasking capabilities: even if all cores are active, the Intel Turbo Boost Technology increases performance for all tasks as long as the processor is operating under all thermal and electrical specifications imposed by the manufacturer.

Turning Point Technology (Source: intel.com)

Turning Point Technology (Source: intel.com)

I talked about what Intel Turbo Boost brings in terms of performance but I think I should provide and example pf how exactly it works. Let's say you use a program that is well optimized for running on processors with multiple cores (eg. Photoshop CS 5) and can benefit from their performance, meaning that all 4 cores of the processor will be active (occupied) so not too  much room remains for a significant frequency boost (Turbo Boost), because then the CPU would not fit in the limits mentioned above. But even in these conditions (possible), the frequency limits can get an increase in frequency (2 * 133 MHz) is possible. The above scenario unfortunately is not found in most applications and do not forget that the CPU taken as example is able to work on 8 threads simultaneously. So this is a fantastic parallelism. AMD processors can not work simultaneously in more threads than many cores.

Turning Point Technology (Source: instablogsimages.com)

Turning Point Technology (Source: instablogsimages.com)

It is well known that most games are not really optimized to use multi – core technology (especially over 3 or 4 cores even if the situation is improving lately). So basically we have a high – performance processor with 4 cores but unfortunately it will not help us to achieve better performance in games. Usually, frequency matters more than the presence of several cores and so, a dual – core with a higher frequency can produce higher FPS than a quad – core and I find that completely outrageous!

Since the game can not really use the other two cores, they become inactive, and to compensate this Turbo Boost will increase the frequency of active cores making your game act better.