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Intel Turbo Boost

Intel Turbo Boost is a technology implemented by Intel in certain versions of its processors that enables the processor to run above its base operating frequency via dynamic control of the processor’s clock rate. Processor generations supporting this feature are based on the Nehalem (Turbo Boost 1.0), Sandy Bridge (Turbo Boost 2.0), Ivy BridgeHaswell,BroadwellSkylake and Broadwell-E (Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0) microarchitectures, while the examples of Turbo-Boost-enabled processors are the Core i5 and Core i7 series. Turbo Boost is activated when the operating system requests the highest performance state of the processor. Processor performance states are defined by the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification, an open standard supported by all major operating systems; no additional software or drivers are required to support the technology. The design concept behind Turbo Boost is commonly referred to as “dynamic overclocking“.

The increased clock rate is limited by the processor’s powercurrent and thermal limits, as well as the number of cores currently in use and the maximum frequency of the active cores. When the workload on the processor calls for faster performance, and the processor is below its limits, the processor’s clock will increase the operating frequency in regular increments as required to meet demand. Frequency increases occur in increments of 133 MHz for Nehalem processors and 100 MHz for Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell and Skylake processors. When any of the electrical or thermal limits are reached, the operating frequency automatically decreases in decrements of 133 or 100 MHz until the processor is again operating within its design limits. Turbo Boost 2.0 was introduced in 2011 with the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture.