Lv 7
Casey asked in Computers & InternetSoftware · 5 months ago

What does it mean when a CPU speed says something like?

"1.60GHz, up to 3.90GHz with Turbo Boost"

6 Answers

  • 5 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    all modern cpu's are VARIABLE SPEED. the LOWER value is the STANDARD speed set to make the BATTERY LAST A LONG TIME(or just to be lower wattage to run coolest). The UPPER speed is only available whilst the CPU Temperature lies within Acceptable range. You can in most cases also SET a HIGHER value for the LOWER speed from within the BIOS or by using the PC makers special adjustment utility. Adjusting this speed and continuously running a cpu at the higher rate may reduce its life. Choosing a computer rated at a higher overall wattage should mean higher wattage cpu's can be fitted(with a HIGHER standard speed setting. This is usually determined by what CHIPSET the computer is made with, ie you cant just fit a different CPU. Turbo Boost is just the name that Intel ahve for their CPU features for switching the speed UP to the higher settings(for a short time).

  • 5 months ago

    If you have a CPU that goes up to 3.9ghz. that's a decent CPU what that means is the computer adjust the speed of the processor between slow and fast as needed 1.6 being the minimum speed of the processor when it's not required to have a lot of power. And during times when a lot of power is needed like when you're playing a game the computer will adjust the processor to up to 3.9ghz. having a processor with that kind of speed potential should make you happy with its performance.

    I've seen some of these computers that you get at Walmart that has a top speed of about 2 gigahertz which is a slow good-for-nothing processor in my opinion. But what you're describing you should be happy with

  • Adrian
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Turbo is usually defined for multi-core processors. With all cores running, you get the default speed, 1.6Ghz in your example. If less cores are used, and CPU demand is high, it will increase the CPU clock speed to provide more compute power to a single core.

    This is all based on the heat the CPU generates. Multi core CPU are rated at a clock speed with all cores running and get to a certain amount of heat generated. You cannot exceed that (practically). With less cores running, the CPU can increase the clock speed, causing the CPU to run hotter, but since it is less cores, the total heat dissipation of the CPU is the same (maximum).

    It's all a balancing act, automatically built into the CPU. A single core application will tend to run closer to the turbo speed. A multi-core application will tend to force the CPU clock back to its default design speed.

  • Dick
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Turbo on a CPU is sort of like the gas pedal on a car. When you press on the gas pedal your car goes faster. In the case of turbo it's based upon demand. For example, if you are playing a game and the action is sort of laid back the CPU would be running at the 1.6 GHz level. However, as the game gets more and more intense the turbo capability of the CPU will increase the speed upwards to accommodate the game play. So if it's really intense and demands more graphics, etc. the CPU may hit the 3.9 GHz level. So it's nothing more than the CPU intelligently upping it's capabilities based upon demand. Hope this helps!

    Source(s): 33 Years Computer Experience & IT Support
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 5 months ago

    Turbo Boost is an Intel thing. The processor automatically raises a processor's speed when it's able. For instance, if you have a quad-core CPU but you're only using one core, you can speed it up without it overheating because you're not using the other cores. Technically it's called 'dynamic overclocking'. The last few generations of i5, i7 and i9 have it.

  • 5 months ago

    1.6 GHz is the default speed. When it is doing a more intensive task, it can temporarily ramp itself up to 3.9 GHz.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.