How does Intel Turbo Boost Technology improve performance on the new Core i5, i7 series of chips

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I'm curious about the new innovations in Intel's Core i5 and i7 series of chips, in particular the Turbo Boost Technology. (Doesn't turbo boost remind you of Knight Rider?)

What are the details on how it works? Is it a marketing gimmick or are there some serious and impressive performance numbers behind Turbo Boost Technology?

Are we likely to need better power supplies and even bigger heat sinks and fans with these new chips?

Best Answer

  • Turbo Boost can increase the clock speed of each core individually to get more performance out of the chip.

    Basically, if the current application workload isn't keeping all four cores fully busy and pushing right up against the chip's TDP (Thermal Design Power) limit, Turbo Boost can increase the clock speed of each core individually to get more performance out of the chip.

    Example: For the Core i7-920XM, that maximum speed bin is 3.2GHz, not the 2GHz value which is marked on the part. In principle, the 920XM could run all of its cores at 3.2GHz all the time if enough power was available and if the heat sink could keep the chip cool. (This is why Turbo Boost isn't like consumer overclocking: the chip is operating within its design specifications at all times.)

    Read the full article:

    Explaining Intel's Turbo Boost technology

    Are we likely to need better power supplies and even bigger heat sinks and fans with these new chips?

    I suppose, if you improve cooling you can push the limits further with Turbo Boost, as it is linked to the thermal design specifications.

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