Next Generation Turbo Boost

Turbo Boost is a technology that automatically overclocks the CPU when the CPU “asks” for more processing power. In the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture this technology was revised in order to allow the CPU to exceed its TDP (Thermal Design Power) for up to 25 seconds – i.e., to dissipate more heat than officially allowed. This is possible because the heatsink and components are still cold. See Figure 6.

Sandy BridgeFigure 6: Next generation Turbo Boost

Also, the CPU cores and graphics controller “share” TDP between them. For example, if the graphics core isn’t dissipating a lot of heat, this gives extra TDP to the CPU cores to use, allowing them to run at a higher clock rate and at a TDP higher than the official rating (labeled “Specified Core Power” in Figure 7), if applications are demanding more processing power, of course. See Figure 7.

Sandy BridgeFigure 7: TDP can be balanced between CPU cores and graphics processor

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.