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Intel Turbo Boost vs. AMD Turbo Core Explained 198

An anonymous reader recommends a PC Authority article explaining the whys and wherefores of Intel Turbo Boost and AMD Turbo Core approaches to wringing more apparent performance out of multi-core CPUs. "Gordon Moore has a lot to answer for. His prediction in the now seminal 'Cramming more components onto integrated circuits' article from 1965 evolved into Intel's corporate philosophy and have driven the semiconductor industry forward for 45 years. This prediction was that the number of transistors on a CPU would double every 18 months and has driven CPU design into the realm of multicore. But the thing is, even now there are few applications that take full advantage of multicore processers. What this has led to is the rise of CPU technology designed to speed up single core performance when an application doesn't use the other cores. Intel's version of the technology is called Turbo Boost, while AMD's is called Turbo Core. This article neatly explains how these speed up your PC, and the difference between the two approaches. Interesting reading if you're choosing between Intel and AMD for your next build."
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Intel Turbo Boost vs. AMD Turbo Core Explained

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  • by vjlen ( 187941 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @07:46PM (#32092484) Homepage

    ...Turbo switches on our workstations again like back in the day?

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @07:57PM (#32092564) Homepage

    Plus a straightforward way of figuring out how to best assign processes to particular cores? (which ones are faster and which are slower)

  • by TavisJohn ( 961472 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @08:42PM (#32092872) Homepage

    So they are bringing the Turbo Button back?

    Seriously, When I was looking at laptops, 2 laptops that were pretty much the same in specks, one had a "Turbo" CPU the other's CPU was the speed of the "Boosted" one next to it...
    The price difference... $20.00!!! I'll pay an extra $20 to have FULL SPEED ALL THE TIME!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @09:15PM (#32093094)

    Broke mine a while ago, now there's a vise-grip hanging off of one side. The real sad thing is using the original handle required less effort -- now when I come up from the basement sweating and panting with my laptop, the wife gives me funny looks.

  • by digitalhermit ( 113459 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @09:31PM (#32093190) Homepage

    Just wanted to clarify some of the misconceptions about the Turbo Boost...

    The technology is fairly simple. At it's most level, we take the exhaust from the CPU fan and route it back into the intake of the system. If you're using Linux you can see the RPM increase by running 'top' (google Linux RPM for more information).

    The turbo itself is a fairly simple technology. As you're aware, we can use pipes to stream the outputs of different applications together. In the case of Linux, we pipe the stdout stream to the stdin (the intake) of the turbo (tr) which increases the speed and feeds it into a different application. For example, we can increase the throughput of dd as follows:

            dd if=/dev/zero | tr rpm | tee /proc/cpuinfo

    This will increase the CPU speed by feeding output from dd into the turbo (and increasing the rpm) and finally pumping it back into the CPU.

    On other platforms there are some proprietary solutions. For example, take the output of Adobe AIR to HyperV to PCSpeedup! then back into the processor.

    Hope this helps...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @10:14PM (#32093464)

    Screw that.. Give me faster ram and stack it between heat pipes on top of the cpu..

  • by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @10:42PM (#32093620) Homepage

    How about, every app that runs in the background or as a tray icon by default gets a cheesy core? :-P

  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @01:48AM (#32094590) Homepage Journal

    Plus a straightforward way of figuring out how to best assign processes to particular cores? (which ones are faster and which are slower)

    Heh, trick question. You almost got me there.

    You see, Intel stack their cores from fastest to slowest in order to maximise heat dissipation. This is known as a High-Endian architecture. AMD, on the other hand, use a Low-Endian architecture, stacking their cores from slowest to fastest because they claim it lowers power usage. So the real trick when trying to figure out which cores are faster is finding a cross-platform approach that won't penalise any given processor.

    The Slaughterhouse-5[*] method says that with a non-randomised Tralfamadorean transform, you can infer where your sample data is going to end up before you actually send it there. So you just measure the incipient idiopathic latency of your unsent bytes and then apply a parsimonious lectern to the results and voilà!

    ... Why, yes, I am in Marketing. Why do you ask?

    [*] As developed by Billy Pilgrim []. Po tee-weet

The best defense against logic is ignorance.