AMD Cool 'n' Quiet, Turbo Core Impact On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 16 November 2011. Page 7 of 7. 8 Comments

While Turbo Core did not help the Unigine Tropics frame-rate, the CPU was left running much warmer.

In addition, the overall system power consumption was up.

In this brief look at Cool 'n' Quiet and Turbo Core 2.0 for AMD's latest-generation Bulldozer hardware under Linux, there is a few findings:

- Turbo Core 2.0 is beneficial under Linux. However, it is mostly beneficial for single-threaded tests or workloads that do not stress all available CPU cores/modules. When all cores/modules are under load, there was normally no difference in performance. Obviously, due to running at higher frequencies, the system power consumption and CPU temperature do noticeably rise with this feature enabled.

- Cool 'n' Quiet is good for dropping the CPU clock speeds and voltage when idling or with minimal load, which lower the operating temperature and system power consumption. When the FX-8150 is being stressed, having Cool 'n' Quiet enabled was not detrimental to the system's performance.

- The exposed "CPU power consumption" on Bulldozer CPUs and shown via the "fam15h_power" Linux hwmon driver is useless. Regardless of the features being enabled or what tests were run, this estimated power reading was mostly showing the same (125W TDP) value.

There is more data on

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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