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Info: Intel SpeedStep Technology/Thermal Throttling

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Another Intel guide for me. I used to have a SpeedStep Technology guide, however it was not detailed enough so I’m writing another one now. We also did have a Thermal Throttling guide, however it was copied and has been deleted so I will include information on TM1+TM2 in this guide.

Intel SpeedStep Technology.

This technology is older than many of you think, it was originally used in mobile laptops to increase battery life but it has now been cleverly adapted to the desktop. There are many features of SpeedStep Technology but I am only going to talk about the common parts which are used in this generation of it, mainly desktop varients.

Some of you may own an Intel 600, 800 or 900 series (excluding 820) Intel processor. These processors include the newest version of Intel’s SpeedStep technology. What it does in these processors is drop the standard multiplier down to a x14 multiplier. This reduces the clock speed but also allows the system to automatically reduce the system voltage. This reduces the power usage of the processor when its idle and obviously you have a reduction in operating temperature. When you start to use the processor again it will increase the voltage and raise the multiplier back up to its original value. The Frontside bus (FSB) remains constant throughout and does not change, so you will loose no bandwidth.


Question: How do I switch it off?

Answer: There are 2 ways to do this.

BIOS.
  • Either enter your BIOS and disable it from the CPU Configuration Menu
Operating System Based.
  • Or Enter Windows 2000 and go to Control Panel > Power Options and select the advanced button, then click disable Intel SpeedStep Technology.
  • Or Enter Windows XP and go to Control Panel > Power Options and select “always on”
Either of these 2 ways will disable it.


Note: Intel SpeedStep Technology is unavaliable in Linux, MAC and other none based Microsoft Operating Systems, unless they contain modifications to enable it.


Intel Thermal Throttling Technology.

The first is in the form of TM1 (Thermal Monitor 1). If the CPU reaches a certain temperature this technology inserts idle clock cycles into the system to try and cool it down. This is called Thermal Throttling. As it is inserting idle clock cycles this means that less clock cycles can be used to process data, thus a decrease in processing power is noticed.

The second is called TM2 (Thermal Monitor 2). This is the main part of Intel SpeedStep Technology. This can decrease the multiplier on a CPU to x14 and decrease the CPU voltage (vcore), thus lowering temps but reducing the clock speed of the CPU. This is only activated when a small amount of processing power of the CPU is actually required. TM2 is part of the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology that is implemented into the Intel 6xx and 8xx processors and obviously the mobile processors.


TM1 is very common and is implemented into: Pentium 4, Xeon, Celeron D, Celeron (Northwood), Pentium M processors and Pentium Dual Cores (Pentium D).
The temperature for the activation of thermal throttling varies on the model and stepping of the processor.


Approximate activation temps for processor cores (desktop) of TM1:

Pentium 4 Northwood: 55C
Pentium 4 Prescott: 65C
Pentium 4 EE Gallatin: 55C
Intel Xeon Nocona: 55C
Intel Celeron: 55C
Intel Celeron D: 65C
Pentium D : 65C


Note: You require a CPU, Motherboard and BIOS that are compatable with Intel SpeedStep Technology to run it.
post #2 of 5
Nice Guide, did this have something to do with my thread?
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
yes, and I needed to re-write my original speedstep guide.
post #4 of 5
I have a 550 frontward/backward compatible 0a-0b 3.4 ghz CPU and its the only one I know of that allows a 14multiplier-17multiplier setting in the bios? I have T-1 no T-2. I like the ability to run at 2.8 yet still keep my fsb speed. Thanks for the Guide. Oknilp.
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post #5 of 5
Good FAQ--useful and to the point--thanks!
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