PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

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PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:59 pm

My netbook is aging and I want to make sure that, should it go out in a blaze of glory, I have a notebook in mind to replace it. Since Kabini's release I've been checking periodically for modern notebooks in the 11.6" - 13.3" range when I came across a 13.3", dual-core trinity laptop from samsung.

I was reading a review on notebookcheck.net when I noticed that a laptop with the same A6-4455M performed better on the single threaded Cinebench test. To my surprise, the author went on to say that Samsung disabled Turbo on both the Intel and AMD equipped 13.3" series 5 notebooks. I didn't think there would be any reason to do this. Surely if the laptop can run maxed out on all threads at the base clock it can Turbo when only 1 thread is maxed?

At any rate, I personally didn't know this practice was done. It could be that this is controlled by some power saving software, or that it's ingrained into the firmware but I wanted to let y'all know to double check if you're searching for a new laptop.
Last edited by Ryhadar on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:35 pm

If it's forced by the UEFI, I'd say it's borderline false advertising. Disabling one of the core features of the (arguably) most important component of a device should not be acceptable without due notice.
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Re: PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

Postposted on Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:23 am

Sounds like Sony disabling VT-* features on their Vaio laptops even though they had VT-* enabled CPUs. Boneheaded product segmentation.
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Re: PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

Postposted on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:57 am

Yeah I agree it seems like such a waste. It's probably done to inflate battery life numbers but it makes me even more leery of notebook manufacturers. I've had my current netbook for about 5 years now and it's been fantastic but it's definitely starting to show its age (even after adding a dual core processor, SSD, and bringing the memory up to 4GB). At the moment, it's really only used for web browsing and some office use. Anything else, like light gaming or hulu/netflix/youtube really starts to bring it down and I'd really like to be able to do those things.

I just wish it were as easy as building your own PC -- as odd as that is to say. All the specs are there. You just get what you buy. Ideally, I'd love a 11.6"-13.3" laptop with Trinity/Richland and a user replaceable battery, hard drive, WLAN card and memory at around $500. I'd be willing to swap for a dual core kabini as well. I don't think I'm asking all that much. :lol:
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Re: PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

Postposted on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:37 am

Well if the practice is done for the consumer it is to raise battery life and reduce heat. With core turning on and off and turning the clock up then the CPU will produce more heat and fluctuate in power, which could degrade the battery and internals faster. However, I feel like the it may be done maliciously to the consumer so they manufacturer can inflate battery life numbers or something of sort.
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Re: PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

Postposted on Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:40 pm

I serviced a bad CPU fan on a friend's ASUS laptop....Ivy i3 IIRC. Anyway, I fired up Prime95 to see what the fan sounded like under load when she first handed it to me. Much to my surprise, the CPU never ran any faster than ~750MHz. (that particular chip was around 3.1GHz max frequency) Temps were obviously fine although the fan bearing was indeed dying. After replacing the HSF, I discovered that ASUS' bloatware had added it's own batch of power profiles that could not be overridden...even by setting to Windows' "balanced" profile. After uninstalling the antagonist software, everything went back to normal. I wonder if Samsung had something similar in the review model that the reviewer didn't catch.
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Re: PSA: Some laptops may disable Turbo

Postposted on Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:16 pm

For what it's worth, on my rMBP while overclocking in windows (read that people had been successful, turns out the GPU has loads of headroom!), if you don't limit CPU usage to 95% (in advanced power options) - which I believe disables turbo boost, one of the cores goes nuts and ends up 105-106c. Usually tops out at about 90 while gaming. Never gets that hot under OSX, maybe it's a bit smarter at scaling back once it gets hot..? Or is always disabled under that too..
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