Intel Core i5 661 Processor
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 02-08-2010
Provided by: Intel
Hyper-Threading / Turbo Boost

Clarkdale processors also include a few other notable features, one being Hyper-Threading. In summary, "Intel HT Technology allows one physical processor core to present two logical cores to the operating system, which allows it to support two threads at once." In the case of Clarkdale, the processor has two cores and thus, can process up to four threads. If you are running multi-threaded software, you can expect a big increase in overall performance thanks to HT.

Turbo Boost is a new technology built into the new Core i5 and i7 processors (i3 does not feature Turbo Boost) designed to increase productivity and better manage workload.

As we know, there are still countless programs that are not multi-threaded and therefore can't take advantage of multiple processor cores. With Turbo Boost, when your system is running an application that isn't multithreaded, the secondary core(s) of the processor effectively shut down and the primary working core(s) operating frequency is ramped up.

Turbo Boost isn't considered overclocking as the processor is still running within spec. Below is a list of criteria that set the upper limit for how high Turbo Boost can increase the clock frequency:

  • Number of active cores

  • Estimated current consumption

  • Estimated power consumption

  • Processor temperature

If the processor is operating below all of these guidelines and the work at hand requires more performance, the frequency will increase "on short and regular intervals until the upper limit is met or the maximum possible upside for the number of active cores is reached." It's also worth noting that Turbo Boost can and will kick in despite the number of active cores, meaning you could experience increased clock frequency even when all cores are being utilized, so long as the above criteria are still met.

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