Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)  

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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
Trusted Member

I disabled turboboost on my MBP to see its impact on performance. Turboboost is a nice feature if you need to increase your computing power for a short period of time. However, it also makes your CPU release more heat and, potentially, slows your MBP. Although turboboost is highly desirable for Desktops, we are talking here about laptops, for which heat and temperature become very annoying issues. The question I want to answer is: How does turboboost affect the performance and the behaviour of a MBP?  

Turboboost enabled

Turboboost disabled

 

In Unigine Heaven 4.0 the general performance gain/loss is ridiculous. However, it may be useful when very intensive task enter into play (min fps), as expected.

Nice but, you may tell me, how is the effect of turboboost on everyday use?

I can say that my fans are running a lot quieter during my gaming sessions with turboboost disabled, and all this without any performance loss at first sight! Moreover, note that I could only play Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider with turboboost disabled, otherwise the games crashed during intensive fight sequences. So, this trick might turn out to be very useful! 🙂

I only tested 2 games quantitatively. A GPU intensive game (Overwatch) and a CPU intensive game (Guild Wars 2). For Overwatch, there is no visible performance loss by disabling turboboost. I even tend to get some more fps when turboboost is disabled (max fps, min fps and avg. fps). This is another story regarding Guild Wars 2. Disabling turboboost leads to a significant loss in performance. Fps drops occur more often and are more serious. Really annoying...

 


The aim of this post is not to prove that turboboost increases the performance but rather to show that disabling it doesn’t necessary decrease the performance. Of course, this will depend on a lot of factors (optimization of the game at the processor level, if the game is CPU or GPU intensive, if the game is optimized for quad core processors or not, etc…).

The important conclusion here is that it is possible to turn off turboboost without any significant performance loss. The advantage is a lot quieter MBP with its fans running at lower speeds, so, more comfort. Skype conferences become possible while gaming and you won’t find your neighbours complaining at your door! 😉

Of course, it is then up to you to make the tests by yourself because it strongly depends on the elements involved. For example, Overwatch got an update recently and I now have lags if I disable turboboost!

 


You might want to disable turboboost if:

  • You want to reduce the noise coming from your laptop fans 
  • Your game is crashing because of a too high processor load

 

You might not want to disable turboboost if:

  • You're running a CPU intensive game
  • You're playing a first person shooter where accuracy is very important and lags not acceptable (as mentioned by mac_editor)
  • The game you're playing cannot use the full potential of your quad-core processor (e.g. 2 cores processor games)
  • Your laptop only has a dual-core CPU

 


Here the procedure for disabling turboboost:

1) Open Settings
2) Go to Power & sleep
3) Under Related settings, click on Additional power settings
4) Under Plans shown on the battery meter, click on Change plan settings just on the right of your selected plan (Balanced in my case)
5) Click on Change advanced power settings
6) Open the group Processor power management
7) Open the subgroup Maximum processor state
8) Replace 100% with 99% 
9) You're done

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)

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Posted : September 20, 2017 8:49 pm mac_editor and theitsage liked
Rycco
(@rycco)
Reputable Member

So you indeed got better FPSs on Overwatch? Can you elaborate more on this?

mid-2017 15" Macbook Pro RP555 + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS & Win10

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Posted : September 20, 2017 10:02 pm
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator

Disabling turbo-boost is a common technique that I used before eGPUs to ensure that my internal 750M ran at its full potential. This is, however, only good for games where constant 60 frames, or in some case 120, is a target (such as FIFA, Assassin's Creed, etc.). Disabling turboboost for games such as Rocket League and CS:GO (and other FPS where high frames are important for accuracy) is usually detrimental. So yes, in most cases, disabling turboboost is a nice to have - just highlighting this drawback for the other readers who might be concerned.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
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Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
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Multiple Build Guides

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Posted : September 21, 2017 1:50 am Antharsious liked
Antharsious
(@antharsious)
Trusted Member
Posted by: Rycco

So you indeed got better FPSs on Overwatch? Can you elaborate more on this?

Yes, I sampled fps during a period of 5 minutes with FRAPS. I ran the test 5 times for both configuration (turboboost enabled and turboboost disabled) keeping the same character and paying attention to the fight load to be consistent. I constantly obtained up to 5 fps increase (average fps, minimum fps and maximum fps) with the option turboboost disabled.

So the gain is pretty negligible. The interest especially lies in the reduced effective noise caused by the fans when turboboost is disabled. 🙂

 

Posted by: mac_editor

Disabling turbo-boost is a common technique that I used before eGPUs to ensure that my internal 750M ran at its full potential. This is, however, only good for games where constant 60 frames, or in some case 120, is a target (such as FIFA, Assassin's Creed, etc.). Disabling turboboost for games such as Rocket League and CS:GO (and other FPS where high frames are important for accuracy) is usually detrimental. So yes, in most cases, disabling turboboost is a nice to have - just highlighting this drawback for the other readers who might be concerned.

Thank you for this precision! I appreciate the additional piece of information... 😉

Yes you're right! Sudden decreases in fps or lags are detrimental in FPS games. So, it is always better to enable turboboost when playing this kind of games. Indeed, to deactivate it can potentially increase the lags (drops in fps = min fps) as shown in Unigine Heaven 4.0 or Guild Wars 2. I will make a note in the original post about this... 

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)

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Posted : September 21, 2017 5:43 am