How can my CPU be running faster than the maximum speed?

Raymond Chen

A customer observed that according to Task Manager, their CPU was running faster than the maximum speed. How is that even possible?

Utilization Speed
66% 2.90GHz
Maximum speed: 2.50GHz
Sockets: 1
Cores: 2

The processor’s maximum speed is 2.50GHz, but it’s running at 2.90GHz? I know that athletes give 110% effort, but this processor is giving 116%!

This is a feature of Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which runs a processor above its rated frequency if they are “operating below power, current, and temperature specification limits.”

To me, this sounds like the CPU can dynamically overclock itself.


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