Intel® Processors, Tools, and Utilities
All support for Intel NUC 7 - 13 systems has transitioned to ASUS. Read latest update.
14260 Discussions

Turbo Boost Max 3.0 won't always work


Dear community, dear Intel support,

it is the first time that I have contacted this community with a problem. Most of the time you can solve it yourself, google or finally there is also the manufacturer's support. Dell and the Dell Community as well as the Microsoft Community obviously cannot help me here and the topic does not seem to come up very often, at least no one wrote so far: "I have the same issue".

First of all, what I've done so far:

  • BIOS reflash and reset
  • All Windows updates installed (there may be a problem here?)
  • All drivers from Dell reinstalled (including chipset)
  • Chipset driver downloaded directly from instead
  • Energy options checked (maximum performance and processor 100%)
  • System integrity and system files checked through the command prompt.
  • Troubleshooting and maintenance performed
  • Dell ePSA hardware diagnosis performed -> no errors
  • And finally, because I didn't know what to do next, a complete factory reset and reinstallation of Windows.

All of this has so far been unsuccessful.

I have a quite new Alienware Area-51m R2 with Windows 10 Pro, latest build, and the processor Intel i9-10900K. Unfortunately, the Turbo Boost does not work as expected here.

Base frequency 3.7 GHz
Turbo frequency normally around 5 GHz.

In some constellations, however, only the base frequency works and I can't go beyond 3.7 GHz, even with full load with Cinebench (score decreased tremendously).

Speedstep and Speedshift are activated by default in the BIOS.

1st case: battery operation, maximum performance profile, 100% CPU limit. Here I only ever get the maximum base frequency of 3.7 GHz under full load. Not more. No rebooting, no adjustment of settings etc. helps here. But I have received feedback that Turbo Boost also works on other Area-51m R2’s in battery mode.

2nd case: plugged in, "core isolation" security feature, memory integrity activated.

If I do not select an OC profile in the Command Center, i.e. leave everything at default, I get full turbo frequency immediately after booting or restarting. Perfect!
If I have deactivated core isolation: Whether an OC profile is activated or standard settings for the CPU: Here, too, I always get turbo frequencies in the task manager directly when booting.

However, if I have activated core isolation and activated an OC profile and then shut down (quick start activated in the settings), I only have the maximum base frequency of 3.7 GHz after booting up, so only a restart helps and then everything is back to normal. Until the next shutdown…

Does anyone have an idea what I could do here, or what is the reason?

0 Kudos
5 Replies

Hello AG6585,

Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.  

As you may know, the Turbo Boost Technology is a feature that will automatically run the processor core faster than the base frequency. However, for this to be possible the processor must be working under certain conditions: working in the appropriate power, temperature, and specification limits of the thermal design power (TDP).

There are several factors that influence the Turbo Boost operation. The operation is depended on headroom available in one or more cores. The amount of time the system spends in turbo boost mode depends on workload, environment and platform design.

Therefore, if the workload/application is not demanding, then the processor might not reach the Turbo max frequency.

The tips that I can provide to you are the following:

  • Make sure that your BIOS is up to date.
  • Ensure that the Turbo options enabled in the BIOS. For that consult your motherboard/BIOS manufacturer
  • .Make sure that the system drivers/software is up to date.

There are some ways to determine that the feature is working.

Also you can use the following utility to determine that the feature is working as expected, you can use the Intel® Processor Identification Utility and compare the measured and expected frequency.

Feel free to share the results with me.

Additionally, I would like to share with you the article: Frequently Asked Questions for Intel® Turbo Boost Technology in case you are interested. 

Esteban D.

Intel Technical Support Technician  

0 Kudos

Hello Esteban, 
thanks for your reply. I have  read the articel and in my optinion all the requirements are fulfilled.
We have to focus on "core isolation"/"memory integrity" feature of Windows being probably in conflict with overclocking profiles from Alienware Command Center and Alienware OC Controls with uses the service "XTUOCDriverService". 
Turbso boost does not work in battery mode (which is maybe intended by the OEM) so let's forget about this. The major issue is that is does not work with the "Memory integrity" security feature activated after shutdown and boot up, when I leave an OC profile being active before shutdown.
Please see my results of the tool you recommended for all three scenarios (battery mode, no "memory integrity" feature, "memory integrity" activated. You can see that reported clock speeds drop and that two Intel features have been disabled:

Intel® virtualization technology
Intel® vt-x with extended page tables


Ich really appreciate your help.


  no core isolation, battery mode, OC profile no core isolation, plugged in, OC profile core isolation active, plugged in, OC Profile (shutdown then start up)
ntel® Processor Identification Utility      
Version   6.4.0603  6.4.0603  6.4.0603
TimeStamp   2020/09/11 08:09:34  2020/09/11 07:50:03  2020/09/11 07:59:12
Operating System   Microsoft Windows NT 10.0.19041.0  Microsoft Windows NT 10.0.19041.0  Microsoft Windows NT 10.0.19041.0
Number of processors in system 1 1 1
Current processor 1 1 1
Active cores per processor 10 10 10
Disabled cores per processor 0 0 0
Processor Name  Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-10900K CPU @ 3.70GHz  Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-10900K CPU @ 3.70GHz  Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-10900K CPU @ 3.70GHz
Type  0 0 0
Family  6 6 6
Model   A5  A5  A5
Stepping  5 5 5
Revision  C8  C8  C8
Maximum CPUID Level 22 22 22
L1 Instruction Cache  10 x 32 KB  10 x 32 KB  10 x 32 KB
L1 Data Cache  10 x 32 KB  10 x 32 KB  10 x 32 KB
L2 Cache  10 x 256 KB  10 x 256 KB  10 x 256 KB
L3 Cache  20 MB  20 MB  20 MB
Packaging  LGA1151  LGA1151  LGA1151
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology  Yes  Yes  Yes
MMX(TM)  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® SSE  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® SSE2  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® SSE3  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® SSE4  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® AES-NI  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® AVX  Yes  Yes  Yes
Enhanced Halt State  Yes  Yes  Yes
Execute Disable Bit  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® 64 Architecture  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intel® virtualization technology  Yes  Yes  No
Intel® vt-x with extended page tables  Yes  Yes  No
System Graphics  Radeon™ RX Vega M GL Graphics  Radeon™ RX Vega M GL Graphics  Radeon™ RX Vega M GL Graphics
Base TDP 125 125 125
Expected Processor Frequency  3.70 GHz  3.70 GHz  3.70 GHz
Reported Processor Frequency  3.38 GHz  4.89 GHz  3.77 GHz
Expected System Bus Frequency  100 MHz  100 MHz  100 MHz
Reported System Bus Frequency  100 MHz  100 MHz  100 MHz
0 Kudos

Hello AG6585,

Thank you for your response and for providing such a complete report.

I was reviewing all the scenarios that you provided and I consider that OEM customizations are taking effect in the performance of the device and this is expected.

If the “Reported Processor Frequency” exceeds the “Expected Processor Frequency” that indicates that the Turbo Boost feature is working as expected. Therefore, the only configuration that is not reaching the desired frequency is when “Battery Mode” is enabled.

As you know the power is one of the factors that affect the Turbo Boost feature, so I would say it is expected or as you say intended by the OEM.

An additional test that you can use to make sure that the processor is working fine under different conditions is the Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool

Unfortunately as we do not have information about the design of the laptop, we are not aware of the changes that will occur in the system in terms of power and performance with the different configurations that you provided.

As you are currently testing configurations of the laptop (OC profiles) and the performance under different circumstances I would recommend that you check with your computer manufacturer for recommended configuration/settings to reach the maximum performance of your laptop.

By any chance have you check this behavior with them? If so, please let me know.

Esteban D.

Intel Technical Support Technician

0 Kudos

Dear Esteban,

thank you for your swift reply. I found out on Reddit that also other users only get lower clocks in battery mode. So this behavior seems to be intended and I think we can forget about it in this thread. It might make sense for battery life. 

For the “core isolation” feature from Windows 10 which leads to weird behavior of the CPU clocks, I am pretty sure it is not intended. I would not see any reason why you should limit clock speeds only because a security feature for memory integrity is enabled. Do you see a reason?

in my table the reported clock in the “core isolation scenario” are slightly higher than the base clock. I am not sure how accurate this is, because Windows Task Manager never showed more than 3.69 GHZ. And this happens with all OC profiles and sometimes even with no OC profile active. And problems are immediately gone when I deactivate core isolation in Windows  And that also after a factory reset of windows and the BIOS  

i think this is a conflict between the service XTUOCDriverService and “core isolation”.

I don’t know either if it is expected from Intel’s point of view that virtualization is disabled according to my table, when core isolation is activated. Or that clock speeds are supposed to be limited  

in my opinion, if you can definitely exclude an software/driver bug from Intel related to “ Core Isolation “, then it must be bug in the software or drivers of the OEM?

when I am thinking in the right direction, it would be great if you could technically explain what might be the problem in the environment, so that I can forward this to Dell. Because till now I am only a small customer who might feedback “unimportant things“ and probably no tech engineer would look into this.

0 Kudos

Hello AG6585,

Thank you so much for your response.

We really appreciate that you have confirmed and follow the recommendations provided to determine that the Max Turbo Boostfeature is working.

As previously stated, as this is an OEM device we do not have further information about the design of the laptop, therefore, we cannot determine if certain scenarios or features of the OS may cause any unforeseen issue with the device. In this case the "Core Isolation" feature.

For that reason, I would strongly recommend to check with the OS developer to check if the “Core Isolation” feature is working as expected and how the resources are handled on their side making sure that your computer will work with top performance.

Additionally, checking with your laptop manufacturer for any reported similar behavior or further recommendations on this matter would be recommended.

On our side and based on the results, we can see that the Turbo Boost feature is working fine, it is supported by the processor and for that reason; my recommendation would be to check with them.

That being said, we consider that you will require direct assistance from your computer manufacturer and the operating system developer.

If you need any additional information, please submit a new question as this thread will no longer being monitored  

Esteban D.

Intel Technical Support Technician

0 Kudos