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I have desktop running Windows 7 on Intel i5-750. After taking a look at the bios option I saw the SpeedStep and C-state were disabled.

My question is - do they have any negative effects on the user experience if enabled - choppy, slower, less responsive etc.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Having Speedstem and C-State enabled means that the processor is able to use power saving features and the operating system is able to inform the processor of work and detect the current power state of the processor.

The power saving features available are things such as downclocking the processor so a 2.4GHz processor could, when idle, be running at 800MHz, it could reduce the voltage required for components as they are in a lower power state and other features.

Coming out of these low power states could, in theory, make the system feel sluggish for a brief moment but in my experience it is not even vaguely noticable (I have an I7-860), my system cleanly migrates from low-power to high-power states with no noticable lag or delay at all. My system is fully responsive and shows no signs of choppiness or being "slow" even when operating at the lowest frequency, which it does most of the time when I'm just browsing websites or similar.

One other feature of the C-states is that they (I believe) are a requirement for the proper functioning of the Turbo-boost feature (I think I read it on a datasheet or something) which can actually improve processor performance by a good amount on single-threaded tasks as it allows unused cores to be turned off in order to allow a working core to self-overclock and run beyond it's rated speed for brief periods.

In the end though, enabling those features should save you power.

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+1: @D.Iankov I also find that my Core 2 Duo goes from it's lower speeds to full speed INSTANTLY when I need it. I think when your coming out of an idle mode, in most cases you're probably waiting for the hard drive long after (in relative terms) SpeedStep has brought the speed (back) up, again adding to Mokubai's suggestion that you'll never notice the change. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 23 '11 at 21:06
I also noticed that even with the features turned off cpu core shows massive declocking to x9 multiplier when idle but Ai Suite shows constant 3.4Ghz. So maybe this thing just exposes them to the os and they are always enabled on the CPU itself. – D.Iankov Aug 23 '11 at 21:54

they save a lot of power and heat. you may not care about power but the heat part is often ignored. a cpu which runs at full speed all the time isnt really a good thing. your fps for example, may go like, 60-60-60(cpu hits 95 degrees)-10 because it uses throttle when it hits 95 degrees. and then after some time, goes 60 again. with these technologies, you can just save a lot of heat and have more stable performance, lets say, 55-55-45(something explodes in game)-55. and heat would be stable, somewhere beloe 90. these are just examples.

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