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I was watching my CPU speed in the task manager when I noticed that sometimes the CPU speed exceeds the maximum speed.

Screenshot

Actually, sometimes it goes up more than attached.

How can this happen?

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This particular cpu has a turbo speed up to 2.4GHz, where it's standard maximum speed is rated at 2GHz (the figure shown in task manager.)

This means the clock speed of the processor is constantly adjusted, taking into account the temperature, load and power requirements of the machine and current profile. If it's deemed necessary, the processor speed can be scaled up beyond the rated maximum of 2GHz temporarily, at the cost of higher temperatures and power usage.

Further reading - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Turbo_Core - http://cpuboss.com/cpu/AMD-A8-6410

  • 2
    The phrase "Standard Max Speed" is the key. I see. Kind of like airplane engines. Each engine has a max power, but it can be exceeded when in extremis. Related: when athletes say they gave 110%, that's just goofy talk. "You've been holding back on us." :) – Paulb Mar 7 '16 at 22:09

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