Intel processor always at top speed? Windows 8 doesn't enable SpeedStep?


Been using Windows 8 x64 RTM for over a month, and I realized the processor is always at "top" speed. No matter is <1%. Thus consuming more power and generating more heat. :S

Is this a Windows 8 bug? Missing drivers? I know the processor and the computer has this feat since I previously had Windows 7 and it used to run slower whenever it didn't have workload.

System: Lenovo S430 (Sandy Bridge) Intel i5 3rd generation; Windows 8 x64 RTM.


PD: Also, in Power options I don't see anymore the max/min processor % like Windows 7 used to have. Is this normal?

October 20th, 2012 5:52am

Hi, thanks for your reply.

Mhmmm... This is a processor feature. So it can't be related to Lenovo drivers. Also, a "clean" Windows 7 installation or even Linux detects SpeedStep without additional [Lenovo] software and slows down the processor...

I can only think of two possibilities: Windows not detecting lack of activity, or Windows not detecting processor features. The second one could be related to the processor drivers. But that would mean Windows 8 cannot detect an i5 features... That's kind of basic feat. It seems strange.

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October 20th, 2012 6:32pm

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, it is indeed. And I totally agree... the interface and documentation regarding BIOS setup is... "particular". Anyway SpeedStep and CPU power options are active.

Strange thing: I started paying more attention since yesterday and left the monitor open 24/7. Then I noticed that after a restart, SpeedStep started working. But when I woke up this morning it wasn't. Now it's working again...

No event in the log...

Grrrrr. :'(

October 20th, 2012 9:13pm


If you enabled the Hyper-V role the CPU will not throttle, it will always run at full speed...



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November 13th, 2012 11:50am

Hi Carl,

Thanks for your time.

I suggest you to verify your information. It doesn't work that way. At least in Windows 8.


November 13th, 2012 2:29pm


I wasn't running any VM at that moment.

Anyway, the issue disappeared just as it had appeared: without any reason. I blame some BIOS malfunction.

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November 13th, 2012 7:12pm

He he he. Kinda obvious, isn't it? Been there, done that. I'm running the latest version ("W8 compatible").
November 13th, 2012 8:12pm

All yours...

Anyway, I didn't find anything wrong and it has been running without issues since the first post.

<small>Processors Information</small> <small><small> </small></small>
<small>Processor 1</small> <small>ID = 0</small>
<small>     Number of cores</small> <small>2 (max 8)</small>
<small>     Number of threads</small> <small>4 (max 16)</small>
<small>     Name</small> <small>Intel Core i5</small>
<small>     Codename</small> <small>Ivy Bridge</small>
<small>     Specification</small> <small>Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz</small>
<small>     Package (platform ID)</small> <small>Socket 988B rPGA (0x4)</small>
<small>     CPUID</small> <small>6.A.9</small>
<small>     Extended CPUID</small> <small>6.3A</small>
<small>     Core Stepping</small> <small>E1</small>
<small>     Technology</small> <small>22 nm</small>
<small>     TDP Limit</small> <small>35 Watts</small>
<small>     Core Speed</small> <small>1197.3 MHz</small>
<small>     Multiplier x FSB</small> <small>12.0 x 99.8 MHz</small>
<small>     Stock frequency</small> <small>2500 MHz</small>
<small>     Instructions sets</small> <small>MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, AES, AVX</small>
<small>     L1 Data cache</small> <small>2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size</small>
<small>     L1 Instruction cache</small> <small>2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size</small>
<small>     L2 cache</small> <small>2 x 256 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size</small>
<small>     L3 cache</small> <small>3 MBytes, 12-way set associative, 64-byte line size</small>
<small>     FID/VID Control</small> <small>yes</small>
<small> </small> <small> </small>
<small> </small> <small> </small>
<small>     Turbo Mode</small> <small>supported, enabled</small>
<small>     Max non-turbo ratio</small> <small>25x</small>
<small>     Max turbo ratio</small> <small>31x</small>
<small>     Max efficiency ratio</small> <small>12x</small>
<small>     Min Power</small> <small>24 Watts</small>
<small>     O/C bins</small> <small>none</small>
<small>     Ratio 1 core</small> <small>31x</small>
<small>     Ratio 2 cores</small> <small>29x</small>
<small>     Ratio 3 cores</small> <small>29x</small>
<small>     Ratio 4 cores</small> <small>29x</small>
<small>     TSC</small> <small>2494.4 MHz</small>
<small>     APERF</small> <small>2979.3 MHz</small>
<small>     MPERF</small> <small>2480.1 MHz</small>
<small> </small> <small> </small>
<small> </small> <small> </small>
<small> </small> <small> </small>
<small>Chipset</small> <small><small> </small></small>
<small>Northbridge</small> <small>Intel Ivy Bridge rev. 09</small>
<small>Southbridge</small> <small>Intel HM77 rev. 04</small>
<small>Memory Type</small> <small>DDR3</small>
<small>Memory Size</small> <small>8192 MBytes</small>
<small>Channels</small> <small>Dual</small>
<small>Memory Frequency</small> <small>798.3 MHz (1:6)</small>
<small>CAS# latency (CL)</small> <small>11.0</small>
<small>RAS# to CAS# delay (tRCD)</small> <small>11</small>
<small>RAS# Precharge (tRP)</small> <small>11</small>
<small>Cycle Time (tRAS)</small> <small>28</small>
<small>Command Rate (CR)</small> <small>1T</small>
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November 13th, 2012 8:51pm

Recently I've noticed in a number of Dell laptops, that if this feature is enabled in the BIOS the CPU will be stuck at a very low speed and will not climb.  Usually 0.6Ghz.  Unce I disable speedstep in the BIOS the CPU will perform at max and move up and down very slightly, but not very low at all after that.  Very strange.
June 1st, 2014 2:36pm

recently i upgraded my netbook to 8.1 and it runs more smoothly

i have been using the task manager to see how demanding programs are, in a bid to make the machine more energy efficient

live mail 2012, using .slow and it runs my cpu hard

i suggest checking your software stack closely to monitor the performance of apps

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June 1st, 2014 7:25pm

I have to necropost this because I'm so grateful - I was looking sooo long for this. Thanks, Carl. Although Carlos says the opposite at leats in my case disabling HyperV enabled TurboBoost and Speedstep on my i7 machine.
So thanks again, Carl (I hope you read this!)

July 9th, 2015 5:17pm

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