Intels New Adaptive Boost Technology: Floating Turbo Comes to Rocket Lake – AnandTech6 min read

A number of days after Intel officially revealed its 11th Generation Core Rocket Lake, journalism got an e-mail about a brand-new feature coming to the platform that wasnt in our original briefing. The objective of this function is to supply more performance to users that have excellent processors, and Intel is calling it Adaptive Increase Technology.

Adaptive Boost Technology is now the fifth frequency metric Intel utilizes on its high-end enthusiast grade processors, and another aspect in Intels ever complex Turbo household of functions. Heres the list, in case we forget one:

Intel Frequency Levels

There will be some users who are currently familiar with Multi-Core Enhancement/ Multi-Core Turbo. This is a function from some motherboard vendors have, and typically allow at default, which lets a processor reach an all-core turbo equivalent to the single core turbo. That is rather comparable to ABT, however that was more of a set frequency, whereas ABT is a floating turbo style. That being stated, some motherboard suppliers may still have Multi-Core Enhancement as part of their style anyhow, bypassing ABT.

AMD applies its floating turbo to all of its processors– Intel is presently restricting drifting turbo to only the Core i9-K and Core i9-KF in Core 11th Gen Rocket Lake..

First off is the Core i7-11700K that AnandTech has actually currently reviewed. This processor has TB2, TBM3, however not TVB or ABT.

Adaptive Boost Technology
ABT floating turbo
When in a turbo mode, if 3 or more cores are active, the processor will try to provide the best frequency within the power budget plan, despite the TB2 frequency table. The limitation of this frequency is given by TB2 in 2-core mode. ABT overrides TVB when 3 or more cores are active.

The other distinction is that for now, ABT on Intel is disabled by default. Users will need to enable it in their BIOSes to take benefit. On that scale, I suspect most will not, merely since most do not get in the BIOS. Enthusiasts might, however they might also decide to overclock, that makes ABT moot. The other option is that motherboard suppliers will allow it by default anyhow, merely because Intel says it is within specfication.

If this sounds familiar, you are not wrong. AMD does the same thing, and they call it Precision Boost 2, and it was introduced in April 2018 with Zen+.

When in a turbo mode, if 3 or more cores are active, the processor will try to offer the finest frequency within the power budget, regardless of the TB2 frequency table. The main specifications reveal that when one to four cores are packed, when in turbo mode, it will improve to 4.9 GHz. If it is under two cores, the OS will shift the threads onto the favored cores and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 will kick in for 5.0 GHz. Here we see what looks like a 5.1 GHz all-core turbo, from 3 cores to 8 cores packed. Its a bit odd that Intel chose to talk about this feature 2 days after the main Rocket Lake statement, to the point that BIOSes allowing ABT are only being dispersed now (this doesnt affect our Core i7-11700K evaluation).

In general, its a performance plus. It makes good sense for the users that can also manage the thermals. AMDs implementation enabled it to get additional efficiency when it moved to TSMCs 7nm. I sense that Intel will need to move to a brand-new manufacturing node to get the very best out of ABT, and we might see the function on the more mainstream CPUs.

Among the important things that we saw with AMD however is that this floating turbo does increase power draw, particularly with AVX/AVX2 workloads. Intel is most likely going to see similar increases in power draw. What may be a small conserving grace here is that Intels frequency dives are still limited to complete 100 MHz steps, whereas AMD can do it on the 25 MHz border. This means that Intel has to manage larger actions, and will likely only cross that border if it understands it can be preserved for a repaired quantity of time. It will be fascinating to see if Intel gives the user the capability to alter those entry/exit points for Adaptive Boost Technology.

Now go up to the Core i9-11900K or Core i9-11900KF, which are the only 2 processors with the new drifting turbo/ Adaptive Boost Technology. Everything beyond two cores modifications and TVB no longer uses.

* Turbo mode is limited by the turbo power level (PL2) and timing (Tau) of the system. Intel provides recommended standards for this, however those standards can be overridden (and are routinely disregarded) by motherboard manufacturers. Many gaming motherboards will carry out a reliable infinite turbo mode. In this mode, the peak power observed will be the PL2 worth. It is worth keeping in mind that the 70ºC requirement for TVB is likewise often ignored, and TVB will be used whatever the temperature.

Base Frequency

The frequency at which the processor is guaranteed to run under warranty conditions with a power usage no higher than the TDP score of the processor.

Intel supplied a slide trying to explain the new ABT, however the diagram is a bit of a mess and doesnt discuss it that well. Heres the useful AnandTech version.

The Final Word.

Its a bit odd that Intel chose to talk about this feature 2 days after the official Rocket Lake announcement, to the point that BIOSes allowing ABT are just being dispersed now (this does not impact our Core i7-11700K review). Intel has specified that ABT is within warranty and not thought about overclocking.

What this indicates is that, if all 8 cores are loaded, TB2 indicates that it will run at 4.7 GHz. The frequency will drift as long as it has enough of those budget plans to play with, and it will increase/decrease as essential.

On the Core i9-11900, the non-overclocking variation, we also get Thermal Velocity Boost which includes another +100 MHz onto every core max turbo, but just if the processor is below 70ºC.

The official specifications show that when one to four cores are filled, when in turbo mode, it will enhance to 4.9 GHz. If it is under 2 cores, the OS will shift the threads onto the favored cores and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 will start for 5.0 GHz. More than 4 core loading will be distributed as above.

We can see here that the first two cores get both TBM3 (preferred core) along with TVB, that makes those two cores give a larger dive. In this case, if all 8 cores are packed, the turbo is 4.6 GHz, unless the CPU is under 70ºC, then we get an all-core turbo of 4.7 GHz.

Turbo Boost Max 3.0
TBM3 Favored Core
When in a turbo mode, for the finest cores on the processor (generally a couple of), these will get additional frequency when they are the only cores in use.

Thermally Velocity Boost
When in a turbo mode, if the peak thermal temperature spotted on the processor is below an offered worth (70ºC on desktops), then the entire processor will get a frequency increase of +100 MHz. This follows the TB2 frequency tables depending on core loading.

Turbo Boost 2.0
When in a turbo mode, this is the defined frequency the cores will perform at. TB2 varies with how many cores are being used.

Here we see what appears like a 5.1 GHz all-core turbo, from 3 cores to eight cores loaded. When all eight cores are loaded, this is +300 MHz above TVB. However the reason that Im calling this a floating turbo is because it is opportunistic.

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