So many manufacturers are now releasing Turbo-branded toys that we’ve forgotten all about the word’s associations with an ironically labelled button in the 486-era. Following Intel’s Turbo Boost, and AMD’s Turbo Core, the latest Turbo technology is Asus’ Turbo Unlocker, which takes dynamic overclocking a step further.
Detailed in a set of leaked slides on Donanimhaber, it looks as though Turbo Unlocker takes advantage of the unlocked multiplier in AMD’s Black Edition Phenom II CPUs.
It performs a similar job to AMD’s Turbo Core technology, which is all set to be featured in the company’s first Phenom II X6 hexacore CPUs later this month. Like Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, AMD’s Turbo Core dynamically overclocks individual cores according to demand.
There are some crucial differences between Turbo Core and Asus’ new feature, however. For a start, Turbo Unlocker doesn’t just work on six-core CPUs. According to Asus, the technology will also work on a number of dual-core, triple-core and quad-core CPUs too, from the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition to the Phenom II X6 1090T.
As well as this, Turbo Unlocker is also more adventurous when it’s dishing out the clocks. While Turbo Core only kicks in when less than half of the available cores are active, Turbo Unlocker can apply a clock speed increase when all six cores are active.
The clock speeds themselves also look as though they’re going to be higher than those offered by AMD’s Turbo Core system. Asus says that Turbo Unlocker can push up the clock speed by 500MHz in single-threaded apps. Comparatively, previously leaked information on Turbo Core showed that the Phenom II X6 1090T would only be overclocked by up to 400MHz.
Turbo Unlocker’s overclock will scale according to how many cores are active, so while you could get an extra 500MHz when using one core, you’ll get 400MHz when using four cores and up to 200MHz if you’re using all six cores in a hexacore chip.
Despite the fact that the clock speeds are a long way in front of those enabled by AMD’s own technology, Asus’ slide insists that Turbo Unlocker ensures that the CPU “stays within defined TDP and electrical limits.”
Showing the potential of the technology, the slides also reveal Asus’ own benchmark results using a basic dual-core Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition CPU. After enabling Turbo Unlocker, Asus says that it saw a 10.32 percent performance increase in Super pi (1M), and an 11.79 percent increase in Cinebench.
According to the slides, Turbo Unlocker will be supported by a number of Asus boards based on AMD’s 890GX, 890FX, 880G and 870 chipsets, although a couple of these will require a BIOS update first.
The feature will then have to be enabled via software using Asus’ TurboV Evo tweaking suite for Windows. If you have the latest version of TurboV Evo then you won’t even need to update it, as the software is apparently set to auto-unlock the feature on 27 April.