Laptops have always tried to provide top-tier performance in a mobile form, while also maintaining a reasonable runtime while on battery. Previously, maximizing your battery life required tweaking of the operating system’s power settings to manually change the processor speed. However, thanks to Intel’s SpeedStep technology, manually throttling the processor is a thing of the past.
What is Intel SpeedStep technology?
SpeedStep technology maximizes the runtime of your mobile processor by dynamically changing the system’s core clock speeds and voltages independently to give you a power boost when needed, and reduce to an idle speed when not required. By separating the voltage and core clock speeds, the processor can scale to higher frequencies while not raising the voltage at a proportional rate. This results in small performance boosts without a rise in power draw or heat generation.
How does SpeedStep enhance my Legion Y530?
The Legion Y530 laptop ships with the latest 8th generation Intel processors containing the latest algorithms to provide a large dynamic operating range from idle / casual usage to high performance for gaming. For systems configured with the Intel I7-8750H processor, the frequency of the processor is ranged from 800MHz to a whopping 4.1GHz.
While plugged in, the processor will generally run on the higher end of the frequency range, providing top performance at all times. During usage of suites such as Google Chrome and LibreOffice, the processor maintained an average frequency of 3.9GHz, with a core voltage oscillating between 1.15V and 1.30V.
Upon adding a 100% load to the CPU via Prime95, the processor clocked back to 3.6GHz and the core voltage dropped to below 1.2V. Although the processor speed held at 3.6GHz, the voltage would cycle up and down to maintain the frequency without requiring a thermal override:
With Prime95 running, removing the power causes SpeedStep to reduce the CPU frequency to below 3GHz, and the core voltage to drop to 1.052V.
With Prime95 stopped, the processor core clock immediately dropped to an idle frequency of 1.4GHz. The core voltage began at 1.319V before settling around 0.8V. When launching any application requiring a higher CPU response, the processor scaled to 3GHz in under 1 second until the CPU demand reduced to idle.
Thanks to Intel SpeedStep, the processor will not run at the maximum multiplier (or speed) unless required. In my testing, I never felt the processor scaling up or down. Whenever I needed performance, the CPU scaled up to the task with no noticeable delay. While the effects were most noticed during times on battery power, the laptop remains silent during usage with AC power.
With the factory power settings on the Y530, the system is capable of providing the power needed when required, and providing market-leading battery performance when performing less demanding activities.