Frequently Asked Questions about Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology for Intel® Mobile Processors


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Where can I find processor speed, processor number, cache size, chipset compatibility, pricing, and product order code information? Find Intel® Processor information by searching the processor products database. If you cannot find the Intel Processor you are looking for, send us your feedback.


For more information about Intel Atom® Processors, see the following:

What are Nettops? Nettops are a simplified version of your everyday desktop, designed with a small form factor to be affordable and energy efficient. The low-cost platform solution built around the Intel® Desktop Board D945GCLF with the Intel Atom® Processor 200 series is a simplified PC at subentry system price points. This category of devices is aimed at content consumption rather than content creation—browsing websites, watching online video, and streaming videos.

For more information, see the Nettop Platform for 2008 System Design White Paper.


What are mobile internet devices (MIDs)? Mobile internet devices represent a new category of small, mobile devices that allow you to communicate with others, enjoy your favorite entertainment, and access information on the go. Consumer electronics and PC companies are using Intel Atom® Processor technology to deliver exciting new products for consumers and business users. The latest generation of small, powerful, highly portable Internet connected devices combines many great capabilities with the convenience of a pocket sized solution for your life on the go.


What are entry-level desktop PCs?

An entry-level desktop PC is a versatile, space saving and practical desktop device for basic computing and Internet access in more rooms of the house:

  • Internet browsing where you need it in the home
  • E-mail
  • Instant messaging
  • Online photos
  • Streaming videos or music

As a compact, lightweight Internet companion device to your PC, an entry-level desktop PC is typically powered by an Intel Atom Processor.

See the Intel Atom® Processors page to learn more.

What are home servers? Home servers do more than traditional external hard drives. Powered by Intel® technology, home server systems blend your digital life into a seamless experience the whole family can enjoy.


What is the Intel Atom® Processor-based storage platform? The Intel Atom® Processor D400/D500 series-based storage platform delivers energy-efficient performance for innovative home server and network attached storage (NAS) system designs.


Can I replace my aging laptop with a netbook? A netbook doesn't have the processing power and functionality needed to run many of the applications your current laptop supports, even if it's a few years old. A laptop powered by the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor family is a good option.


How do I know if I'm looking at a netbook? If the computer in question is powered by an Intel Atom® Processor, it is a netbook. Laptops, on the other hand, may use one of a variety of Intel® Processors. Appearances can be misleading, since many full-featured laptops have ultra-thin and light designs.


Which operating systems are supported? The Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 driver for the Intel Atom® Processor technology supports the following operating systems:


  • Windows*
  • Windows 7 Home Basic* (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
  • Windows 7 Starter Edition*
  • Windows Vista* (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
  • Windows XP* (32-bit and 64-bit versions)

Linux* and Tizen*
Do not use the Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 drivers from Intel home.

Use the Tizen website to view latest offerings.

Which chipsets may be used with the Intel Atom® Processor(s) D410 and D510? The Intel Atom® Processor D410 or the Intel Atom® Processor D510 may be paired with the Intel® NM10 Express Chipset in an entry-level desktop.


If you are searching for integrated graphics information related to this Intel Atom® Processor, see Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3150.

Drivers for the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 are located in Download Center under Graphics » Laptop Graphics Controllers » Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 (Intel® GMA 3150). You may also run the Intel® Driver & Support Assistant.

Related products:
Intel fast Ethernet 82552V
Intel® WiFi Link 1000

How can I encourage my kids' interests in computers without unleashing them on my work PC? Computers offer great opportunities for kids to learn and play. Consider the value and ease-of-use of a netbook, which lets kids explore the Internet without interfering with your work.


Where can I find information about Intel Atom® Processors? If you cannot find information on the Intel Atom Processor installed in your netbook or nettop system, or your mobile internet device (MID), contact the system manufacturer or check the system manufacturer's website. Information specific to processor installed in your system is often only available through the netbook, nettop, or MID manufacturer.


Related products:

Netbook chipsets
Mobile Intel® 945GSE Express Chipset

Nettop chipset
Intel® 945GC Express Chipset

Intel Atom® Processor for netbooks and nettops
Intel Atom® Processor for mobile internet devices
Intel Atom® Processors for embedded computing

The information below can help resolve issues with laptops or notebooks and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology. For the latest information, contact your computer or mobile motherboard manufacturer.


What is Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology?Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology is an advanced means of enabling very high performance while also meeting the power-conservation needs of mobile systems.
  • Separation of voltage and frequency changes. By stepping voltage up and down in small increments, the processor is able to reduce periods of system unavailability that occur frequency change. The system is then able to transition between voltage and frequency states more often, improving balance between power and performance.
  • Clock partitioning and recovery. The bus clock continues running during state transition, even when the core clock and phase-locked loop are stopped, which allows logic to remain active. The core clock is also able to restart far more quickly under Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology than under previous architectures.

Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology reduces the latency associated with changing the voltage/frequency pair, or P-state. Transitions can be undertaken more frequently, enabling more granular demand-based switching, and the optimization of the power and performance balance based on demand. Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology and Demand-Based Switching on Linux* gives developers an overview of the support for Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, and demand-based switching under Linux*. The article is also a ready reference for developers interested in new user-level or in-kernel policy based on Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology.

Resources for Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, processor power, and thermal specifications:

Intel® Core™2 Duo Processors and Intel® Core™2 Extreme Processors for platforms based on Mobile Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family Datasheet
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor for Intel® Centrino® Duo Processor Technology based on Mobile Intel® 945 Express Chipset Family Datasheet
Intel® Core™ Duo Processor and Intel® Core™ Solo Processor on 65 nm process datasheet
Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Desktop Processor for mobile datasheet
Intel® Pentium® M Processor with 2-MB L2 Cache and 533-MHz front side bus datasheet
Intel® Pentium® M Processor on 90 nm Process with 2-MB L2 Cache datasheet
Intel® Pentium® M Processor datasheet

Requirements and compatibility

Which Intel® Processors support Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology?See the product specifications and comparisons tool.
What are the system requirements to support Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology?
CPU See product specifications and comparisons.
Chipset Mobile Intel® 910GML, 915GM, 915GMS, 915PM, 940GML,943GML, 945GM, 945GMS, and 945PM
Motherboard Contact your system manufacturer to find out if the mobile motherboard in your system has a chipset that supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology.
BIOS Contact your system or motherboard manufacturer.
Operating system

Supported OS include:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista*, Microsoft Windows XP SP2*, and Windows 7*. Microsoft Windows XP SP2 and all versions of Windows 7 include native support for Intel Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology.
  • With Mac OS* X 10.4., Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology is built into the kernel and is already enabled. It cannot be controlled in the System Preference through Energy Saver.
  • Linux* support is available. Contact your OS vendor for more information.
Software/driver No specific software or driver updates are currently required. However, always use the latest drivers for your system hardware.
Is Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology compatible with Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology?Yes. The operating system sees two virtual processors. Requests to change the power state are prioritized between each virtual processor by the BIOS and the operating system. The power state defaults to the virtual processor requesting the highest state.

Use and performance

How do I use Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology?Follow the standard integration procedures for installing the various system hardware components. If you are using Microsoft Windows XP*, install the Windows XP SP2*. Make sure you have met all system requirements. Once all hardware and software have been installed, use following steps:
  1. If necessary, download and run the latest BIOS update for your motherboard.
  2. Enable Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology in the BIOS. If the BIOS is from American Megatrends, Inc.*, under the Advanced tab, set to Enabled.
  3. Turn Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology on in the OS. For Microsoft Windows XP SP2 operating systems, the default setting is off. To turn it on:
    1. Click Control Panel > Power Options.
    2. Under the Power Schemes drop down menu, select Minimal Power Management.
Note To turn Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology off, select, Always On power scheme.

To verify that Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology is enabled:

  1. Close all applications and ensure that Microsoft Windows* OS is in idle mode.
    1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select the Performance tab. Verify that CPU usage is 0%.
  2. Right-click My Computer and select Properties.

Under the General tab, look at the installed processor speed. If Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology is enabled, two processor speeds are listed. The first speed lists the specified speed of the processor. The second speed is the current operating speed. If both processors list the same speed, repeat steps 1-3. Make sure the OS is in idle mode and CPU usage is 0%.

How do I determine if Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology is working with Microsoft Windows* XP?
  1. Determine if the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology driver is working properly. Use the Intel® Processor Identification Utility. The utility shows the Intel® Mobile Processor installed, and whether it supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology.
  2. See if the frequency changes. Run the utility while plugged into an AC outlet, then run the utility drawing power from the battery.

When powered by a battery, the processor drops to a lower frequency and voltage, conserving battery life while maintaining a high level of performance. Manual override lets you boost the frequency, allowing you to customize performance when powered by a battery.

Different from the previous versions of Microsoft Windows*, the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology driver is built into Microsoft Windows XP*. With the built-in driver, you don't have an icon in the system tray of the taskbar, nor the power applet located in the Control Panel. Determining if Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology is operating correctly is difficult without the icon and applet.

Why does the operating speed not change on my laptop, when I go from AC to DC power, or DC to AC power?

Check the following:

  • Your processor and operating system supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology. See system requirements.
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology driver is loaded. The driver is only available from the laptop manufacturer or vendor.
    Note Microsoft Windows* XP automatically includes the drivers.
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology is not disabled in the CMOS setup program (BIOS).
  • Check the settings in the Power applet in the Control Panel.
  • Check with your system manufacturer to see if they recommend updating the BIOS.
Why does my keyboard not work when I switch performance modes?You need to update your keyboard BIOS. Updates are typically available on the laptop manufacturer's website. Contact the manufacturer for more information.

For laptops running operating systems older than Microsoft Windows XP

Why did the applet icon disappear from the task bar after I changed the power management settings?In BIOS under the Power menu, make sure that your Power Savings are set to customized or automatic. You can also access the applet through the Control Panel:
  1. Select the Power Management icon.
  2. Click the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology tab.

Check to see if the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology icon is enabled. To re-enable the taskbar icon, click Advanced and clear the check box for Remove icon from taskbar. Click OK.

Why did the settings remain unchanged after I changed the power management settings in the applet?This may be a BIOS issue. Contact your laptop manufacturer and request a system BIOS upgrade. Laptop manufacturers generally provide downloadable updated drivers.
Why does the applet icon not appear in the task bar?This may be a BIOS issue. Contact your laptop manufacturer and request a system BIOS update. Laptop manufacturers generally provide downloadable updated drivers.
Once I remove the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology applet icon from the taskbar, how do I access the applet or bring back the icon?You can always access the applet through the Control Panel.
  1. Select the Power Management icon.
  2. Click the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology tab.

To re-enable the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology taskbar icon:
  1. Click Advanced and clear the checkbox for Remove icon from taskbar.
  2. Click OK.


Related topics
Intel® Processor support
Product specifications and comparisons
Intel® Processor numbers
Mobile performance
Intel® Virtualization Technology
Intel® Processor Identification Utility