Article ID: 000037863 Content Type: Troubleshooting Last Reviewed: 07/29/2021

Why the Processor Frequency is Operating Below the Base Frequency for Some Intel® Core™ Processors


Intel® Core™ processors that include the letter K or X in the product line suffix (for example: i7-7820X or i7-10700KF)


Steps to resolve CPU frequency operating at lower than base frequency in Intel® Core™ processors with the letter K or X in the product line suffix.


Processors running below the base frequency This might have happened after replacing the thermal interface material (TIM).


Here are some ways that may fix the issue of CPU operating below the base frequency:

  • Failure to apply the thermal interface material (TIM) can cause the processor to operate inefficiently.
    • If you have removed the heat sink to reapply TIM, recheck after applying the TIM the heatsink mounting for proper contact with processor. 
    • Completely remove old TIM before applying new material.
  • Ensure proper cooling in the system.
    • Ensure fans are clear and/or liquid cooling mechanisms are plugged in, and the radiator clear.
  • Revert any power options in Windows* that you changed from the default settings.
  • Try to load the default BIOS setting/or update the BIOS in your system. (Note: You may wish to note the current BIOS settings before resetting the BIOS.)

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