We performed an extensive analysis of the Turbo Boost technology and characterized its behavior in varying workload conditions. In particular, we analyzed how the activation of Turbo Boost was affected by inherent properties of applications (i.e., their rate of memory accesses) and by the overall load imposed on the processor. Furthermore, we analyzed the capability of Turbo Boost to mitigate Amdahl's law by accelerating sequential phases of parallel applications. Finally, we estimated the impact of the Turbo Boost technology on the overall energy consumption.
We found that Turbo Boost provided (on average) up to a 6% reduction in execution time but also resulted in an increase in energy consumption up to 16%. Our results also indicated that Turbo Boost set the processor to operate at maximum frequency (where it has the potential to provide the maximum gain in performance) when the mapping of threads to hardware contexts is sub-optimal.