Turbo Boost Switcher for OS X

Get the PRO version here 

You can also try and download a limited feature version for free from here (Open Source).


Features:

Turbo Boost Switcher is a little application for Mac computers that allows to enable and/or disable the Turbo Boost feature.

It installs a precompiled kernel extension (32 or 64 bits depending on your system) that updates the Turbo Boost MSR register, so It will ask for your admin password when using it.

It’s installed on your Mac status bar and allows you to:

  • Visually know if Turbo Boost is enabled or disabled at any time.
  • Enable / Disable Turbo Boost manually, getting up to a 25% more battery life and lowering down the CPU Temp up to 20ºC. (check this).
  • Configure it to disable Turbo Boost automatically at launch.
  • Enable / Disable Turbo Boost automatically for a set of apps (only on Pro version).
  • Set default mode for Turbo Boost Enabled or not (On or Off)
  • Disable Turbo Boost when battery charger is not connected (only on Pro version).
  • OSX Notifications integration (only on Pro version).
  • Asks for root password only once (only on Pro version).
  • Check your CPU temp and fan speed.
  • Set it to open at login.
  • Automatically restore Turbo Boost on exit.

Here you have a couple of screenshots (PRO version):

Turbo Boost Switcher main menu screnshot

 

auto_apps_configuration_2

How to install:

You can download the free binary application or the source code to compile it with XCode.

You can also get the Pro version here

Once downloaded/compiled, just unzip and double click on your “Turbo Boost Switcher.app”. An icon like the next one will appear on your status bar.

icon

 

If you see a message saying the app “can’t be opened because it is from an identified developer”, then you need to change your settings to allow not-signed apps to be installed. Go to your System Preferences->Security and Privacy and mark the option “Anyhwere”. Try again, it should work.

 

Motivation:

Turbo Boost is enabled by default on all Macs that support it, but why anyone should want to disable it?

Ok, here are some reasons:

  • CPU Overheat: When Turbo Boost is activated, prepare to experiment high temperatures on your CPU, since it pushes till it reaches almost the Junction Tº, usually 100 ºC. This is controlled by hardware, but if you want your computer to live long, better keep it as low as possible. With Turbo Boost disabled I’ve been able to get up to 20 ºC degrees less!!!, that’s a value worth considering.
  • Parallel Processing: Turbo Boost is enabled when one of the CPU cores reaches 100%, increasing the core Mhz, but It won’t do it if all or your cores are 100%, since that will create a lot of overheat. This will reduce your parallel processing performance so, in some situations, you better disable it.

If you are like me, you probably do some high cpu demanding tasks from time to time, like photoshop editing, video transcoding, casual gaming, etc. and your fans go to max speeds while your CPU keeps crazy ranges like 93 – 98 ºC.

I’ve started to look for applications, and the only thing I found was this cool kernel extension https://github.com/nanoant/DisableTurboBoost.kext created by “nanoant”. This is a very simple extension that manipulates the MSR record writing the Turbo Boost flag.

If you don’t want to always be opening your terminal, compile the code, make sure you don’t forget to re-enable it, etc. then Turbo Boost Switcher is for you.

 

How to know if Turbo Boost is enabled (or not):

To see the differences between having Turbo Boost enabled or not, you can do the following tasks:

  • Install smcFanControl, a cool app that will help you to set your fan speeds to desired values.
  • The simplest one, do some high demanding gaming with Turbo Boost enabled and disabled, checking the CPU temperature values and see the differences.
  • You can also launch some long time high demanding tasks, like the Geekbench benchmarks app. You’ll get a lower value since Turbo Boost will not be triggered. On my Macbook Air I go from 7500 to 4000 points aprox. with Turbo Boost disabled.
  • Open a terminal and execute “kextstat -v”. If you see a line including “com.rugarciap.DisableTurboBoost” that means Turbo Boost is disabled.
  • Check the MSR register for yourself (0x1a0), but that could be tricky and we’re not going to go deeper here.

 

Thanks to:

40 comments on “Turbo Boost Switcher for OS X
  1. Chris says:

    Would love to get the Pro version! I love the free one! Works awesome!

  2. Neal Pearson says:

    Amazing app! Thanks for all of your hard work! My MBP 15 is now running cool!

    https://twitter.com/nkpearson/status/754210331694620672

  3. MightyCat_ says:

    I own the 1st rMBP (with the highest CPU config – 2.7G CPU) and I’ve been always having issues with high temp. I need CPU on full force only occasionally and when the tboost is off the temp is lower by 10stC .. I’ll continue using it!

  4. boehli says:

    There’s still a trouble with the “On/Off” status in the bar. Sometimes it doesn’t show the good status, the more when “disable at launch” is set.

    This app is a must have ! thanks !

  5. Adrian says:

    Is it possible to have an option for Turbo Boost “re-enabled” when the battery charger is connected (i.e. the dual of the current “Disabled when charger disconnected”)?

    Other than that, the app is awesome! I love the pro version you just released adding the option for the OTP (one-time password)! I was using the free version beforehand, but the pro version is 100% worth the $10. I appreciate your work 🙂

    • rugarciap says:

      Thanks! Maybe in the future, but it could be a bit “confusing” if you combine that with auto configuration based on apps running… will see 😉

      • Adrian says:

        Fair enough!

        However, I am having trouble with the auto mode. When I add a process to the list and try to change the “Enable/Disable” parameter by double clicking and typing “Enable” (and seeing the text change from “Disable” to “Enable”) it doesn’t seem to stick. I cannot get it to change from “Disable” to “Enable”. Am I doing something wrong?

        Thanks!

  6. boehli says:

    A new verison with new feathure ! !!!

    Can’t wait !

    You’re the best !

  7. Can says:

    Hi,

    do you plan to have a signed version of the app ? 🙂

    it’s seem to be mandatory for the kext with OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

    Regards,

  8. Chris says:

    Finally a replacement for CoolBook!! Thank you for programming this awesome app, supported you by buying the Pro version.
    What do you think about implementing a feature to turn Turbo off when CPU reaches a certain heat?

  9. Tom says:

    Hi, thanks for the extension! It keeps asking me for admin password after wakeup from sleep. how can i fix this? thanks!

  10. Phil says:

    Is there a way to give this app explicit root-rights? It’s painful to always grand root-privileges.

  11. OP says:

    Hi, very useful app, but I have a comment on Automode: Wouldn’t it make sense to rather ENABLE turbo boost when certain apps are running, rather than DISABLING? Or have the option for both? At least for me, I would want to have turbo mode disabled by default, but enable it when using certain apps (which is why I bought the pro version..)

    I also second the suggestion in an earlier comment to use power source to enable/disable turbo boost.

  12. Ziyang says:

    Hi, thank you for this awesome app.

    I bought the Pro version thought there will be an auto mode to enable Turbo Boost when power adapter is plugged. But there is not.

    Would you add this in next version?

    • rugarciap says:

      Great idea, thanks! I’ll consider it for sure 😉

      • ctrl alt dileep says:

        Thanks for the free version. The paid version doesn’t make much sense to me. I’d gladly pay for a version that disables turbo when the machine is running on battery.

      • danilo says:

        Hi Rugarciap 🙂

        For me your app is “essential” and never know that a pro version exist…

        i want to buy it… but now i have another Macbook “Macbook Pro Retina 15 mid 2015 WITHOUT DEDICATED GPU” only the intel gpu and Iris Graphics.

        On this machine your app don’t work :(…. when i click on “disable” nothing happens and on “console” have only this output

        20/04/16 00:20:48,071 Turbo Boost Switcher[1369]: kextstat output: (null)
        20/04/16 00:20:48,086 authexec[1404]: executing /usr/sbin/chown
        20/04/16 00:20:48,094 authexec[1405]: executing /usr/bin/kextutil
        20/04/16 00:20:48,173 Turbo Boost Switcher[1369]: kextstat output: (null)
        20/04/16 00:20:48,693 Turbo Boost Switcher[1369]: kextstat output: (null)

        🙁 🙁 🙁 :(…

        I privately pay you to fix this on my machine …

        please let me how i can contact you .. and if possible i want to buy the complete Pro version with this fix.

        thanks .

        • danilo says:

          Sorry Rugarciap…

          it’s a my mistake…

          in short a “permission” problem occurs in my case…

          i have set the correct permission “copied from another machine via BatChMod utility” set the exactly same permission and WORKS!!!

          OK , now.. i want the Pro Version… where i can buy it ?… Guarantee me that you implement some new feature like the suggested from other users as soon as possible ?.

          thanks you.. 😀

        • rugarciap says:

          That’s strange… , it seems kextstat is not working, and that’s an utility provided by OSX.

          Try opening a terminal and running “kextstat -v” and, if that command doesn’t show results, try with “sudo kextstat -v”.

          This command displays kernel extensions installed, and by the log you posted it seems it isn’t working

  13. Eugene says:

    Hey, is it possible to get the Pro Edition via Paypal?

  14. Joseph Foreman says:

    Just wanted to say thanks a lot for making this feature available to the masses.

    I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to come up with a cooling solution when rendering on my i7 3770 imac. Even with custom fan profiles I was regularly hitting 90C + which is not great for overnight renders.

    I just did a quick test on a small render and the difference was about 14C cooler (using TG Pro to measure) with turbo boost off and only lost about 7% overall render time. That’s a win in my books. Kudos to you and whoever wrote the original script.

    Thanks again!

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "Turbo Boost Switcher for OS X"
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