Turbo Boost Switcher for OS X

Download the v1.2.0 now for free.  Turbo Boost Switcher is Free to use and Open Source.

You can also get the PRO version here

OSX El Capitan users: Read this


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.
  • Configure it to disable Turbo Boost automatically at launch.
  • Enable / Disable Turbo Boost automatically (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:



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.



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.



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.
  • Check the MSR register for yourself (0x1a0), but that could be tricky and we’re not going to go deeper here.


Thanks to:

24 comments on “Turbo Boost Switcher for OS X
  1. Christian Fuchs says:

    One question about compatibility.
    Which CPUs are compatible, and which OS versions? I have a MP Pro 2010, core i7, and Mac OS 10.9.

  2. Xinli Wu says:

    On my rMBP, its keeping showing SMC::smcReadKeyAction ERROR TCAH kSMCBadArgumentError(0x89) fKeyHashTable=0x0xffffff80202f7000 in Console.

    • Ray says:

      Hi, I just modified some code from the origin code, and I known the reason why the console print this error.But I can not explain this in English, sorry.
      You can checkout my fork at GitHub.Here is the url:https://github.com/wr1241/Turbo-Boost-Switcher/commit/207ff7d61a2f1031d810092d1774954097ca4011

      I love this software!

      • rugarciap says:

        Thank you Ray!

        I’m also aware of the problem, it’s just these days it’s impossible for me to release a new version, but I will do it as soon as I can.

        Thanks again!


      • rugarciap says:

        By the way, just reviewed your code and have some comments 🙂

        You changed it to use always the same sensor. That will work on a reduced set of laptos, but not on all Macs.

        The real problem is to always try to read from the sensors array, instead of storing the correct one for future reads. This was fixed on previous version, but storing the right sensor on NSUserDefaults. The right solution is to use the same sensor per session, without storing it on NSUserDefaults, that will force to use the same sensor forever.

        As I told on previous post, I will release a new version as soon as I can with this little fix.


    • rugarciap says:

      Helo Xinli

      Please, be aware that using Ray’s version can cause the app to display wrong temperature measures depending on the Mac model you’re using.

      I’ll release a new version very soon with this fixed.


  3. 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!

  4. Eugene says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Phil says:

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

  8. Tom says:

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

  9. Fred says:

    Good app (i’ve juste bought it) But the annoying password window is boring me each time I reboot or I wake my mac.
    Is there a way to enter my password one time for all ?

  10. 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?

  11. Can says:


    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.


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