Few days ago I updated my openSUSE 12.3 system from Kernel 3.9.8-1.gf3348a8-desktop to 3.10.0-1.g3dcd746-desktop and since then, turbo mode of my i7 3520M is enabled by default and it does not throttle down when idle. It is constantly running at 3.6GHz.

The intel_pstate module is enabled by default, thus any userspace settings are ignored (as intended). Tools such as cpufreq or cpupower are not installed any more on my machine.

Booting the 3.9.8 Kernel still shows its old behaviour, that the CPU is throttling as expected. In addition, adding intel_pstate=disable to the kernel command line deactivates the intel_pstate module resulting in the desired behaviour of a throttling CPU.

Another point of minor interest is, that I'm not able to trigger the turbo mode of my CPU if it is throttling (i.e. Kernel 3.9.8 or disabled intel_pstate).

Any help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I had good results with disabling and enabling cores again, this makes the pstate driver work a lot better:

echo -n 1 | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/intel_pstate/no_turbo
function set_cores_online()
  typeset core=1
  while [[ -f /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu${core}/online ]]
    echo -n ${1:-1} | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu${core}/online
    : $((core++ ))
set_cores_online 0
set_cores_online 1


It does scale down but also stays there, I was not able to get the CPU working "fast" again


Added disabling turbo mode as it seems to be prerequisite for it to work, but enabling it again does not make it full power again - so you need to find perfect configuration for you


Got tired of running it manually and wrote a script for it https://github.com/mpapis/home_dotfiles/blob/master/bin/cpu - use it: cpu slow

  • So do you run this script on each system boot to actually make intel_pstate driver work properly?
    – Torbjörn
    Jul 8, 2013 at 8:09
  • I shutdown very rarely, so for no just disable/enable a CPU after start and it's fine for me, wrote the script just for practice - but it works
    – mpapis
    Jul 8, 2013 at 12:31
  • Finally I had time to test this. Unfortunately, the cores do not scale down. :( Output of this function is: 000111. Which seems ok. Guess, I've to wait for a new kernel release.
    – Torbjörn
    Jul 13, 2013 at 6:49
  • maybe it works only on some sub-version mine is 3.10.0-1.g3dcd746-desktop - and more after sleep2ram it now works more dynamically scaling a bit up when needed
    – mpapis
    Jul 13, 2013 at 14:37

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