CPU not running full speed in game


Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2011
My 3930k seems to stay at 4.2ghz during far cry 4 with occasional bursts to the full 4.6. I went into control panel, power settings, and changed minimum CPU power level from 5% to 100% and watched the FPS in game as the CPU kicked into 4.6ghz, and it only went up a couple FPS, a maximum of 5FPS maybe going from 4.2 to 4.6 and I watched it as the CPU frequency changed.
So its not a big deal, but I thought that the CPU would stay at its max frequency during a 3D game. The CPU never broke 60c during gameplay so its not a heat issue. Is there a performance setting I can change without sacrificing speed step down clocking? Something that makes it stay full speed during game play or something? Or maybe the down clocking is normal because the CPU wasn't working very hard?
The CPU usually stays at 4.6 during actual benchmarking like cinebench and 3Dmark.


Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
Well, #1 games generally do not use the cpu %100 of the time. There are times where the cpu is waiting on things, for instance the gpu, or the 3d engine is limiting something. Also games don't max every core, so some cores will drop to lower speeds.

#2 speed step takes about a second to respond, so for instance cpu load becomes high and a scene where you could have rendered 60 frames in that second you could only render 55 until the cpu kicked into a higher gear.

If heat and power use (which leads to more heat) is not an issue for you then run your cpu at %100 all the time.

Skylake has a new form of speedstep (speedshift) that reacts so fast that it can change state several times within a second. These will be a part of mobile processors to reduce the time the cpu is running fast and using more power even more.
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