We are including a new feature in “Bulldozer” that will help you take your performance up to 11. This feature, which is new to our server processors, is called AMD Turbo CORE technology and it allows you to capture that extra power headroom between average and maximum power, turning it into more clock speed. So, how does it work? Perhaps a little background about how clock speed is derived will help first.
Contrary to popular belief, clock speed is not determined based on the best case scenario; that is to say that when we stamp a number like 2.2 GHz onto an AMD Opteron™ 6174 processor, that isn’t the best that it can perform. To some degree it is more like the worst case scenario.
Processors all run workloads, and to determine the clock speed, you determine what is the maximum speed that you can run the processor at before you hit the maximum amount of power allowed, the thermal design power or TDP. TDP is the maximum allowed power consumption, but, like the maximum speed capability of your car, you will rarely ever hit TDP because most workloads don’t stress the processors the way the testing does..