3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2018 2:49 PM by Intel Corporation

    High CPU clock (and temp) with low usage




      Is it normal for a CPU to run at max clock a majority of the time, even if CPU usage is very low (around 10-20%)?


      I bought a new laptop (HP Pavilion Power 15cb008no) with an Intel i7 7700HQ CPU in January. I didn't monitor the temperature at the beginning, but the laptop chassi was generally quite cool. Nowadays the core temp usually sits around 60-70°C (meaning the laptop chassi gets quite hot too) when the laptop is idle (under low usage). I checked the core frequency (using CPU-Z, MSI Afterburner, Hardware Monitor, etc.) and it seems to spend a high amount of time at near-max turbo frequency (3,5GHz, while 3,8GHz is max).

      Is this normal? My brother checked on his desktop PC (not sure what CPU model) and found that his clock is usually at or around minimum, with only the occasional spike towards max (and his CPU was running at 25% at the time).


      The laptop is running on factory settings (no OC or anything of that kind).

      Attached a screenshot from MSI Afterburner that shows the general situation. Not in the picture, but when IPDT was running its 100% CPU tests clock fell to 2,1-2,6GHz, then immediately resumed the 3+GHz pattern afterwards.

      Also attached IPDT results. All tests passed, though.


      Thank you for your help,


        • 1. Re: High CPU clock (and temp) with low usage
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Thank you very much for sharing your issue with the Intel® Communities Team, Komposten.

          I really appreciate you shared the result of the IPDT, it seems that the processor is healthy since it passed the test. Please bear in mind that the processor will change its frequency as it requires to depending on the task that it's running. Additionally, the maximum temperature that the processor is able to get will be 100C (Tjunction) as a result, your processor is not overheated and these are very acceptable temperatures.
          Please verify the Windows* Task Manager Processes Tab if there is any task performed by the system which is making your usage to go high. You can also verify if the Performance Tab if the frequency is the same as the 3rd party software you were using.Furthermore, you might want to restore the BIOS settings back to default.

          Antony S.

          • 2. Re: High CPU clock (and temp) with low usage

            Thank you for your answer, Antony.


            I'm aware that the max temperature for the CPU is 100°C. I am more concerned about my own comfort of using the laptop (resting your hands on a 50°C surface is not the most comfortable) than the health of the CPU at this time.

            Task Manager reports the same as the 3rd party applications (high clock at low usage). I have not changed any BIOS settings.


            However, for the last couple of days it seems like my system has calmed down a bit. There are still times when it runs at full clock with low usage, but oftentimes it now sits at <2GHz when idle (as I imagine it should be). Not sure why things have gone back to "normal" (the only thing I've changed is setting default GPU to "auto-select" rather than "always use the GeForce 1050"), but I'm glad it has.

            • 3. Re: High CPU clock (and temp) with low usage
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Thank you very much for your reply, Komposten.

              Please keep in mind that this processor is embedded into your system and HP has assembly the unit using its own design so we do not know exactly how this processor was installed or the heatsink used. I would highly recommend you to get in touch with HP Support so they can provide you with more troubleshooting steps for your whole system. 

              Antony S.