AMD Cool'n'Quiet is a CPU dynamic frequency scaling and power saving technology introduced by AMD with its Athlon XP processor line.[1] It works by reducing the processor's clock rate and voltage when the processor is idle. The aim of this technology is to reduce overall power consumption and lower heat generation, allowing for slower (thus quieter) cooling fan operation. The objectives of cooler and quieter result in the name Cool'n'Quiet. The technology is similar to Intel's SpeedStep and AMD's own PowerNow!, which were developed with the aim of increasing laptop battery life by reducing power consumption.

AMD Cool'n'Quiet
Design firmAdvanced Micro Devices
TypeDynamic frequency scaling

Due to their different usage, Cool'n'Quiet refers to desktop and server chips, while PowerNow! is used for mobile chips; the technologies are similar but not identical. This technology was also introduced on "e-stepping" Opterons, however it is called Optimized Power Management, which is essentially a re-tooled Cool'n'Quiet scheme designed to work with registered memory.

Cool'n'Quiet is fully supported in the Linux kernel from version 2.6.18 onward (using the powernow-k8 driver) and FreeBSD from 6.0-CURRENT onward.[2][3]


In-order to take advantage of Cool'n'Quiet Technology in Microsoft's Operating Systems:[4]

  • Cool'n'Quiet should be Enabled in system BIOS
  • In Windows XP and 2000: Operating Systems "Minimal Power Management" profile must be active in "Power Schemes" whereas,
  • In Windows Vista and 7: "Minimum processor state" found in "Processor Power Management" of "Advanced Power Settings" should be lower than "100%".

Also In Windows Vista and 7 the "Power Saver" power profile allows much lower power state (frequency and voltage) than in the "High Performance" power state.

Unlike Windows XP, Windows Vista only supports Cool'n'Quiet on motherboards that support ACPI 2.0 or later.

With earlier versions of Windows, processor drivers along with Cool'n'Quiet software also need to be installed. The latest version is[5]

Third party utilitiesEdit

In addition to the CPU drivers offered by AMD, several motherboard manufacturers have released software to give the end user more control over the Cool 'n' Quiet feature, as well as the other new features of AMD processors and chipsets. Using these applications, one can even control the CPU voltage explicitly.

  1. PhenomMsrTweaker (SourceForge link)
  2. RMClock

Processors supporting Cool'n'QuietEdit

See alsoEdit

Power Saving Technologies:

Performance Boosting Technologies:


  1. ^ "AMD Offering Version of PowerNow! For Athlon XP".
  2. ^ "Linux kernel CPUfreq subsystem – hardware". The Linux Kernel Archives. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  3. ^ "What's New in FreeBSD 7.0". O'Reilly Media, Inc. 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  4. ^ "Implementing Cool'n'Quiet". Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19.
  5. ^ "Cool'n'Quiet Technology Installation Guide for AMD Athlon 64 Processor Based Systems" (PDF). Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. June 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-04-09. Retrieved 2007-08-18.

External linksEdit