Question Changed Max Processor State from 100% to 99%, saw a 30°C Decrease In Temperature. Too Good to be True?


Feb 5, 2022
I've been having some issues recently with my CPU temperature while playing demanding games like Cyberpunk, Days Gone, Metro Exodus, etc. I fiddled around in the power plan and saw the option for Max Processor State. Turned it down to 70% but then turned it back up to 95% when I realized I was getting little to no difference in FPS performance. Fiddled around, and 99% gives me the exact same performance, maybe 2-3 frames less than 100%, but my temperatures have dropped from 85-90°C to 55-60°C.

Specs are:
Ryzen 5 5600X, Stock AMD Wraith Cooler

My question is: Is this too good to be true? Am I overlooking something that could damage my computer? I don't really see any downside in doing this, and I'm wondering why such a method is not wide spread.
Yes, it is too good to be true and I think you are probably mistaken about the performance being the same unless you are already hardware limited anyhow. For most CPUs, reducing the max processor state to anything less than 100% will completely disable turbo or precision boost features. That means you'll be running at base clock speeds or less. While in some areas of a game this might not have much effect, and therefore your performance will be the same, in other areas IF the game is CPU resource intensive, it could have a significant impact on performance.

You would be a LOT wiser to simply get a better cooler. You can get a very good cooler, MUCH better than the Wraith stealth that CPU comes with. In fact, even just upgrading to a Wraith spire would probably offer SOME improvement and you can often find them fairly cheap since a lot of users have no use for them after upgrading their cooling but I'd really recommend an aftermarket cooler like the Thermalright Assassin X 120, Peerless Assassin 120 SE or even something like the Be Quiet Pure rock 2. Any of the better single finstack 120 or 140mm coolers should be an improvement and one of the twin finstack coolers like the Peerless Assassin models will be a very significant one.

It would also help to know what the rest of your specs are including case model, case fan arrangement, graphics card, whether you have PBO enabled in the BIOS, etc.
Changing to 99% keeps the system from boosting performance to the max, often causing throttling yo-yo behavior.
This solution often works on laptops that have small inefficient coolers.

Since you seem to be getting the performance you want, it is a good solution.
Sorry man, while I understand your point of "since you are getting the performance you want", I don't agree.

Doing anything that "keeps the system from boosting performance", which is a NORMAL, stock default behavior (And not talking about PBO, precision boost OVERDRIVE, the AMD automatic overclock profile, which is NOT the same as just "precision boost") is going to hamper performance. And while it might not SEEM like it's having too much effect, as I said before, it might be only that you have not looked at situations where CPU performance is really needed or that you are GPU limited, which is why it would be very good to know the rest of the information I asked about before.

Could also be a memory limitation if you don't have enough memory for the CPU performance to be maximized, and this will likely vary from game to game. Overall, you pretty much ALWAYS want the stock boost behavior to be enabled (This does not include any automatic, BIOS or desktop overclocking behaviors like PBO/PBO2) if you are looking for maximum performance. And as far as the temperatures being 85-90°C, while the stock cooler likely has much to do with that, there are definitely other things such as poor case airflow, bad thermal paste job application, old or outdated BIOS versions, etc., that could be contributing to that as well.

Reducing the maximum processor state is not the answer. Ever. Well, maybe on a laptop that can't stop from overheating due to degradation or other issues, but on a desktop system, this is never the answer. In fact, if necessary, there are OTHER settings in the BIOS that can stop the CPU from FULLY boosting to it's maximum default clock and voltage WITHOUT disabling the turbo boost features entirely, but that's still a poor solution compared to having an adequate cooling configuration and other options.
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