Saturday, December 4

The ‘Turbo’ button of the old PCs returns and does it to avoid ‘crashes’ with the new Alder Lake


In the mid-90s, many PCs had a curious button that looked like something out of a B-movie: they called it “Turbo”, and it allowed to modify the clock frequency processor in those computers.

The idea, which made it possible to avoid malfunctions in certain applications and games, is now resurrected by Intel, which has integrated a similar mechanism in the new processors of the Alder Lake family. Of course: there will be no physical button as such on the PC box, and Intel has assigned that function to the ‘Scroll Lock’ key. Neither the idea nor the use of that key seems to have been well received, however.

From Turbo, nothing

In many clone computers from the early and mid 90’s the presence of these ‘Turbo’ buttons was prevalent. With this button those computers, which had processors even faster than those offered by the PCs of large manufacturers such as IBM, allowed to reduce or increase the speed so that certain programs, which were not prepared to “run so fast”, could function properly.

The funny thing is that despite the name of that button, PCs did not magically become more powerful. What the Turbo button did was rather the opposite: slow down those PCs to, as we say, maintain compatibility with certain applications. Then we could press it again to take advantage of the processor of those computers to the maximum.

Now that system has risen from its ashes, albeit in a slightly different way. To begin with, we will not see Turbo buttons as such on our PCs, and this function of “slowing down” or “speeding up” our PC will be controlled with the ‘Scroll Lock’ key.

Intel recovers the idea due to potential problems with the Alder Lake

Intel recently published an article in its knowledge base in which it warned of how “certain Digital Rights Management (DRM) software in third-party video games could not correctly recognizing efficient cores (E-cores) of the 12th generation Intel Core processors “.

Fallen

Games like ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’ can be affected by this problem with the new Alder Lake.

This causes that those games can even hang when launching them or while we are playing, something that is precisely because those video games are not ready to work 100% with the new core management system and its energy saving modes.

Some games carry out a previous check of our PC to know if our equipment is capable of executing that game fluently and at a certain resolution and level of graphic detail. However, this check is also done to check for changes to internal hardware.

Thus, if we buy a game and install it on a PC to which it is “linked” with that purchase, if the game detects that it is suddenly running on another PC, it “thinks” that it may be an illegal copy and “refuses” to be executed. Something like this is what happens with the Alder Lake, that with that new philosophy big.LITTLE they are able to use their high-performance cores (P-cores) and high-efficiency cores (E-cores) dynamically.

It seems that this problem occurs especially with various games for Windows 10 and Windows 11 using the well-known Denuvo DRM kit which tries to prevent illegal copies of those games from being made. Although patches are expected to appear this month to correct the problem at Intel – which has released a list of games in which they have detected that this happens – they have wanted to propose a solution.

That solution is that kind of ‘Turbo button’ adapted to the times. In Intel they indicate that if we have problems in this scenario we can press the ‘Scroll Lock’ key (Scroll Lock) to activate the compatibility mode with those games, and then press it again when we stop playing video games.

Before, yes, we will have to access the BIOS of our system and activate the option ‘Legacy Game Compatibility Mode’ so that this key acts in this way and allows us to play without problems games that present this conflict right now.

This patch is a good idea that at least users can enjoy those games without problems, but several are the comments in forums like Hacker News which indicate that that key, although it may not be used natively often, is the one that many users use as a keyboard shortcut to launch a certain application or perform a specific task in your day-to-day life.

Via | The Register

More information | Intel



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