Frequently Asked Questions for the Intel® Performance Maximizer


Product Information & Documentation



Intel® Performance Maximizer is an innovative, automated processor core overclocking tool. The tool makes it easy to dynamically and reliably custom-tune a processor based on its individual performance DNA.

Intel Performance Maximizer


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What are the benefits of using Intel® Performance Maximizer?

The benefits of using Intel® Performance Maximizer:

  • Free tool that can be downloaded from Intel Download Center: 9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors and Intel® Core™ X-series Processors
  • Automated and easy to use
  • Personalized overclocking based on the individual performance potential of the processor
  • Continuous monitoring for overclocking stability and ability to retest as needed over time
  • Uses built-in tests that provide maximum processor core coverage
Who is the target audience for this tool?

This tool is for end users including gamers and creators who want to get the most from their systems easily, but might not be comfortable with the more technically advanced methods of overclocking.

There are a lot of free overclocking tools out there. What makes this one different?

Intel® Performance Maximizer is a special tool in that it offers personalized automated overclocking based on a processor’s individual performance DNA. Other overclocking tools may require manual end user tuning involving changing complex knobs, running third-party software to ensure stability and a very time-consuming trial and error process.

What are the supported Intel processors for the Intel® Performance Maximizer?

The supported (compatible) Intel® Core™ Processors (Desktop) are listed below:

  • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Desktop) including: i9-10900KF, i9-10900K, i7-10700KF , i7-10700K, i5-10600KF, and  i5-10600K.
  • 9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Desktop) including: i9-9900K,  i9-9900KF,  i9-9900KS,  i7-9700K,  i7-9700KF,  i5-9600K, and i5-9600KF
  • Intel® Core™ X-series Processors (Desktop) including: i9-10980XE,  i9-10940X,  i9-10920X, and i9-10900X

You can identify your processor first and before installing the Intel® Performance Maximizer, otherwise you will get an error indicating product is not supported. 

What operating systems does the Intel® Performance Maximizer support? The application supports Windows® 10, 64-bit RS5 (Version 1809) or newer operating system.
Where can I find Intel® Performance Maximizer downloads and installation instructions?

Download the  10th  Generation Intel® Core™ Processors

Download the  9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors

Download the Intel® Core™ X-series Processors.

Intel® Performance Maximizer installation instructions are provided in the user guide. The user guide can be found at Intel Download Center along with the application. The same user-guide and release notes are used for both the downloads: 9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors and Intel® Core™ X-series Processors. Installation requires Administrator level privileges; following download, unzip the package to a local folder and double-click the “Intel®_Performance_Maximizer” executable and proceed from there.

Technical and Troubleshooting

What are the minimum system requirements for the application?

The following are the minimum system requirements for this application:

  1. Supported Intel processors are listed below:
    • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Desktop) including: i9-10900KF, i9-10900K, i7-10700KF , i7-10700K, i5-10600KF, and  i5-10600K.
    • 9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Desktop): i9-9900K, i9-9900KF, i9-9900KS, i7-9700K, i7-9700KF, i5-9600K and i5-9600KF.
    • Intel® Core™ X-series Processors (Desktop): i9-10980XE, i9-10940X, i9-10920X and i9-10900X.
  2. 8 GB or more RAM
  3. Windows 10 64-bit Redstone 5 (Version 1809) or newer.
  4. 16 GB free space on a non-removable GPT (GUID Partition Table) drive.
  5. Intel® Z390 Chipset-based motherboard (9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors).
  6. Intel® X299 Chipset-based motherboard (Intel® Core™ X-series Processors).
What are the BIOS requirements for the application?

Intel® Performance Maximizer requires the BIOS settings to be in the default state to run properly including the following settings:  

  • Processor Core Overclocking must be enabled.
  • All processor cores must be enabled.
  • Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel® HT Technology), if supported on the processor, must be enabled.
  • Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 mode must be enabled.
  • Boot mode must be UEFI enabled.
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology must be enabled.
Is there a requirement for disk space?

Intel® Performance Maximizer requires 16 GB of free disk space.

Note The application allows the end user to shrink an existing disk partition to provide 16 GB of disk space.


Why do we have two installer versions for Intel® Performance Maximizer for 9th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors?

We have two installer versions because we have different tests for processors with hyperthreading (i9-9900K, i9-9900KF and i9-9900KS) and without hyperthreading (i7-9700K, i7-9700KF and i5-9600K, i5-9600KF).

Why does Intel® Performance Maximizer take so long to characterize my system?

The tests bundled with Intel® Performance Maximizer are designed to provide more robust coverage for a variety of end user usages and applications. This coverage is tested on a core-by-core basis. It can take a few hours to complete, depending on the number of processor cores and maximum performance potential of the processor.

What happens if I run Intel® Performance Maximizer along with a tool to overclock memory and/or GPU?

There's no guarantee of system overclock compatibility when using other overclocking tools, including Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility.  It's recommended that you do not use Intel® Performance Maximizer in conjunction with other overclocking software.

What are the requirements before installing the application?

Before installing Intel® Performance Maximizer, end-users need to be aware of the following requirements:  (Refer to related question above for more details.)

  • Make sure the processor and operating system are compatible.
  • Make sure minimum system requirements are met.
  • It is recommended to reset BIOS to default values.
  • Required BIOS settings are enabled.
  • It is recommended that you do not use Intel® Performance Maximizer in conjunction with other overclocking software.
  • The system has one non-removable GPT (GUID Partition Table) hard drive that has 16GB of free disk space.
What if I characterized my processor and there was no benefit after running the software?

There are several variables that can affect the ability of a processor to overclock, including thermal, electrical, system limitations, and BIOS not being in default configuration. Improving these areas can result in a better opportunity to overclock the processor.

Will all processor SKUs overclock the same amount? What factors affect my results?

Intel doesn’t guarantee that all processor SKUs overclock the same amount. There are several system factors that influence the maximum overclocking potential of the processor including thermal/cooling solution and system configuration.

If a customer wipes out operating system (Windows OS) and reinstalls it, what happens to Intel® Performance Maximizer?

If a customer wipes out Windows 10, 64-bit RS5 (Version 1809) or newer and reinstalls it, Intel® Performance Maximizer needs to be reinstalled. Tests must be rerun for enabling overclocking through this application.

What happens to Intel® Performance Maximizer if we interrupt the tests? Should the user uninstall and reinstall?

If your interrupt the tests before they're complete and boot back to the Windows OS, then the Intel® Performance Maximizer user interface (UI) will reflect that the test run was interrupted. It will provide you with the option to rerun the tests. You don't have to uninstall and reinstall.

Would Intel® Performance Maximizer flag any errors while characterizing, such as a thermal issue with the system?

During the characterization process, if thermal or power throttling is encountered during the test run, that will be considered a failure or instability for whatever ratio or voltage combination being tested. Intel® Performance Maximizer will move on to the next stage of the testing process.

Would the processor automatically run at overclocked frequency after the Intel® Performance Maximizer tests are completed successfully?

Yes, the processor automatically runs at the overclocked frequency displayed in the Intel® Performance Maximizer application.

Why do I see a difference in processor frequency results between EFI Shell Application and Windows Intel® Performance Maximizer application (GUI)?

To ensure better stability Intel® Performance Maximizer software may apply a guard band (for example 100MHz) to the successfully tested processor core frequency.  For this reason, users may see a difference between the tested and final displayed maximum overclocking frequency.

What happens to the 16 GB disk space after uninstalling Intel® Performance Maximizer?

Intel® Performance Maximizer frees 16 GB disk space after uninstalling. If this disk space is originally taken out of a partition, then it's not merged with the original partition.

Will Intel® Performance Maximizer automatically enable Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (Intel® XMP) if available? No, Intel® Performance Maximizer will only overclock the processor frequency.
Can I use Intel® Performance Maximizer if I have Intel® XMP enabled?

There is no guarantee of system overclock compatibility when using other overclocking tools, including Intel® XMP. It is recommended that users do not use Intel® Performance Maximizer in conjunction with other overclocking software.


Is the boxed processor warranty void if using Intel® Performance Maximizer?

Yes. The standard warranty does not apply if the processor is operated beyond its specifications. However, customers have the option of purchasing the Performance Tuning Protection Plan. Find more information about the Performance Tuning Protection Plan and how to purchase.


Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information visit

Intel technologies' features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at

​Altering clock frequency or voltage may damage or reduce the useful life of the processor and other system components, and may reduce system stability and performance.  Product warranties may not apply if the processor is operated beyond its specifications.  Check with the manufacturers of system and components for additional details.