What is a CPU governor?
A CPU governor in Android controls how the CPU raises and lowers its frequency in response to the demands the user is placing on their device. Governors are especially important in smartphones and tablets because they have a large impact on the apparent fluidity of the interface and the battery life of the device over a charge.
NOTE: You cannot change your CPU governor unless your phone is rooted and you have a ROM or app that lets you make a change. Also, different kernels (the intermediary software between your phone’s hardware and the operating system) offer different sets of governors.
Not all governors are available on all ROM versions. Your device may also have a governor not described here. You can still set that governor with OnePowerGuard Pro.
- 1) Ondemand
- 2) Ondemandx
- 3) Conservative
- 4) Interactive
- 5) Interactivex
- 6) Lulzactive
- 7) Lulzactiveq
- 8) Smartass
- 9) SmartassV2
- 10) Intellidemand
- 11) Lazy
- 12) Lagfree
- 13) Lionheart
- 14) LionheartX
- 15) Brazilianwax
- 16) SavagedZen
- 17) Userspacce
- 18) Powersave
- 19) Performance
- 20) Pegasusq
- 21) Abyssplug
Default governor in almost all stock kernels. One main goal of the ondemand governor is to switch to max frequency as soon as there is a CPU activity detected to ensure the responsiveness of the system. (You can change this behavior using smooth scaling parameters, refer Siyah tweaks at the end of 3rd post.) Effectively, it uses the CPU busy time as the answer to “how critical is performance right now” question. So Ondemand jumps to maximum frequency when CPU is busy and decreases the frequency gradually when CPU is less loaded/apporaching idle. Even though many of us consider this a reliable governor, it falls short on battery saving and performance on default settings. One potential reason for ondemand governor being not very power efficient is that the governor decide the next target frequency by instant requirement during sampling interval. The instant requirement can response quickly to workload change, but it does not usually reflect workload real CPU usage requirement in a small longer time and it possibly causes frequently change between highest and lowest frequency.
Basically an ondemand with suspend/wake profiles. This governor is supposed to be a battery friendly ondemand. When screen is off, max frequency is capped at 500 mhz. Even though ondemand is the default governor in many kernel and is considered safe/stable, the support for ondemand/ondemandX depends on CPU capability to do fast frequency switching which are very low latency frequency transitions. I have read somewhere that the performance of ondemand/ondemandx were significantly varying for different i/o schedulers. This is not true for most of the other governors. I personally feel ondemand/ondemandx goes best with SIO I/O scheduler.
A slower Ondemand which scales up slowly to save battery. The conservative governor is based on the ondemand governor. It functions like the Ondemand governor by dynamically adjusting frequencies based on processor utilization. However, the conservative governor increases and decreases CPU speed more gradually. Simply put, this governor increases the frequency step by step on CPU load and jumps to lowest frequency on CPU idle. Conservative governor aims to dynamically adjust the CPU frequency to current utilization, without jumping to max frequency. The sampling_down_factor value acts as a negative multiplier of sampling_rate to reduce the frequency that the scheduler samples the CPU utilization. For example, if sampling_rate equal to 20,000 and sampling_down_factor is 2, the governor samples the CPU utilization every 40,000 microseconds.
Can be considered a faster ondemand. So more snappier, less battery. Interactive is designed for latency-sensitive, interactive workloads. Instead of sampling at every interval like ondemand, it determines how to scale up when CPU comes out of idle. The governor has the following advantages: 1) More consistent ramping, because existing governors do their CPU load sampling in a workqueue context, but interactive governor does this in a timer context, which gives more consistent CPU load sampling. 2) Higher priority for CPU frequency increase, thus giving the remaining tasks the CPU performance benefit, unlike existing governors which schedule ramp-up work to occur after your performance starved tasks have completed. Interactive It’s an intelligent Ondemand because of stability optimizations. Why??
Sampling the CPU load every X ms (like Ondemand) can lead to under-powering the CPU for X ms, leading to dropped frames, stuttering UI, etc. Instead of sampling the CPU at a specified rate, the interactive governor will check whether to scale the CPU frequency up soon after coming out of idle. When the CPU comes out of idle, a timer is configured to fire within 1-2 ticks. If the CPU is very busy between exiting idle and when the timer fires, then we assume the CPU is underpowered and ramp to max frequency.
This new find from Tegrak is based on Interactive & Smartass governors and is one of the favorites.
Old Version: When workload is greater than or equal to 60%, the governor scales up CPU to next higher step. When workload is less than 60%, governor scales down CPU to next lower step. When screen is off, frequency is locked to global scaling minimum frequency.
New Version: Three more user configurable parameters: inc_cpu_load, pump_up_step, pump_down_step. Unlike older version, this one gives more control for the user. We can set the threshold at which governor decides to scale up/down. We can also set number of frequency steps to be skipped while polling up and down.
When workload greater than or equal to inc_cpu_load, governor scales CPU pump_up_step steps up. When workload is less than inc_cpu_load, governor scales CPU downpump_down_step steps down.
If current frequency=200, Every up_sampling_time Us if cpu load >= 70%, cpu is scaled up 2 steps – to 800.
If current frequency =1200, Every down_sampling_time Us if cpu load < 70%, cpu is scaled down 1 step – to 1000.
Lulzactiveq is a modified lulzactive governor authored by XDA member robertobsc and is adapted in Siyah kernel for GS2 and GS3. Lulzactiveq aims to optimize the second version of luzactive from Tegrak by a) providing an extra parameter (dec_cpu_load) to make scaling down more sensible, and b) incorporating hotplug logic to the governor. Luzactiveq is the first ever interactive based governor with hotplugging logic inbuilt (atleast the first of its kind for the exynos platform). When CPU comes out of idle loop and it’s time to make a scaling decision, if load >= inc_cpu_load CPU is scaled up (like original luzactiveq) and if load <dec_cpu_load, CPU is scaled down. This possibly eliminates the strict single cut-off frequency for luzactiveq to make CPU scaling decisions. Also, stand hotplug logic runs as a separate thread with the governor so that external hotplugging logic is not required to control hotplug in and out (turn On and Off) CPU cores in multi core devices like GS2 or GS3. Only a multi core aware governor makes real sense on muti-core devices. Lulzactiveq and pegasusq aims to do that.
Result of Erasmux rewriting the complete code of interactive governor. Main goal is to optimize battery life without comprising performance. Still, not as battery friendly as smartassV2 since screen-on minimum frequency is greater than frequencies used during screen-off. Smartass would jump up to highest frequency too often as well.
Version 2 of the original smartass governor from Erasmux. Another favorite for many a people. The governor aim for an “ideal frequency”, and ramp up more aggressively towards this freq and less aggressive after. It uses different ideal frequencies for screen on and screen off, namely awake_ideal_freq and sleep_ideal_freq. This governor scales down CPU very fast (to hit sleep_ideal_freq soon) while screen is off and scales up rapidly to awake_ideal_freq (500 mhz for GS2 by default) when screen is on. There’s no upper limit for frequency while screen is off (unlike Smartass). So the entire frequency range is available for the governor to use during screen-on and screen-off state. The motto of this governor is a balance between performance and battery.
Intellidemand aka Intelligent Ondemand from Faux is yet another governor that’s based on ondemand. Unlike what some users believe, this governor is not the replacement for OC Daemon (Having different governors for sleep and awake). The original intellidemand behaves differently according to GPU usage. When GPU is really busy (gaming, maps, benchmarking, etc) intellidemand behaves like ondemand. When GPU is ‘idling’ (or moderately busy), intellidemand limits max frequency to a step depending on frequencies available in your device/kernel for saving battery. This is called browsing mode. We can see some ‘traces’ of interactive governor here. Frequency scale-up decision is made based on idling time of CPU. Lower idling time (<20%) causes CPU to scale-up from current frequency. Frequency scale-down happens at steps=5% of max frequency. (This parameter is tunable only in conservative, among the popular governors )
To sum up, this is an intelligent ondemand that enters browsing mode to limit max frequency when GPU is idling, and (exits browsing mode) behaves like ondemand when GPU is busy; to deliver performance for gaming and such. Intellidemand does not jump to highest frequency when screen is off.
This governor from Ezekeel is basically an ondemand with an additional parameter min_time_state to specify the minimum time CPU stays on a frequency before scaling up/down. The Idea here is to eliminate any instabilities caused by fast frequency switching by ondemand. Lazy governor polls more often than ondemand, but changes frequency only after completing min_time_state on a step overriding sampling interval. Lazy also has a screenoff_maxfreq parameter which when enabled will cause the governor to always select the maximum frequency while the screen is off.
Lagfree is similar to ondemand. Main difference is it’s optimization to become more battery friendly. Frequency is gracefully decreased and increased, unlike ondemand which jumps to 100% too often. Lagfree does not skip any frequency step while scaling up or down. Remember that if there’s a requirement for sudden burst of power, lagfree can not satisfy that since it has to raise cpu through each higher frequency step from current. Some users report that video playback using lagfree stutters a little.
Lionheart is a conservative-based governor which is based on samsung’s update3 source. Tweaks comes from 1) Knzo 2) Morfic. The original idea comes from Netarchy. See here. The tunables (such as the thresholds and sampling rate) were changed so the governor behaves more like the performance one, at the cost of battery as the scaling is very aggressive.
To ‘experience’ Lionheart using conservative, try these tweaks:
sampling_rate:10000 or 20000 or 50000, whichever you feel is safer. (transition latency of the CPU is something below 10ms/10,000uS hence using 10,000 might not be safe).
Lionheart goes well with deadline i/o scheduler. When it comes to smoothness (not considering battery drain), a tuned conservative delivers more as compared to a tuned ondemand.
The Pegasus-q / d is a multi-core based on the Ondemand governor and governor with integrated hot-plugging. Ongoing processes in the queue, we know that multiple processes can run simultaneously on. These processes are active in an array, which is a field called “Run Queue” queue that is ongoing, with their priority values arranged (priority will be used by the task scheduler, which then decides which process to run next).
To ensure that each process has its fair share of resources, each running for a certain period and will eventually stop and then again placed in the queue until it is your turn again. If a program is terminated, so that others can run the program with the highest priority in the current queue is executed.
from what I have read is a modified hotplug which is simillar to ondemand but has the ability to turn off a core when it is not needed and is a little more precise in scaling down cpu performance.!