A simple Guide-Tour with SetCPU


SetCPU is a famous application on Android Market to overclock & underclock CPU frequencies. But many of us get confused after installing it on our device.  How to use, what frequencies to set as maximum & minimum, what profiles should be enabled–all these questions confuse us more and more. So if you learn from the core, you can help yourself.

So let’s start from the beginning. Higher frequency means better performance but faster battery drain & vice-versa. So if you need to use your device so efficiently, you need to maintain a balance between these maximum & minimum frequencies, you need to understand when we need a higher frequency & do not. Then you can optimize your frequency settings to a perfect level by yourself. That is the use of SetCPU.

Now to become familiar with the functions of SetCPU, you need to know its UI features. So let’s come with the UI first.

UI features

  1. Main Tab>  The upper & lower sliders are to set your maximum & minimum frequencies,respectively. “Scaling” means how your kernel will scale the frequency in between your maximum & minimum set of frequencies. You have to know which is the perfect scaling governor for your current kernel. There is a list of some scaling governors. You can change between them according to the state of your device. Lastly, checking “set on boot” let the applied changes survive even after a reboot.
  2. Profiles Tab> This tab let your device to change its frequency automatically according to its state by setting particular profiles.
  3. Advanced Tab> This tab gives you a advanced control to get a finer CPU tweaks for some particular scaling governor. but this this is only available for ondemand or conservative or interactive scaling.
  4. Info Tab> This tab shows you your system information & let you do some tests & benchmarks as well.
  5. About Tab> This tab for the version & developer information of SetCPU. This tab got an option to change the SetCPU theme.


To use it

Scaling Governor:

ondemand – When the CPU frequency reaches a certain point (“up threshold” in Advanced Tab), ondemand will let the CPU to be scaled up to meet its demand, then gradually scale the CPU down when it becomes idle.
conservative – It is alomost similar to the ondemand governor, but conservative provides a less responsive experience than ondemand, where as it can save battery.
performance – It keeps the CPU frequency to the maximum set of frequency.
powersave – It keeps the CPU frequency to the minimum set of frequency.
userspace – A method to control the CPU frequency that is not used by SetCPU.



If you want battery backup & performance both, then always you have to keep this in your mind that performance & battery backup has an inverse relation in between them. So you can overclock only when you have enough battery backup, because overclock reasults fast batter drain. on the other hand you have to underclock to get an extended battery backup with low battery. So here is an example how would be a perfect profile combination.

This is a perfect profile combination with a 667Mhz processor with a overclocked kernel to 1.3Ghz. So when your battery is at 80%-100% you can overclock to higher frequency values. But when you have less than 50% battery, you are recommended to go back to your normal frequencies. Even you can save your battery by underclocking when your screen is off. But if you overclock to a very low frequency you would feel a lag when you turn your screen on. This may affect to hold your incoming calls. So do not be a cheap to underclock.



As I said before Advanced tab allows you to tweak the finer aspects of certain CPU governors. But it is only for the ondemand or conservative or interactive governors.

Sampling Rate – An interval in microseconds, at which the governor refresh the updates.
Up Threshold – When the CPU load reaches this percentage, the governor will scale the CPU frequency up.
Down Threshold (conservative only) – When the CPU load reaches this percentage, the governor will scale the CPU frequency down.
Ignore Nice Load – If this value is “1,” the governor will ignore “Nice” processes while deciding to scale up or down.
Powersave Bias (ondemand only) – Setting this value higher will “bias” the governor toward lower frequencies to save your battery.


Thanks to Dark Lestat from Xda Forum for valuable information. Thanks to MichaelHuang for making this great application.

If you like this you can buy it from the Android Market:

[qr] https://market.android.com/details?id=com.mhuang.overclocking&feature=search_result [/qr]