Root Reviews: SetCPU

Of all the root only apps available for your device, there is perhaps none more popular than SetCPU. The two major goals SetCPU strives to help you achieve is more effecient battery life and overall better power management. Whether you’re underclocking or overclocking to fulfill those goals, there are plenty of options and features to help you get the job done.


SetCPU does exactly what the name implies – Allows you to set your CPU. When your CPU is operating at a higher frequency, your phone will preform better, but battery life will be negatively effected. If your CPU is running at a lower frequency, your device may not be as responsive, but you will see an increase in battery life.

The newest version of SetCPU will autodetect your device’s operating frequencies should your kernel support it. If not, then you should try to pick the phone that’s closest to yours from the list provided. After you select autodetect or choose your device, you start out on the “main” tab.


From the main tab, you will be able to manually change the frequencies at which your CPU will preform. Whatever you set the minimum and maximum frequencies at is the range that your CPU will operate at depending on usage. For example if you choose 245 min – 800 max, and your device is working on doing a lot at once, it will stay closer to 800. Your Android device does this automatically, but now you have full control over those minimum and maximum numbers – something your manufacturer usually decides.

Also available on the main tab is scaling actions. By default, your scaling option will be set to ondemand. With on demand, your CPU will operate normally, scaling the CPU up and down depending on usage. Other scaling options are different for different kernels, but other popular options include:

- Conservative: Similar to the on demand option, but with more gradual scaling.

- Power save: The CPU will run at min number at all times.

- Performance: The CPU will run at the maximum number at all times.

- Userspace: According to the developer, Michael Huang, this option is not supported, and should not be used.

As I said earlier, You may see different options with custom kernels. In order to properly use those functions, refer to the information source of said kernel.


The profiles function within SetCPU is one of its most useful features. You can choose different CPU frequencies at which your device will operate at under certain conditions that you also choose – Conditions like charging, charging AC, charging USB, screen off, battery less than (certain percent), and temperature more than (certain temperature).

Practical examples of profiles include:

- Battery gets too hot, scale CPU down.
- Device plugged in, run at maximum frequencies.
- Battery level below 30%, scale CPU down.

The different possible profiles you may want to use are only limited to how your want to run your device. Other options and features related to the profiles tab include the ability to long press each individual profile you’ve made to edit/delete them, the ability to turn them on/off using the check-box before each one, and a handy check-box to turn notifications of/off, located near the top of the screen.


The advanced tab contains options for use with the on demand and conservative scaling options. You can choose to have the following options set on boot while using on demand or conservative:

- Sampling Rate: The time it takes SetCPU to check whether or not it needs to scale the CPU up or down – measured in microseconds.

- Up Threshold: When the CPU reaches the percentage you choose for this option, from 1 to 100, the CPU will be scaled up.

- Down Threshold: Available in conservative only, this function will will perform in the same way up threshold does, but with scaling the CPU down instead of up.

- Ignore Nice Load: If ignore nice load is set to 1, nice processes will be ignored during scaling.

- Powersave Bias: Available in on demand only, the higher the powersave bias number is, the more likely the CPU is to stay scaled down.


The info tab displays all the information about your kernel, battery, and CPU you’d ever need. Also included in the info tab is the ability to run a short benchmark, long benchmark, native benchmark, and stress test.


The final tab within SetCPU is the about tab. Among developer and help information listed here, you’ll also find a drop down menu for themes. All the themes do is change the colors of text or background, but those of you who are into that sort of thing should really get a kick out of it. I know I did.


That’s all for this week everyone. Thanks for reading the newest Root Reviews, and be sure to stay tuned to for more. As always, you can contact me through the comments or on Twitter: @du57in. When it comes to controlling your device, especially the power behind it, there’s only one app you’ll ever need to whitelist – SetCPU.

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