I've got a Cubox-i 4 running Armbian stretch 4.16.8 and I noticed that the frequency never seemed to drop below 996MHz (even when on zero load) using sudo cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/cpuinfo_cur_freq whereas armbianmonitor -m showed the same, occasionally showing 792MHz. Looking at Orange Pi Zero I managed to see what the issue might be. Changing /etc/default/cpufrequtils to "powersave" dropped the frequency to 396MHz but stayed there even when under stress (stress -c 4 -t 60). Changing the value to "conservative" gave me what I wanted. 396MHz with no load, rising to 996MHz when under load. Hopefully others might find this useful. Using lsmod - shows only 3 modules: cpufreq_powersave 16384 0 cpufreq_conservative 16384 1 cpufreq_userspace 16384 0 So the default setting "ondemand" isn't doing anything.