Use 'cpufreq-info' to check CPU governor being used. In my case output looks like this:
Originally Posted by palitre
If command is not available you should install package 'cpufrequtils' (that is the name in Debian anyway).
cpufrequtils 007: cpufreq-info (C) Dominik Brodowski 2004-2009
Report errors and bugs to email@example.com, please.
analyzing CPU 0:
CPUs which run at the same hardware frequency: 0
CPUs which need to have their frequency coordinated by software: 0
maximum transition latency: 8.0 us.
hardware limits: 800 MHz - 1.70 GHz
available frequency steps: 1.70 GHz, 1.30 GHz, 800 MHz
available cpufreq governors: conservative, userspace, powersave, ondemand, performance
current policy: frequency should be within 800 MHz and 1.70 GHz.
The governor "ondemand" may decide which speed to use
within this range.
current CPU frequency is 800 MHz.
cpufreq stats: 1.70 GHz:4.11%, 1.30 GHz:0.27%, 800 MHz:95.62% (1362)
To change CPU governors and other parameters you can use the complimentary command 'cpufreq-set'.
For laptop use you probably do not want to use the 'performance' governor as it will have an adverse effect on battery drain.