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Very dumb question about multicore CPUs

Last response: in CPUs
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September 7, 2008 2:50:12 PM

I always hear people in arguments about dual core vs quad core saying things like "Try to run a virus scan on one core, install a huge file on another core, browse the internet normally on another one" etc. And I'm just wondering, is there a way to designate what core to use? or will the computer automatically use a new core when one is being used to it's potential?
September 7, 2008 2:56:07 PM

irishdude said:
I always hear people in arguments about dual core vs quad core saying things like "Try to run a virus scan on one core, install a huge file on another core, browse the internet normally on another one" etc. And I'm just wondering, is there a way to designate what core to use? or will the computer automatically use a new core when one is being used to it's potential?


Windows will automatically swap tasks to and from different cores. You can manually do it to, go to Task Manager -> Processes -> right click -> set affinity.
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September 7, 2008 3:09:07 PM

Just let windows do it's thing. It's smarter and faster than you are.
September 7, 2008 3:13:23 PM

thanks a bunch! i just set the simple things that use a lot of memory to separate cores.
September 7, 2008 3:18:50 PM

jkflipflop98 said:
Just let windows do it's thing. It's smarter and faster than you are.


Heh.. I dunno about that. I think it just does what the user tells it to. I suppose you let windows adjust the swap file for ya. :whistle: 
September 7, 2008 4:00:23 PM

^^ lol. i dont consider windows smarter than a person because it does what the person want
September 7, 2008 4:12:25 PM

Windows; faster yes, smarter no.
September 7, 2008 4:15:00 PM

its not the process which runs on a single processor
the threads (code which can run independent of other code(mostly and in general ))

a process has many number of threads from 1 to may be 50 or more
multicore processors share the threads in between them and each processor has to run the threads one after the other distributing time between threads


you can also set the all threads of a process to run on a single processor by going into task manager and in process tab right click the process and then click set affinity and you can uncheck the processors on which you don't want to run that process


more cores means the more number of threads you can run without slowing down much because you get more time per thread on a multicore processor than a single core

if you want to see how many threads a process have then you can open the process tab of task manager and then in view check the thread count
September 7, 2008 4:36:14 PM

Actually, with your example (virus scan, install, surf), there will be a lot of HD accessing, which will kill the performance of trying to manage the threads. The only time you will see a difference is when you run apps that perform long tasks that don't access the HD. For example, performing a script in Photoshop on an image while decoding a movie while listing to music.

Any app that is accessing files on the HD will have relatively low CPU utilization.
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September 7, 2008 4:53:03 PM

Grimmy said:
Heh.. I dunno about that. I think it just does what the user tells it to. I suppose you let windows adjust the swap file for ya. :whistle: 

:lol:  Yeah, most ppl put in 4GB+ RAM and have 8GB swapfiles, which kills the use of 4GB+ RAM. :lol: 
!