Is it normal that one of the cores get used a little bit while all programs are idle and that it will go to 0% after all unnecessary programs are off or is it not normal? My 4th core tends to start going up first before the other ones budge. It hovers around 4-12% usually. It's just a general question. Is it normal for one core to get utilized first and is it normal for one core to get utilized why everything is idle for a while and then it just stops pretty much.
For example, I move my mouse, the 4th core lights up. The other 3 cores do nothing pretty much.
I have the same processor (just putting that out there). But thats fine high end processors like that rarely have 2% or more while on basic usage, and all cores are active only on apps that require or allow it, and by 'allow' i mean are coded in a way that can use them.
"all cores are active only on apps that require or allow it, and by 'allow' i mean are coded in a way that can use them"
Although probably unintentional, this statement, as worded, implies something that isn't true. Individual programs do not need to be specially coded in order for multiple cores to be put to work. There are MORE than enough extant threads, even on a machine with no user apps executing, to occupy the processor's time. Of course, unless those threads actually have something to do, they are not eligible for scheduling.
Look at the "number of threads" column in task manager to see how commonplace multithreaded programs actually are. In addition to explicit thread creation (via beginthreadex), some features of Windows implicitly create additional threads even in programs that otherwise do not. (COM, for example).
I currently have 85 processes running; their tread counts range from 1 to 139 and only 2 have but a single thread.