Is it normal for a CPU to vary in performance a lot?

Hi, and thanks for viewing my thread.

My CPU skips around a lot, for example: It goes from using 0%, to 61%, then to 14% then to 80% then back to 0-5%. Is this normal for a CPU to do while processing information; or could there be something wrong? Those previous numbers were when opening an internet browser and task manager. When idoling, it usally just ranges from 0-4% usage.

Thanks again, Merry Christmas!
16 answers Last reply
More about normal vary performance
  1. yes its normal
  2. Where I work older single-core desktops go from 0-5% all the way up to 100% CPU usage when their antivirus software is being updated. Additionally, most operating systems have background tasks (basically, just housekeeping) and those tasks do require CPU cycles.

    Just out of curiosity... what is your processor and operating system?
  3. Opening an internet browser isn't a very high load operation, so it'll only jump a couple of times (as you noticed). That's completely normal. The load should be more constant if you're doing something like playing a game or encoding music or a movie.
  4. rodney_ws said:
    Where I work older single-core desktops go from 0-5% all the way up to 100% CPU usage when their antivirus software is being updated. Additionally, most operating systems have background tasks (basically, just housekeeping) and those tasks do require CPU cycles.

    Just out of curiosity... what is your processor and operating system?


    Pentium D @ 3.0ghz. I heard lots of complaints about it, but as for me; it runs very solid, even in 3D games. Multitasking, it struggles... But I heard complaints of heat, I got a coolermaster on it. Runs at 35C idol :)

    As for the OS, Windows Vista 32bit.
  5. ^^ Pentium D, theres you issue.
  6. gamerk316 said:
    ^^ Pentium D, theres you issue.


    Ha :pfff: ... It has been solid, for 3 years now. I have no complaints besides its ability to multi-task. Besides that, I'm getting a new i7 laptop in about a week. :D
  7. Older D's had heat issues but the later versions run cool, have one setup as a file/print/ftp server and even under 100% load never goes over 40c with a Arctic Pro.
  8. das_stig said:
    Older D's had heat issues but the later versions run cool, have one setup as a file/print/ftp server and even under 100% load never goes over 40c with a Arctic Pro.


    Never checked mine under load, but mine is one of the later versions. I doubt it ever goes over 45C.
  9. It is normal and there's nothing to worry about.
  10. Glad to hear that. Could high memory usage also contribute to high CPU usage? My memory usage is constantly between 70-90 idol... Does that affect the CPU in any way?
  11. Quote:
    Might be time on ditching that Crapburst and looking at a new E3200.

    Pentium D 3Ghz - 796
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+D+3.00GHz

    E3200 - 1520
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Celeron+E3200+@+2.40GHz


    How about http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116091

    Decent processor? I know it will fit my 775 socket.
  12. Quote:
    E6300 - 1853
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Pentium+Dual-Core+E6300+@+2.80GHz


    I wouldn't throw a lot of money into a dead socket for a processor but thats a good chip. I suggested the E3200 because it's only 39.99 at MC

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0322558


    Alright. Thank you. Probably will order that and maybe it'll speed up my performance some.
  13. Make sure your motherboard supports it though.
  14. cjl said:
    Make sure your motherboard supports it though.


    http://ecsusa.com/ECSWebSite/Support/CPU_Support_Model.aspx?detailid=680&MenuID=69&LanID=9

    Out of the options I have, which one would you guys say is the best bang/buck?
  15. Quote:
    The E6300 is NOT the one you linked on newegg. I think it's time for a G31 board.

    E3200/G41 Combo - 99 Dollars
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.305874


    Already got a new gaming laptop for Christmas... I just want to upgrade the processor on this one. The Pentium D is eventually going to fry itself.
  16. Quote:
    I just looked on ebay and an E6700 is like 130 dollars and totally not worth the upgrade. Have you tried just overclocking?


    I would, BIOS won't let me. There isn't even a multiplier in there. Is there a program that is downloadable that will let me?
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