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How Windows 8 Will Deal With Tons of CPU Cores

By - Source: MSDN | B 58 comments

Windows 8 will be more hard"core" with multiple cores.

The growth in processing power hasn't come so much from ramping up the clock frequency, but rather in adding more cores and increasing efficiency.

With growing core counts and technologies such as HyperThreading, Windows' task manager needed to evolve in order to accommodate future hardware. The good news is that a revised Task Manager will be a part of Windows 8. Microsoft's Ryan Haveson, a group program manager on the User Experience team, last month gave a preview of what the Task Manager would look like when dealing with a ton of logical cores.

This is what Windows 7's Task Manager looks like when dealing with a system of 160 logical cores.

The problem with this is that it makes it difficult to do real-time comparisons, partially due to the really small graphs. Zeroing in on a specific core is difficult too, as there is no easy way to get the corresponding processor ID from the graph.

Windows 8's Task Manager changes this by employing a heat map-style to display. This is how Windows 8 will show 160 logical cores:

Processor IDs can be extracted from the graph with just a simple mouse hover. The graph will also scale and display a scroll bar when appropriate. Power users (or regular users who just want to break things) can also assign a processor affinity for a certain process within this task manager. This gives a massive amount of control to the user, but for mostly everyone, this is something that should be left alone.

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Top Comments
  • 39 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , November 6, 2011 1:53 PM
    where can i get 160 logical cores?
  • 30 Hide
    ta152h , November 6, 2011 3:05 PM
    The title of this is misleading. It's not apparent, at least from this article, that Windows 8 deals with cores substantially differently (although I have they do), but that Task Manager displays them differently.

    I was expecting an article on how Windows 8 differs in the way it distributes tasks with lots of cores, not how Task Manager displays them.
  • 24 Hide
    Haserath , November 6, 2011 1:25 PM
    Quote:
    Power users (or regular users who just want to break things) can also assign a processor affinity for a certain process within this task manager.

    It's like they know me so well. ;) 
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    de5_Roy , November 6, 2011 1:15 PM
    nice upgrade from the old stuff. it'd be nice to see the more detailed view every time task manager starts up. in win 7 i have to click 'show process from all users' every time to bring up the detailed view. i haven't used the win 8 dp yet.
    imo they look somewhat like sysinternals' (ms aquired them before win 7 came out) process monitor and process explorer.
  • 24 Hide
    Haserath , November 6, 2011 1:25 PM
    Quote:
    Power users (or regular users who just want to break things) can also assign a processor affinity for a certain process within this task manager.

    It's like they know me so well. ;) 
  • 16 Hide
    kancaras , November 6, 2011 1:31 PM
    ms go patent it!!
  • 21 Hide
    kaisellgren , November 6, 2011 1:37 PM
    I hope they come up with a way to group similar processes. For example, I am running Chrome now and looking at my Win 7 task manager I am seeing 24 chrome.exe*32 processes. That's not convenient...
  • 39 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , November 6, 2011 1:53 PM
    where can i get 160 logical cores?
  • 4 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , November 6, 2011 1:58 PM
    Sounds like something thatll hold up, or be useful, for the life of the OS
  • -8 Hide
    ronch79 , November 6, 2011 1:59 PM
    Looks like AMD FX is just one year ahead of its time. Multi-threaded software is really the way to go moving forward. In this regard, it's good to see the FX outperforming the i7-2600K in some heavily-threaded apps, and Windows 8 putting more pressure on ISVs to make their apps use as many cores as there are stars in the sky.
  • 3 Hide
    cyberangel_777 , November 6, 2011 2:36 PM
    You should have a zoom & PAN
  • 13 Hide
    NightLight , November 6, 2011 2:37 PM
    icrackedin all likely-hood, this should put bulldozer (the 8 core ones anyway) at about the level of the i7 2600k, honestly I really do think it is ahead of its time, and thats not just because I own one.

    that's like saying you have a delorian time machine, but you're out of gasoline and it won't be invented any time soon.
  • 20 Hide
    bystander , November 6, 2011 2:54 PM
    icrackedin all likely-hood, this should put bulldozer (the 8 core ones anyway) at about the level of the i7 2600k, honestly I really do think it is ahead of its time, and thats not just because I own one.


    I don't follow your logic. Just because it is easier to get info from multiple cores does not change the performance of either.
  • 30 Hide
    ta152h , November 6, 2011 3:05 PM
    The title of this is misleading. It's not apparent, at least from this article, that Windows 8 deals with cores substantially differently (although I have they do), but that Task Manager displays them differently.

    I was expecting an article on how Windows 8 differs in the way it distributes tasks with lots of cores, not how Task Manager displays them.
  • 19 Hide
    warmon6 , November 6, 2011 3:06 PM
    mayankleoboy1where can i get 160 logical cores?


    From what i could guess, it's probably intels 10 Core HT xeon cpu's and 8 of them on a server board.

    10 cores*8=80*2(from HT)=160

    MarthianThat's a screenshot from Windows 8, stop lying to us.


    Nope. That's a windows 7 screen shot for sure unless MS done an update that my computer hasn't revived.

    Here what i have of windows 8 and there no option that you can switch back to the original task manager look.

    http://s760.photobucket.com/albums/xx241/warmon6/Windows%208%20dev%20preview/

  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , November 6, 2011 3:21 PM
    The first screenshot has Physical Memory (total) 1048565 MB = 1.00 TeraByte of RAM !
  • -7 Hide
    alyoshka , November 6, 2011 3:32 PM
    Where did they get 160 Logical cores from?
  • -5 Hide
    alyoshka , November 6, 2011 3:33 PM
    Oh yeah, and they put all 8 processors on one board? where'd they get the board from? Max I heard of was 4 Processors on a Board.
  • 0 Hide
    buzznut , November 6, 2011 3:50 PM
    I like the 2034 threads.
  • 3 Hide
    saturnus , November 6, 2011 4:13 PM
    160 cores is far from the limit of Windows 8 will be able to handle. It's just an example. Windows 8 is optimized so that it can also be used with coming ARMv8 designs that can have up to 128 cores on a single die, and can link up to 8 of these dies for a total of 1024 logical cores. It's actually possible to link an unlimited number of ARMv8 dies but beyond 8 there will be a performance hit.
  • -1 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 6, 2011 4:20 PM
    Nifty but pointless. The processes and threads should be dynamically assigned to cores for load-balancing and thermal management in real-time. The core assignments should be constantly changing so it's just nerd eye-candy.

    Manually assigning affinity has no real benefit unless you are intentionally trying to break something or have really poor scheduling.

    While heavily loading a specific core may be useful for stress testing new hardware it's not likely to of benefit unless you're a hardware engineer.
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