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How Windows 8 Will Deal With Tons of CPU 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.

  • de5_Roy
    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.
    Reply
  • Haserath
    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. ;)
    Reply
  • kancaras
    ms go patent it!!
    Reply
  • kaisellgren
    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...
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    where can i get 160 logical cores?
    Reply
  • JAYDEEJOHN
    Sounds like something thatll hold up, or be useful, for the life of the OS
    Reply
  • ronch79
    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.
    Reply
  • Marthian
    This is what Windows 7's Task Manager looks like when dealing with a system of 160 logical cores.

    That's a screenshot from Windows 8, stop lying to us.
    Reply
  • icracked
    in 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. :)
    Reply
  • cyberangel_777
    You should have a zoom & PAN
    Reply