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Windows 7: Changing the number of processors on an Intel i3

31 Jul 2010   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 
Changing the number of processors on an Intel i3

Hi! Everyone,

I just finished reading a post on processors, and it showed me how to check to see how many processors I have running...
  • Start> run> msconfig> Boot tab> Advance options>.
In the upper left corner it shows I have one (1) selected.
I can click on the Number of processors box, open the drop down menu, and select up to four (4).

My processor stats:
  • 2.93 gigahertz Intel Core i3 530 DX4831
  • 32 kilobyte primary memory cache
  • 64-bit ready
  • Multi-core (2 total)
  • Hyper-threaded (4 total)
  • Other stats are listed in my System Specs

Some benchmarks I can share are:
  • Cold start to desktop ready: 1minute 20.82secs
  • Warm restart to desktop ready: 1minute 11.74secs
  • Shutdown 19.42secs
  • American Megatrends Bios 11-17-2009
  • CPU temp 32°C - 90° F
  • System temp 45°C – 113° F
  • CPU fan speed 1056rpm
  • No system fan
  • Smart fan enabled

CPU Voltages:
  • CPU Core 1.136V
  • +1.1V – 1.088V
  • +3.30 – 3.360V
  • +5.00 – 5.026V
  • +12.0 – Fluctuates from 11.968 to 12.032V
  • 5 VSB – 5.026V
  • VBAT – 3.248V
  • Not absolutely sure, but I think the + values are the settings, and the figure to the right is the reading.
This is our first multi-core processor, and being new at this I would rather ask questions first....My DW always asks me if I have read the instructions first!

For now I am not looking to Overclock (though, that may come later), but I paid for multi-core, and I would like to use it.


My questions are....
  • What is the best way to experiment with this setting, go up one at a time, and observe the reaction?
  • Watch the temps, right?
  • Since I only have two am I committed to setting the advance tab number to two or will the hyper-threading allow four?
  • Can my experimenting cause any damage?
  • The most obvious tip-off that something is wrong would be that the machine won't boot, can you foresee any others?
  • If that would happen, how would I get the machine to boot?
  • Can you suggest any in-depth links on processors, and how they operate?
  • Can you think of anything I may have overlooked?
Until I return I will be doing a google search on the title of my post....Among other things.

Thank You for reading, and any help you may have to offer.

Anak

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

That is the setting for the number of processors used during boot, as in when you see the fancy windows animation. Once the computer is up and running you have four (technically two with hyper threading) running. Usually only one is used during boot-up. Only difference you'd see is a faster boot time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

The setting does nothing but disable processors (or cores). It is for testing and debugging. You should leave the checkbox unchecked. Let me say this one more time. This setting has NEVER increased performance of anything in any version of Windows, period.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


31 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
The setting does nothing but disable processors (or cores). It is for testing and debugging. You should leave the checkbox unchecked. Let me say this one more time. This setting has NEVER increased performance of anything in any version of Windows, period.
When 7 RC first came out everything I read said exactly what I posted earlier. When changing the setting on my computer the boot-up definitely was a bit faster. Many people report the same thing. I suppose the placebo effect could play a role in it, but everything I've seen on any other site suggest otherwise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Petey7 View Post
When 7 RC first came out everything I read said exactly what I posted earlier. When changing the setting on my computer the boot-up definitely was a bit faster. Many people report the same thing. I suppose the placebo effect could play a role in it, but everything I've seen on any other site suggest otherwise.
This setting is not the cause. Windows 7 caches the previous boot up. Every time you boot it it gets a little faster. This setting has nothing to do with it. No matter what setting you pick, Windows must get the processor information and must count how many processors there are. Then it proceeds to validate and check the value and turns off processors. The whole setting is nothing but a myth and has been for several years.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Took me a while but I found the original article I read: 10 Simple Ways To Speedup Windows 7 | Connected Internet

Quote:
Windows 7 only uses one core to boot out of the box. By increasing the number of cores used you can decrease the boot time:

Click on Start and then ‘Run’
Search for Run and type ‘msconfig’
Click on the tab ‘Boot’ and click on ‘Advanced options…’
Check ‘Number of processors’ and enter how many your PC has (usually 2,4 or 8)
Click ‘OK’ and ‘Apply’
Reboot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Petey7 View Post
Took me a while but I found the original article I read: 10 Simple Ways To Speedup Windows 7 | Connected Internet

Quote:
Windows 7 only uses one core to boot out of the box. By increasing the number of cores used you can decrease the boot time:

Click on Start and then ‘Run’
Search for Run and type ‘msconfig’
Click on the tab ‘Boot’ and click on ‘Advanced options…’
Check ‘Number of processors’ and enter how many your PC has (usually 2,4 or 8)
Click ‘OK’ and ‘Apply’
Reboot
And that is the myth. It doesn't do any such thing. The only thing it is ever used for is disabling processors. If you pick the same amount of processors that you have, it does nothing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Okay. To be honest, since I've seen it in multiple locations, but only heard anything to the contrary here, I'm going to remain undecided on it. I'm not saying your wrong or anything, just that when you have a thousand people telling onething, and one person telling you different, who would you believe?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

This is where I saw the information:
Multicore CPU: how to disable a core

The page title should say it all. “How to disable a core”, but when I saw 1 in my settings I jumped to the conclusion that It should have been at least 2, maybe 4.

I'm happy with the way things are, and if all changing the setting does is a minute difference in performance then I shall leave it where it is.

Though, I wonder if there is information available to make a definitive answer.
If I find anything I'll post back here.

My desire to change processors comes from the first sentence under the images.
I underlined enabling and disabling for emphasis.

Quote:
•In the second window that appear, you should be provide with an option for enabling and disabling the number of processors you want to use.


Attached Thumbnails
Changing the number of processors on an Intel i3-multi-core-enable_disable.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

even if what I read is true, and what logicearth (who I respect enough to begin doubting everything I have read) says is wrong, you'd only notice about a 5-10 second decrease in start time at the most.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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