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Windows 7: Processor being excessively utilised

23 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium
Processor being excessively utilised

I just installed windows 7 on a 'new' in the sense I just got it but its a refurbished PC from a working environment, anyway I activated Hyper Threading and I got 2 bars on the performance tab of task manager (2 graphs as before I activated Hyper Threading it was just 1 graph), but there's 2 Physical Cpu's in this computer, is only one being used and the other just sitting there or? I'm not sure due to the nature of this PC and it having 2 Intel Xeons, also I noticed if you turn the computer on and open something like chrome you get a CPU utilisation of about 80% then that jumps around and it hits 100% easily,

I've noticed if you close everything its fine... once you open anything, let it be notepad, chrome, anything and the Cpu instantly rises to 40% then continues bobbing around 60%

Cpu: Intel Xeon 2.8GHZ (X2)

Kind Regards,

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Aug 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1

Based on your provided info, you have a single core xeon with hyperthreading technology (this might probably be Pentium 4 HT server edition). Also your operating system says Windows 7 Home Premium. Before you enabled HT, you only saw 1 thread on Task Manager. This definitely means that the other CPU isn't being utilized. In order for Windows 7 to use 2 CPUs, you must be running Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise edition.

Here's the comparison table for Windows 7 editions:

Processor being excessively utilised-capture.jpg

Windows 7 editions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium

OH I see, so utilising another CPU means I can get 4 threads in total? Also is there a reason why I open a program and it uses 40% CPU or?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Aug 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1

Yes and your system will act like true dual core instead of a single core with HT, and you will notice significant boost in multitasking because HT only improves performance by 30% whereas 2 CPUs will almost double the performance of your system. The reason for high CPU utilization is due to the fact that Windows is using only 1 CPU with 1 core. Windows 7 has more background activities than older versions (except Vista) so those background services, apps, etc will have to share only 1 core of your CPU making it easy to reach 100%. If Chrome is idle and you notice constant high CPU utilization most of the time, you might want to check the compatibility of the driver's installed since there maybe a conflict with the OS and thus robbing your CPU cycles. Try to run Resource Monitor and check to see which process uses the most CPU. Even a single core without HT CPU should not use more than ~10% CPU when the computer is idle, and when a program or app is launched or being used, it is normal to see 100% CPU spikes for a single threaded CPU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium

Oh and I'm purchasing Ultimate or Professional, should I just stick the disk in and press "upgrade"? and I see, how would I check and fix the issues on the CPU?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1

A clean install is what I recommend due to some processes using too much CPU. It is a lot easier to troubleshoot a clean installed Windows since you can easily monitor changes in CPU, RAM and HDD behavior after installing a driver or a software. Just make sure to backup all your software, drivers, documents, etc. To check which processes/services that are using too much CPU, load the Resource Monitor. See this tutorial for using the Resource Monitor:

Resource Monitor
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Processor being excessively utilised

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