Tech Tip Wednesday

Tech Tip Wednesday – Manage applications CPU usage

In Technology by SeanLeave a Comment

So today’s quick tech tip is more for windows users – although, there are other ways on other operating systems to do something similar.

What I want to talk about is how you can reduce your CPU time or limit the number of cores an application is using. This comes to play when you find your system is running slow when executing a particular application.

So, what do I mean CPU time

Ok, so the illusion of multi-threaded applications; particularly back in the day or a single core CPU, was done by sharing CPU time. An application would have a set amount of time of the CPU then pass it over to the next application. These would go round robin so that every application would have some CPU time.

To that end, some applications had a higher priority for the CPU. All this can still be seen even in today’s Windows 10 from the task manager; that tool that gets run from a ctrl-alt-del and chosen from the menu listed.

Task Manager

Task Manager

CPU Usage

CPU Usage

So, lots of info. If you select the details tab you have a list of the applications and it shows the PID (this is the Process ID that it is running as under Windows), the Username, the CPU usage, memory and all that kind of details.

Now, sometimes you can find the actual application you want in this tab. If thats the case, go back to processes and right click. Select the ‘Go to details’ menu item and it will take you over to the Details tab with the application running highlighted.

Go To Details

Go To Details

Once you have the application found

So, once you have found the application in details, we can now increase/decrease its CPU priority as well as choose the CPU cores for it to run on.

So, first let us talk about increasing or decreasing the application CPU priority. If you have an application that is running an important task, you may want this to have more CPU time to complete quicker. You can raise (or lower) its priority by right-clicking on the task, choosing the ‘Set priority’ menu option and then choosing higher or lower depending. See the image below.

Set Priority

Set Priority

You can even increase/decrease the number of CPU cores an application is running on. To do this you right click the application again. From the menu, you choose ‘Set affinity’ option (like in the below image).

Set Affinity

Set Affinity

When you select this, a new smaller window pops up showing you all the CPU cores you have available; on my computer, it’s 8 as I have an Intel i7.

Choose CPU Cores

Choose CPU Cores

From this window, you simply deselect or select the cores you want the application to run on. In the case of the above image, this application has access to all 8 cores of my CPU.

Now you have the skills

Now, you have all the skills you need to change the priority of an application or limit the cores it uses. In most cases, you may never want to do this, but it is something you can do if you find an application is taking more than its fair share of CPU and your computer slows down.

If there are any other tips or questions you have, why not drop me a comment below. I love to chat about all things techie.

I recently came across the following quote

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
― Maya Angelou

This is my new goal in life. Not to conform to be normal, but to be amazing and I hope to inspire you to be amazing too.

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