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Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

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BT63
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Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405437

Postby BT63 » April 19th, 2021, 6:04 pm

If I have a Pentium dual core 2.8GHz processor which is often reaching 90%+ on the task manager and shows constant 65%+ while running certain programs (without any other background processes taking resources, which they do at times), is it suggesting I might benefit from:

A) more processing speed (e.g. 3.2GHz assuming same family of processor)
B) more cores (e.g. quad instead of dual core)?
C) something else?

Thanks,
BT

GeoffF100
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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405460

Postby GeoffF100 » April 19th, 2021, 8:05 pm

BT63 wrote:If I have a Pentium dual core 2.8GHz processor which is often reaching 90%+ on the task manager and shows constant 65%+ while running certain programs (without any other background processes taking resources, which they do at times), is it suggesting I might benefit from:

A) more processing speed (e.g. 3.2GHz assuming same family of processor)
B) more cores (e.g. quad instead of dual core)?
C) something else?

Thanks,
BT

A high processor utilisation is not necessarily a problem. The processor is there to be used. The higher the utilisation, the quicker the task is completed. Is your computer too slow at doing something?

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405465

Postby mark88man » April 19th, 2021, 8:56 pm

depending on age, the normal advice is extend memory first, as its easier and least risk, this can take the strain of a processor, but mainly when there are background tasks to be done.

of the options listed, then more GHz is good, but you need to be sure the mother board supports the enhanced speed (sometimes they limit the CPU so you spend money on more GHz and then can't use it. Even now it is easy to buy a configuration that doesn't give the sum of its parts

more cores is also good, modern enterprise server CPUs go this way 2 sockets 16-32 cores per CPU, but Pentium is old so again be careful what you put inside the box

BT63
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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405473

Postby BT63 » April 19th, 2021, 9:30 pm

GeoffF100 wrote:A high processor utilisation is not necessarily a problem. The processor is there to be used. The higher the utilisation, the quicker the task is completed. Is your computer too slow at doing something?


It's an old computer running windows 10 and when there are background tasks going on (which seems to be a lot of the time) it tends to stutter when running certain programs.
Without the background tasks it manages OK.

I'm guessing the background tasks push it beyond 100%.

RAM utilisation doesn't seem to be a problem. It has 4GB and idles around 45% utilisation, typically runs at 50-60% while working, and I've never seen it go above 70%.

The computer was going to have an SSD upgrade but if the processor is a bottleneck then I'll look into upgrading a different computer.

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405498

Postby gryffron » April 20th, 2021, 12:16 am

What are you doing? What process is hogging the cpu?

CPU utilisation isn’t particularly a good indicator of anything. It should be nearly nothing whilst the computer is idle, and 100% when it has work to do.

There are a few windows programs, most notably Norton Virus, which steal a lot of processor time.

Old DOS programs running under windows always run at 100%. All they are doing is saying:
Have you pressed a key yet. Have you pressed a key yet. Have you pressed a key yet. Have you pressed a key yet. Have you pressed a key yet...
Not very useful.

Gryff

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405499

Postby servodude » April 20th, 2021, 12:51 am

BT63 wrote:
GeoffF100 wrote:A high processor utilisation is not necessarily a problem. The processor is there to be used. The higher the utilisation, the quicker the task is completed. Is your computer too slow at doing something?


It's an old computer running windows 10 and when there are background tasks going on (which seems to be a lot of the time) it tends to stutter when running certain programs.
Without the background tasks it manages OK.

I'm guessing the background tasks push it beyond 100%.

RAM utilisation doesn't seem to be a problem. It has 4GB and idles around 45% utilisation, typically runs at 50-60% while working, and I've never seen it go above 70%.

The computer was going to have an SSD upgrade but if the processor is a bottleneck then I'll look into upgrading a different computer.


Do you know what the background tasks were?
- if they're not needed the quickest way to speed things up is to get rid of them

Also if the tasks taking up your cycles are hitting the HDD (such as AV scanning) It's not impossible that it could still be the bottleneck

- sd

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405516

Postby xeny » April 20th, 2021, 8:21 am

BT63 wrote:If I have a Pentium dual core 2.8GHz processor which is often reaching 90%+ on the task manager and shows constant 65%+ while running certain programs (without any other background processes taking resources, which they do at times), is it suggesting I might benefit from:

A) more processing speed (e.g. 3.2GHz assuming same family of processor)
B) more cores (e.g. quad instead of dual core)?
C) something else?


A) will definitely help a little, but proportionally only at best by the increase in clock speed, so a factor of 3.2/2.8=>14% in your example

B) Potentially gives you significant gains (up to a factor of two assuming equal clock speeds), providing the software you're using can make effective use of multiple cores. Some software is remarkably like the old adage that 9 women can't give you a baby in one month, but some can spread itself effectively. It would be helpful to know what software is involved.

C)If the software in question is a web browser, I'd start by installing ublock origin to stop advertising animations using up your CPU resources.

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405529

Postby Infrasonic » April 20th, 2021, 9:17 am

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/261 ... -10-a.html
This tutorial will provide you with a list of suggestions to help optimize, speed up, and improve the performance of Windows 10.

Cont.

From my own experience with older PC's with underpowered CPU's a swap out for an SSD definitely helps - Task Manager analysis will get you so far in nailing bottlenecks, Resource Monitor will give more granularity.

https://www.howtogeek.com/405806/window ... ete-guide/
The Windows Task Manager is a powerful tool packed with useful information, from your system’s overall resource usage to detailed statistics about each process. This guide explains every feature and technical term in the Task Manager.
Cont.

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405534

Postby Nocton » April 20th, 2021, 9:41 am

As one poster has suggested, more RAM will speed things up especially on older PCs running memory hungry W10. And its cheap and easy to install. Go to https://uk.crucial.com and run their app to see the options for your setup.

I have just added another 4GB Ram to my 5-year old PC running W10. It cost £24 and took 10 mins to install. Like new again.

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405592

Postby didds » April 20th, 2021, 1:46 pm

id suggest oif the utilisation is bothering you, as Gryffon (IIRC) sugegsted do some investigations into what is using the CPU with a view to stopping it altogether or maybe checkiing if its needs an update etc.

Ill also suggest you ensure there are no Windows updates downloaded-awaiting-install-and-reboot as my opainful experience is these are very often a PITA affecting all sorts of stuff even when not installed!

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405609

Postby monabri » April 20th, 2021, 2:32 pm

I found that an SSD had far far more benefit than adding an extra 4GB (from 4 to 8GB) based on upgrades to 2 identical laptops ( windows 10). Both laptops were slower than slow, almost unusable. Now both zip along. CPU was typically 100% most of the time prior to the SSD even when "not doing much".

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405657

Postby xeny » April 20th, 2021, 7:40 pm

monabri wrote:I found that an SSD had far far more benefit than adding an extra 4GB (from 4 to 8GB) based on upgrades to 2 identical laptops ( windows 10). Both laptops were slower than slow, almost unusable. Now both zip along. CPU was typically 100% most of the time prior to the SSD even when "not doing much".


Workload has a big influence on whether extra memory or an SSD has a greater effect. If you've got a program that won't fit in 4GB after Windows is using some, then extra RAM will make a larger difference than an SSD. If you are mostly concerned about application launch times, or rate of Windows update installation, then the SSD is the larger benefit.

I'm at a loss to think of a mechanism whereby an SSD upgrade would reduce CPU use. Did you reinstall Windows at the same time?

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405688

Postby monabri » April 20th, 2021, 9:46 pm

No, I just cloned the hard disk. I monitored cpu usage using Task Manager to see if there was an application causing problems. Memory usage wasn't the issue (browsing, Excel, email) for the programs I run. On installation of the SSD the cpu usage fell to a few percent.

(I suspected abnormal paging but memory usage was OK.)

The same was true when I installed an SSD in the wife's laptop ( cpu 100% issue).

With my laptop I increased RAM to 8GB from 4GB but we didn't upgrade the wife's. Both laptops boot quickly, open Word/ Excel/ Chrome quickly. I can't see any significant improvement as a result of the extra 4GB.

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405702

Postby BT63 » April 20th, 2021, 10:37 pm

monabri wrote:With my laptop I increased RAM to 8GB from 4GB but we didn't upgrade the wife's. Both laptops boot quickly, open Word/ Excel/ Chrome quickly. I can't see any significant improvement as a result of the extra 4GB.


My family have a few computers with Windows 10. It seems as if Windows 10 scales its use of RAM according to how much is available.

One with 4GB of RAM and nothing except Windows running shows 40% RAM utilisation (1.6GB used and 2.3 free of 3.9). One with 8GB RAM also shows about 40% utilisation (about 3.3GB used and 4.6 free of 7.9).

Opening an office document, an internet browser window etc only increases the RAM usage by about 0.1GB per document or internet window, so even the 4GB one has an adequate amount of RAM available while going about its daily tasks.

I'm not sure I would want 2GB of RAM, though, because if Windows 10 takes 40% that only leaves just over 1GB for everything else, and at 0.1GB per document or internet window, the RAM would be maxed-out with several internet browser windows, an Excel and a Word document open.

However, my wife's Windows 10 laptop with 16GB RAM only uses about 3.5GB out if its 15.6 available.

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405786

Postby Infrasonic » April 21st, 2021, 10:07 am

A quick and painless A/B you might want to try is switching to metered connection in W10, which will globally cut down on the telemetry chatter/background tasks/updates et al.
I generally do this for older PC's that I look after for friends and family.
It does make a noticeable difference, although less so with a fast modern PC and decent ISP speed.
Invoke OS and app updates manually when convenient (I do this by default anyway whether I have metered on or not).
https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-use-a-w ... on-4584369

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405931

Postby xeny » April 21st, 2021, 8:03 pm

monabri wrote:No, I just cloned the hard disk. I monitored cpu usage using Task Manager to see if there was an application causing problems. Memory usage wasn't the issue (browsing, Excel, email) for the programs I run. On installation of the SSD the cpu usage fell to a few percent.

(I suspected abnormal paging but memory usage was OK.)

The same was true when I installed an SSD in the wife's laptop ( cpu 100% issue).

With my laptop I increased RAM to 8GB from 4GB but we didn't upgrade the wife's. Both laptops boot quickly, open Word/ Excel/ Chrome quickly. I can't see any significant improvement as a result of the extra 4GB.


I believe your report, I just can't think of a reasonable mechanism. An SSD will load information more quickly, so if anything gives more scope for the CPU to be the bottleneck rather than a mechanical HD.

With regard to memory upgrades, something more memory demanding would be more likely to show up the difference - something like high resolution image editing, running virtual machines or similar. I look after a lab that does processing of high resolution 3D images, and we've settled on needing a minimum of 32 GB of memory for those machines. Admin staff typically get 4 or 8 GB and are fine with either unless they're trying to have lots of applications open at once when 8 GB is preferable.

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405935

Postby xeny » April 21st, 2021, 8:10 pm

BT63 wrote:I'm not sure I would want 2GB of RAM, though, because if Windows 10 takes 40% that only leaves just over 1GB for everything else, and at 0.1GB per document or internet window, the RAM would be maxed-out with several internet browser windows, an Excel and a Word document open..


It doesn't quite work like that :) Windows 10 typically takes an absolute minimum of about 1.1-1.3 GB, no matter how little memory the machine has. If it only has 1 GB, those last .1 or .3 GB live on disk and are dragged into memory as it goes to use it. Running programmes involves shuffling even more of Windows on to disk, so even with an SSD, things are not rapid.

One trick on machines this short of memory is to use 32 rather than 64 bit Windows - it is a little less memory hungry, and the chief benefit of 64 bit which is the ability to access more than 4GB of RAM is rather irrelevant.

The extra RAM use as you add more memory partly goes into keeping track of the extra memory, and partly into Windows choosing to keep a little more of itself in memory rather than on HD

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405937

Postby BT63 » April 21st, 2021, 8:15 pm

xeny wrote:
BT63 wrote:I'm not sure I would want 2GB of RAM, though, because if Windows 10 takes 40% that only leaves just over 1GB for everything else, and at 0.1GB per document or internet window, the RAM would be maxed-out with several internet browser windows, an Excel and a Word document open..


It doesn't quite work like that :) Windows 10 typically takes an absolute minimum of about 1.1-1.3 GB, no matter how little memory the machine has. If it only has 1 GB, those last .1 or .3 GB live on disk and are dragged into memory as it goes to use it. Running programmes involves shuffling even more of Windows on to disk, so even with an SSD, things are not rapid.

One trick on machines this short of memory is to use 32 rather than 64 bit Windows - it is a little less memory hungry, and the chief benefit of 64 bit which is the ability to access more than 4GB of RAM is rather irrelevant.

The extra RAM use as you add more memory partly goes into keeping track of the extra memory, and partly into Windows choosing to keep a little more of itself in memory rather than on HD


On the subject or RAM, the computer has two slots with 2GB in each but I have a single 4GB of similar-rated RAM which I could add in place of one of the two 2GB, to increase its RAM to 6GB (4+2).

Is 4+2 better than 2+2?

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405943

Postby monabri » April 21st, 2021, 8:38 pm

Don't you have to have matched pairs of memory, 4GB+4GB ?

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Re: Task Manager CPU Utilisation %

#405966

Postby xeny » April 21st, 2021, 9:21 pm

BT63 wrote:On the subject or RAM, the computer has two slots with 2GB in each but I have a single 4GB of similar-rated RAM which I could add in place of one of the two 2GB, to increase its RAM to 6GB (4+2).

Is 4+2 better than 2+2?


Depends on what you're after. As a short answer, the top priority is having enough memory. Once you have enough memory, matched memory is desirable, but a lower priority. Given the way I tend to use a machine, I'd definitely prefer the 4+2 option, but I tend to have lots of programmes open at once.

2 matched DIMMs will have more bandwidth (so the processor can read and write to memory slightly faster, and more importantly, if the computer has built in graphics rather than an add in card, the graphics part of the processor can access memory faster). The benefit to the processor is typically small. The benefit to the graphics can be significant, especially if you have a computer with several large display attached, as it is having to shuffle more information around.

On the other hand, more memory makes a much larger difference if the machine is actually short of memory - are you seeing memory shortage in task manager? If so I would definitely favour mismatched memory as the performance impact of memory shortage is far more significant - it can easily be a factor of say 5 or 10 in machine speed. Matched memory might make a 20% difference in graphics speed, less than that in processing speed.

As an example, I started working from home in lockdown with a machine with 8 GB of RAM as a single DIMM. I quickly decided I needed more memory, so I bought an extra 16 GB as a single DIMM so I had a mismatched 24 GB (even not matched memory is faster than just 1 DIMM on its own), which was enough for what I was doing.

Over the next couple of months, I upgraded from one 1920 x 1200 screen to three screens with resolutions up to 2560 x 1440. I had enough memory, but I wanted to get a slightly more responsive display with things like window scrolling, so I bought another 16 GB DIMM, and swapped it for the 8 GB, which I removed to give a total of 32 GB of matched memory (what is called dual channel). I didn't bother putting the 8 back in as I had enough memory, and I didn't want to sacrifice any memory bandwidth.

There are some benchmarks on a site here: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1349 ... ?showall=1 Note that mismatched memory (so your example of a 2+4 would give performance somewhere between the single channel and dual channel behaviour, as the computer is usually smart enough to balance the 2 GB against 2 of the 4 GB in the other DIMM, so you end up with a system that behaves roughly as if it has 4GB in dual channel mode and 2 GB in single channel mode.


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