Windows 7 Resource Usage: Constantly At Maximum CPU Frequency?

If you are monitoring your resource usage you might have noticed that it display 80-100% CPU frequency even while you are idle. Is this normal?

Resource Monitor Maximum CPU Frequency

The CPU frequency is not the CPU usage. The CPU frequency is the number of calculations that a processor can do per second (approx.).  Unless you are on a specific “eco power plan” or use some tools to lower your CPU frequency, it is very normal that your CPU frequency is constantly at 100%. In fact, a very low CPU frequency (below 80%)  is something that you don’t want unless you are currently idle.

Intel and AMD have both implemented features that automatically lower the CPU frequency. Why? Because you don’t need 100% CPU frequency at all times and this will keep the CPU load low and result in a lower electricity bill. So, it’s a win-win situation.You can do some further research on Intel’s SpeedStep and AMD’s Cool’n’Quiet:

Dynamic frequency scaling Key Technology

  • Intel: SpeedStep
  • AMD: Cool’n’Quiet

Tip: Read your motherboard manual to figure out how to disable SpeedStep or Cool’n’Quiet and you can disable dynamic CPU frequency scaling.

My recommendation: Don’t disable it! Think about your money and nature. Dynamic frequency scaling is a great technology that can save money and help to reduce CO2.

FSB & CPU Clock Rate

You might want to read the following wiki articles: CPU Clock rate and FSB (Front-side Bus). Especially, if you intend to overclock your computer youu should know what the FSB is. If you multiply the FSB speed with the clock multiplier you will get the CPU frequency. This CPU frequency is the number of calculations that a processor can do per second (approx.).

There are many tools that allow you to monitor the CPU frequency.

Published: Sunday, February 6th, 2011 Last Modified: February 6, 2011

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