How to get more from a quad-core PC

What is the benefit of multicore computing on Windows 7

QUESTION: My Windows 7 Home Premium computer has a quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM. I've not found any advantage to using four cores. How can I use the processor more effectively and allocate different processes to the individual cores? James Dunn

ANSWER: Most modern processors are dual- or quad-core. Multiple cores allow PCs to process data faster and more efficiently, without the need for really fast CPU clock speeds. Windows 7 and a number of other software programs have been designed to spread their load over several cores and thus run faster with such processors than they would on a single-core machine.

Older applications that haven't been designed in this way will need to be told how to effectively designate tasks to each core. Processor Affinity lets you specify which core each program runs on.

Call up the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl, Shift, Esc and choosing that option. Select the Processes tab. A list of all the applications and processes currently running on your machine will appear. Right-click on any process or program and choose Set Affinity.

By default, Affinity instructs all processes to run on all cores; you can change this in the dialog box that pops up by removing the tick in the box beside each processor core that you don't want an application to run on.

Not many programs are able to take advantage of multiple cores as yet, but as time moves on and software is updated you'll see many more software applications make the multicore leap.

See also: How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags processorsWindows 7notebooksquad-coredesktop pcsdual coreCPUsComponentsPCs & laptopsPC Peripherals

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Byers

PC Advisor
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?