Thursday, 12 March 2015

Improve The Processor Time Percentage

Use the Windows Task Manager to improve task allocations to your processor.

All modern processors and operating systems support some form of multithreading, which allows the resources from a single process to reside in multiple CPU threads. When a process is running on your computer, the CPU must constantly check on the process for updated instructions. Each time the CPU makes a return to a process, it completes a cycle. A large amount of CPU threads can lead to longer CPU cycle times, which decreases the time the processor has available for other threads. Improving the available processor time is accomplished by simply decreasing the number of running processes.


Configuring and Understanding the Task Manager

1. Right-click the taskbar and click "Start Task Manager." Alternatively, you can press and hold the "Ctrl" "Alt" and "Delete" keys consecutively to launch the Task Manager.

2. Click the "Processes" tab and then click the "Show Processes from all users" button at the bottom. This populates the "Processes" tab with a list of all running applications on your computer. The processes tab has a variety of columns that you can be used to sort the processes. Additionally, these columns provide information specific to each running task. Understanding this information is critical to effective task management.

3. Click "View" and then click "Select Columns." This opens a "Select Process Page Columns" dialog window. Each option has a box next to it. Click the box to add that column to the processes tab. Uncheck the boxes next to "Memory-Paged Pool" and "Memory-Non-Paged Pool." These columns specify information regarding virtual memory allocation and do not supply information essential in improving processor time.

4. Click in the check boxes next to the "Threads," "Base Priority" and "CPU Time" options and click the "OK" button. This adds three new columns to the "Processes" tab. The "Threads" column specifies how many individual threads of resources the process is using. The "Base Priority" column shows you the priority level of the process. The "CPU Time" column shows you how much time your process has spent executing instructions in the CPU versus having to wait for worker thread resources.

5. Look at the "Image Name" tab. This displays the name of the executable responsible for the process. It is important to know that some of these executables should never be closed and you may need to research what some of them are.

Task Management

6. Click the "CPU" column. This sorts the processes by CPU usage. Look at the first process under the "Image Name" column. This process is called the "System Idle Process." This is the only element on the Task Manager that is technically not a process. This number determines the amount of time your processor is idle. Higher numbers mean you have a higher processor time percentage. While the maximum number for the CPU column is "100," a well-optimized system will usually display "90" through "99." Increase this number by terminating processes you do not need and managing the process priorities.

7. Look at the rest of the processes listed under the "Image Name" column and then look at the corresponding "CPU" number. The processes listed at the top are the ones taking the most amount of process time. Look at the "Threads" column. When you close a task, it frees up the thread resources currently being used for that process.

8. Right-click a process you do not want running and click "End Process Tree." Click the "End Process Tree" button on the confirmation dialog. This terminates the task.

9. Right-click a process that you need running but you are not currently working on and click "Set Priority." Click "Below Normal" from the right-click menu. This lowers the processor "Base Priority" and frees up the available processor time percentage without terminating the task. Lowering the base priority is useful for applications that are running in the background.

10. Right-click a process that needs a performance increase and click "Set Priority." Click "Above Normal" from the right-click menu. This increases the processor "Base Priority" and the time taken from the previous process will now be applied to this task. Increasing the base priority is useful for applications that are running in the foreground.

Tags: Task Manager, Image Name, processor time, Right-click process, applications that