How to check if all CPU cores are working?

This video shows you step-by-step how to check your multi-core processor to see if it is working well on Windows 7/10

Find out how many cores your processor has

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Select the Performance tab to see how many cores and logical processors your PC has.

How to check if all CPU cores are working on Windows 10?

Many years ago, every processor had just one core and can only do a single task at a time. Today, we can find computers with multiple cores and each one of them can handle a different task. This change in the number of cores has greatly impacted the performance of modern-day computers.

Knowing how many cores your computer has and being able to check if all these cores are working properly is vital to keeping it as efficient as possible.

What is a CPU core?

A core is like a small CPU built into a big CPU of your computer and can perform computational tasks independently. The core of your computer determines what software and how many programs your PC can run at a time.

Since cores work independently to do a specific task, the more cores your computer has, the more efficient it is. Many laptops have two cores; however, there are also laptops that contain up to 4 cores or more. On the other hand, desktop computers can have 8 or more cores depending on what it is designed to do.

Moreover, most processors are able to use a process called simultaneous multithreading or hyperthreading. What this process does is split a core into more virtual cores called threads. For example, Intel CPUs with two built-in cores provide four threads after hyper-threading. The same goes for AMD CPUs.

It is important to note that some apps or programs work better on the thread than others. For instance, games and other lightly threaded apps don’t benefit much from a lot of cores while editing programs do.

Video: CPU Cores and Threads Explained

Checking your Cores’ Performance

Before you can check how your cores are performing, you should already have an idea of how many cores there are in your CPU.

Video: How to check how many cores your computer has

If your computer runs on Windows 7, by default, you can check all the CPU cores through the Task Manager. You can follow these simple steps:

1. From the Start Screen, start typing in ‘Task’ and it will show up a list of apps in your system. Hit Enter when you see ‘Task Manager.’ Alternatively, you can right-click on the Windows taskbar and from the context menu choose Task Manager, or simply press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.

2. Open the Performance tab. From there, you should see graphs of your cores and be able to identify if all cores are working or not.

You can follow the same steps for Windows 10. However, by default, the Performance tab will not show your cores’ performance. You need to change the settings by doing these simple steps:

  1. On the Performance tab, right-click inside the CPU graph.
  2. Select Change graph > Logical processors

Q & A

How many CPU cores do I need?

For most users who will just use their computers for personal use like web browsing, watching videos, working on spreadsheets, and more, at least 2 cores will do the job. However, if you are into video editing, data analysis, and the engineering field, you would want a more powerful processor with at least 6 cores.

How do you make sure all your cores are running?

How Do I Enable All Cores?

  1. Type ‘system configuration‘ in the Windows Search bar.
  2. Double-click on the System Configuration app.
  3. Click on the Boot tab.
  4. Then select Advanced options.
  5. Check the Number of processors checkbox.
  6. Use the drop-down menu to select the number of cores you want to enable.
  7. Save the changes.

Why is my CPU not using all of its cores?

If the CPU is not showing all the cores it means your processor is giving in. We suggest using another third-party monitoring tool if Task Manager is not showing all the cores. You should make sure that all of your cores are enabled to quickly solve the problem.

Should I enable all CPU cores?

Should I Enable All Cores? Your operating system and the programs you’re running will use as many cores and processing power as they need. So, there’s really no need to enable all the cores. For example, Windows 10 is configured to automatically use all the cores if the program you’re running has this ability.

Are 4 cores enough for gaming?

The performance improvement in games won’t be as noticeable when jumping from 6 to 8 cores as it would be from 4 to 6 cores. However, the improvement in productivity work is considerable. For anyone looking to work on their computer, but also wanting to game, 8-core processors are the way to go.

Do you need 12 cores for gaming?

Games do use multiple cores. However, depending upon the particular game, it can use anywhere between 1 – 8 cores generally. But a vast majority of the games still use 4-6 cores optimally.

How many cores does an i7 have?

With these types of applications, they can use multiple cores to improve performance. Single-threaded applications can only use a single core leaving any others idle. Core i3 processors have two cores, Core i5 CPUs have four and Core i7 models also have four. Some Core i7 Extreme processors have six or eight cores.

How do I check CPU core usage in Windows?

Right-click on the CPU usage graph then select “Change graph to” and “Logical processors”. The logical processor graphs will show the individual usage of each core of your CPU.

Is more cores better for gaming?

When a CPU has more than one core, each core gets treated as a separate CPU and allows it to process multiple tasks at once. Each core can work on a different task so generally speaking, more cores will allow you to multitask and game faster and smoother.

How many cores can Windows 10 use?

In the diagram above, we can see where it says Windows 10 Home is limited to 64 cores (threads), whereas Pro/Education versions go up to 128, and then Workstation/Enterprise to 256.

Do I want more cores or more GHz?

If you’re just looking for a computer to get basic tasks done efficiently, a dual-core processor will probably work for your needs. For CPU intensive computing like video editing or gaming, you’ll want a higher clock speed close to 4.0 GHz, while basic computing needs don’t require such an advanced clock speed.

What is an 8-core CPU?

A quad-core CPU has four central processing units, an octa-core CPU has eight central processing units, and so on. This helps dramatically improve performance while keeping the physical CPU unit small so it fits in a single socket.

Is there a 16 Core processor?

Intel Core i9-7960X X-Series Processor 16 Cores up to 4.2 GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA2066 X299 Series 165W.

How do I enable all cores in Windows 11?

Press Windows Key + x from the keyboard->type Msconfig->Click on Boot->Advanced Options->Check on Number of Processors->Now select the Processor that you want to activate->Click on Apply->OK. You can now restart the computer and check.


If you know that your computer has multiple cores but it is not working as efficiently as it should, it’s a good idea to check if all the cores are working properly. The steps to check the performance of the cores are very simple, and we have outlined them in this guide for you.

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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