If you have poor hardware and want to improve the performance of your favorite programs, you can reserve processor cores for them.

Windows 10 has a lot of options that you can customize to improve performance. The Processor Affinity and Processor Priority features in Windows 10 are some of the finest, and while they’re not a terrible bullet to improve your computer’s performance, they do affect as your hardware ages.

Due to the sensitivity of the processes, you should only set the processor affinity and processor priority if you are willing to accept things going downhill. However, if you’re ready to customize your system, let’s see how you can set CPU affinity and CPU priority in Windows 10.

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What is the affinity of the processor in Windows 10?

Each operating system has an underlying timing algorithm. The timing algorithm is responsible for allocating computational resources to different processes or threads. Windows 10 can have hundreds of processes running at the same time.

The CPU cannot process all of these processes simultaneously, so the scheduling algorithm manages these processes and allocates CPU time to them based on several factors.

As such, the affinity of the processor can be considered as user intervention in the timer. Normally, the Windows scheduling algorithm decides which process runs on which CPU core. If you configure Processor Affinity manually, you can force a process or thread to run in the kernel of your choice.

In other words, the affinity of the processor allows you to assign one or more processor cores to the processes or threads you select. The processes or threads you assign affinity to work only on the specified cores.

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However, this does not make the cores exclusive to these processes. Windows can still configure different processes for these kernels. Setting the affinity of the processor only affects the processes you select, so they run only on the specified cores.

What is CPU priority in Windows 10?

As explained above, Windows 10 can have hundreds of processes or threads competing for CPU time at any one time. To ensure that critical processes and execution threads have priority access to CPU resources, the Windows scheduling algorithm prioritizes each process and execution thread in the operating system.

For example, the Windows scheduling algorithm gives high priority to critical Windows processes, such as the system and Windows Explorer. If these processes are queued, they gain access to the processor before the lower priority processes.

So when you manually set the process processor priority to a high level, Windows Timer ensures that the process gets priority access to CPU resources.

Finally, the priority of the processor is very different from the affinity of the processors. Setting the CPU priority of a process tells the scheduler how the process should be handled, but setting the affinity of the processors locks the process to one or more specific CPU cores. Once the affinity of the processor is set, it operates on the specified cores / cores, even if the process has a high or low priority.

Why do you want to configure programs for specific CPU cores?

One of the biggest problems with modern computing is the large number of single-wire programs. Even in 2021, when most processors will have quad-core or more, some programs will utilize only one of the many available cores.

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This poses a problem for modern operating system schedulers: how do you schedule single-threaded processes on multi-threaded processors without compromising compatibility?

In most cases, modern schedules efficiently schedule single-wire processes in modern processors. But sometimes it happens that an old program crashes due to poor compatibility. Here, an Affinity Processor configuration can be useful.

Processor affinity limits the running of processes on specific processor cores. In older single-wire programs, you can limit these processes to a single processor core by setting the affinity of the processor.

In addition, people with weaker machines can also benefit from prioritizing their important tasks. For example, if you are a video editor, you can set a high priority for your renderer before you start rendering the video. This way, when you want to render a video, Windows knows that it needs to pay most of its attention to processing the video.

How to set CPU affinity and CPU priority?

To set CPU affinity and CPU priority, you must open Task Manager and continue from there.

  • Open Task management right-click on the Windows 10 taskbar and select Task management. Then go to the process whose affinity you want to determine.
  • Then right-click this process and select Go to the details.
  • The process you selected will be highlighted in the new panel that appears. Right-click the highlighted process and select Define the affinity. Panel Processor affinity is then displayed.
  • In the panel Processor affinity, deselect the CPU cores where you do not want the process to run. Then click ALRIGHT. The affinity of the processor is now set and the process you selected only works on the selected CPU cores.
  • To set the processor priority, right-click any process Task management and select Go to the details.
  • Then right-click the highlighted process and click Set priority.
  • Select a priority from the list that appears. If you want the process to run as soon as it needs it, select Real time.
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However, if you select Real Time, other, potentially critical system processes are waiting in line. This can lead to an overall system slowdown in the worst case and a complete system failure in the worst case, so be careful when setting the process as a real-time priority.

  • Priority High, on the other hand, is safer as long as you don’t put too many processes in high priority.
  • Other options on the list, namely Above normal, Normal, Lower than normal and Low, are self – evident.

Do not set CPU affinity and CPU priority if you do not know what you are doing

You should only set CPU affinity and CPU priority if you know what you are doing. Improving performance, while great in some cases, is not worth the problems you might face if something goes wrong. From deceleration to random system crashes, affinity and priority setting should be the last resort.

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