Running tasks in Task Manager

  Pineman100 12:16 27 Sep 2006

I run Windows XP Home SP2. My 1-yr-old computer has a 3.2 GB Pentium CPU, a 200 GB HDD and 1GB of RAM.

Out of general interest, I've just had a look in Task Manager, at a time when the only things running on the computer were my wireless network and Internet Explorer.

To my astonishment there were 63 running processes. The CPU usage graph showed between 50% and 60% of CPU capacity in use, with no other software running at all.

Page File usage is 475MB, available physical memory is just 394968K (out of a total of 1047276K). System cache is 558516K.

Is all this normal? What on earth is going on to hog all these resources? Or am I completely misunderstanding what I'm looking at?

I notice that the running processes fall into three categories: System, Local Service and my name. Is it safe to assume that anything under my name could be switched off safely? And is this worth doing?

  VoG II 12:22 27 Sep 2006

Try installing click here - it will tell you what most of these processes are and advise whether they are vessential.

  GroupFC 12:43 27 Sep 2006

I don't think you are misunderstanding what you are looking at but 63 running processes does seem to be rather a lot!

On this machine I have 30 running (with ie and task manager being 2 of them and CPU usage at 2% - 8%), so I think you need to do some investigations to see what they all are!

  gudgulf 12:55 27 Sep 2006

On my pc I can easily get up to the hhigh 60s.

AOL,all the auto-updaters and printer software,office Tasbar icons,Creative SounBlaster software and active antimalware programs soon run up a huge amount of running processes.

Many of these can be pruned away saving memory.

However your cpu should not be running continuously at a high level so something is amiss.

I assume you have Hyperthreading on your cpu.......are you running a distributred computing program such as [email protected] (Folding at Home) as this will give a consistent reading of 50% on a Hyperthreading cpu?

If not then look through the list of processes and identify the one using the it here if you don't recognise it.

  Pineman100 13:06 27 Sep 2006

I don't think my CPU has hyperthreading (at any rate there's no mention of it in Everest). And I have no distributed computing program (that I'm aware of).

The CPU usage seems to be coming from:-

taskmgr.exe 8
hadcm3transum_5.08_windows_intelx86.exe 50
System Idle Process 48

  gudgulf 13:13 27 Sep 2006


This is the BBC Climate expeiment...which is a distributed computer project.

Since it is running at 50% you do indeed have hyperthreading.

If you didn't install it yourself then someone in your household probably did.

CPU-z click here will confirm all details of the cpu.

As for the BBC program...that is designed to run at very low priority.It will release all the cpu cycles it is using to any other program running so wont affect the performance of your pc.

  gudgulf 13:16 27 Sep 2006
  VoG II 13:17 27 Sep 2006

System Idle Process - is what it says. As far as I know this isn't actually doing anything.

  Pineman100 16:20 27 Sep 2006

...for your help. Gudgulf's identification of the major culprit as the Climate Change experiment has set my mind at rest.

Actually I downloaded it myself some months ago, but I didn't realise that it automatically occupies a lot of spare CPU capacity when this is unwanted by anything else. That explains everything.

Since it voluntarily steps aside when other processes need the CPU capacity, I'm happy to leave it alone.

Many thanks again.

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