How to see what your processor is doing

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How to see what your processor is doing

A computer’s central processing unit handles all the calculations that make the computer function. When an application, such as Microsoft Word, is loaded, the processor adds the program as a task or process. With each concurrent task, the processor works harder to manage each program. Too many processes can overwhelm the processor, causing your computer to run slowly. Windows and Mac operating systems allow you to monitor CPU usage to gauge how well your computer is performing.


Window 7

1.  Place the mouse pointer on the taskbar and click. In the pop-up menu, click “Start Task Manager.”

2.  Click the “Processes” tab. This lists each of the processes your computer is running. Review the list of processes to identify which programs are using processor power.

3.  Click the “Performance” tab. This provides a snapshot of the total processor usage by all running processes using two graphs. The graph labeled “CPU” indicates the percentage of the processor’s power being used by the computer’s programs.


4. Click on the “Finder” icon in the system tray.

5. Click “Applications” and then double-click “Activity Monitor.” This application reports statistics on computer performance.

6. Click the “CPU” tab to view CPU details. Activity Monitor has several tabs and processor details ready by default. The first column is an arbitrary “processor ID” assigned by the computer. “Processor Name” is the name of the actual process the CPU is running and “% CPU” is the percentage of CPU performance the process is using.

Raja Arslan

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