Frequently Asked Questions about Multi-Core Intel® Processors

Last Reviewed: 13-Sep-2017
Article ID: 000006627

Why are the CPU graphs in Windows* Task Manager not identical?
Nonidentical CPU graphs are not unusual for multi-core processors. Each box represents one of the processor cores. Dual-core processors have two graphs and quad-core processors have four graphs. The graphs are not identical because very few applications can spread their processing load completely even across the cores. More advanced programs, like games, are written to take advantage of multiple cores and spread the processing load more evenly across cores.

How can I disable a core on my multi-core processor?
Intel® Desktop Boards have BIOS options to display secondary cores. For Intel Desktop Boards, the BIOS option is generally called "Core Multiplexing Technology." If you have a third-party motherboard, check with your system vendor to see if your system has a similar setting.

How can I tell if all the cores are working on my multi-core processor?
Open Windows Task Manager and look at the Performance tab for a graph of each core. If you do not see a graph for each core, check the following:

  • Make sure Task Manager is configured to show multiple graphs:
    • Open Task Manager
    • Click View/CPU History/One Graph Per CPU
  • Make sure you have the proper BIOS options in your system and processor.
  • Check the BIOS settings to make sure all cores are enabled.
  • Make sure you have the latest updates for your operating system.
  • Run the Intel® Processor Identification Utility to make sure your system identifies a genuine Intel® Processor.

    See more information about the Intel® Processor Identification Utility.

Can I set a program to work with a specific core on my multi-core processor?
Yes. You can use the Set Affinity option in Windows Task Manager to select which cores (or just one core) to work with the program. Right-click on a process in the Processes tab in Task Manager to find the Set Affinity option.

Note You can use third-party applications to automatically set processor affinity.

What is Maximum System Thermal Design Power (TDP)?
Maximum System TDP is the aggregate of the maximum TDP values for the processor(s), MCH, and ICH of the grouping you have chosen, or the search feature has found. MCHs and ICHs might have varying TDP values, depending on the number of active memory channels, the front-side bus speed, and other factors. Check the respective thermal design guides for the parts in question. A safe estimate is to choose the highest possible TDP values.

What is the difference between Max TDP and Stepping TDP?
For processors, the TDP can vary depending on the stepping of the processor. The Max TDP is the highest TDP value of all steppings. Stepping TDP is the TDP for that particular stepping of the processor.

What is Intel® Stable Image Platform Program (Intel® SIPP)?
Intel® Stable Image Platform Program delivers standardized HW platform and image stability for 1 year after product launch.

What does "halogen free" mean?
"Halogen free" implies the following: Bromine and/or chlorine in materials that might be used during processing, but do not remain in the final product are not included in this definition. The halogens fluorine (F), iodine (I), and astatine (At) are not restricted by this standard. “BFR/CFR and PVC-free” definition: An article must meet all of the following requirements to be defined as “BFR/CFR and PVC-free”:

  1. All PCB laminates must meet bromine (Br) and chlorine (Cl) requirements for low halogen as defined in IPC-4101B.

  2. For components other than PCB laminates, all homogeneous materials must include < 900 ppm (0.09%) of bromine [if the Br source is from BFRs] and < 900 ppm (0.09%) of Cl [if the Cl source is from CFRs or PVC. Higher concentrations of Br and Cl are allowed in homogenous materials of components other than PCB laminates as long as their sources are not BFRs, CFRs, and PVC.

  3. Any analytical method with sufficient sensitivity and selectivity can perform elemental analysis for Br and Cl in homogeneous materials. However, presence or absence of BFRs, CFRs, or PVC must be verified by acceptable analytical techniques that allow for the unequivocal identification of the specific Br or Cl compounds, or by appropriate material declarations agreed to between customer and supplier.

Where can I find processor-related information?
Search the processor products database. If you are unable to locate the Intel® Processor that you are looking for via search or browse, send your feedback to