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Thread: Task Manager

  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Task Manager

    I'd welcome an explanation of the displays I see when I click Task Manager\Performance.

    Re the CPU Usage display: What is the unit of time for each unit of the x-axis?

    Re the PF display: What does "PF" mean" My reading shows a flat line of 1.21 GB; is that too high, too low? How do I modify it?

    Where can I get more information on what Task Manager is telling me?

    My desktop system (with XP Home Edition) works but is very slow on transferring from one web site to another. Task Manager often shows 100% CPU utilization. The CPU usage display shows oscillations (from 0 to 100%) at a frequency of once per two units of the x-axis. What doe this suggest is my problem? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator satrow's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Cardiff, UK
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    Welcome to the Lounge.

    Looks like the x-axis is ~ 10 seconds per unit on my W7x64.

    PF = Page File (or paging file, virtual memory) = usable RAM + HDD drive space currently allocated to virtual memory. How much RAM do you have installed (Win key + Pause/Break)?


    It suggests that your graphics chip isn't up to displaying modern websites and that it's handing over much of the work involved to the CPU, which is probably an older design anyway. The older the CPU, the fewer cores it has, the more it has to work. With a good recent graphics chipset/card, the CPU would have less work to do.

    Some of this could be ameliorated with a good web browser and some selective tweaking, I suggest you try Pale Moon if you're running SP3, there's also an Atom-optimized version, if you have that CPU type.

    To check whether it's User mode or Kernel/drivers causing the uptick in the CPU%, inj Task Manager > View > Show Kernel times. Now you should see a new line, this indicates how hard the Windows kernel and drivers are working - above ~8-10%, the machine will feel 'laggy', the target should be sub 4% with only brief spikes above the 8-10 level. The % above the kernel line is User mode processes - principally, your running software.

    Full hardware details would be good

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