PC Gear Lab

How Many CPU Threads Do I Have? – 3 Methods

If you are buying a new computer or are curious about the one you have, you may be wondering, how many CPU threads do I have.

Well, the amount of threads depends on your CPU model as they are all different and the one you have will not necessarily match any other in terms of core and thread count. But there are several ways to find the answer. You can check your computer’s information within the OS, for instance, or visit the CPU manufacturer’s website.

A thread is basically a series of code that you can think of as a conveyor belt that processes data. Each Core in a processor represents a single thread. However, on CPUs with multi-threading enabled, which most CPUs do these days, you can have two threads per core.

So you may have come across CPUs with 2 Cores / 4 Threads, 4 Cores / 8 Threads, 8 Cores / 16 Threads and so on – in this case, the CPU has multi-threading capability. You may have also seen CPUs with 2 Cores / 2 Threads or 4 Cores / 4 Threads – in this case the CPU does not have multi-threading enabled.

The amount of threads you have is generally the defining feature of how well a CPU is at multitasking. When looking at the multi-core performance of a CPU, the amount of the threads can make a significant difference in the benchmarks results.

The difference threads can make is profound when performing tasks such as rendering, encoding, simulation or data science that are designed to use a lot of simultaneous cores and threads. In this article, we look at how to figure out the number of threads you have.

How to Check How Many CPU Threads Do I Have?

The numbers vary depending on the CPU model and the generation. Regardless, there are ways to find this number.

1. Check Using Manufacturer Information

Core i7-10700
16 threads in Core i7-10700. Source: Intel

This is the best way to get accurate information about your CPU or about the one you intend to buy. Chip manufacturers tend to have a listing of their CPU models as well as their specifications.

A quick web search can land you on the manufacture’s website where you can search for the exact CPU model and get its information.

At the same time, you can get this information from a brochure that’s provided at a store selling these CPUs and even on third-party websites.

However, the manufacturer will always have the final say and some good and accurate data.

2. Check From the Computer

Say the CPU has already been installed in a motherboard and the computer is already operational. You can still get accurate information about the CPU from the system itself.

Using the Task Manager

How Many CPU Threads Do I Have
Threads are also called logical processors

On Windows OS there’s a handy little program known as the Task Manager. You should have all seen this at one point in your life.

It provides a useful portal into the computer’s resources and running processes and more importantly, provides information about them.

There are several ways to access the Task Manager. You can use the Ctrl + Shift + Escape key combination to find the utility.

You can also right-click on the taskbar and click on Task Manager to get to the program. The other way is to use the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key combination and select Task Manager from the security menu that appears.

In the window that opens, you can press “More details” on the bottom left area if you get a small window with very little information.

Getting the Information

In the task Manager, switch over to the performance tab and you will see various computer resources like Memory, Disk, and CPU. Click the CPU tab and just before the graph on the right you will see some information.

Among the displayed metrics are your core count and logical processors count. Logical processors refer to the threads, and there you have it! You know how many threads you have.

Also Read: Best Keyboards for Engineers

3. Check Using the System Information Tool

msconfig
msinfo32.exe window showing the amount of logical processor next to the processor information

You can use this utility to get more information about your computer. Just as with the Task Manager, there are several ways to access it. The simplest is to right-click on the start button and find the option that says “Run”.

Clicking this will present you with a tiny window on which you’ll type the following “msinfo32.exe”, minus the quotation marks.

This command presents you with the utility that shows your system information.

On newer Windows OS, such as Windows 10, you can type “System Information” in the search bar instead and access the same utility.

On the Left tab, make sure you’re on System Summary, and in the tab on the right, find Processor in the Item column.

The data on the values column will give you information about your processor including its name and clock speed. You will also get the core count of the CPU and next to that, the number of Logical Processors.

Also Read: Best Motherboards for Audio Production

What is a CPU Thread?

It certainly isn’t the fabric that holds a CPU together. CPU threads are simply processors – virtual processors to be precise. To put this more into perspective, you have your processor on the motherboard. That chip can have several cores, each acting as an individual processor, giving the illusion of having several processors on the computer.

These cores are physical ICs on the chip. Threads, on the other hand, are just like cores, only that they get created by the system. They are not physically imprinted on the chip.

To create these virtual cores, different OEMs use different methods. Intel uses hyperthreading while AMD relies on Simultaneous Multithreading.

Also Read: How is Processor Speed Measured?

What Threads Do

The CPU threads help to improve the mult-tasking performance of a computer by allowing you to run more tasks in parallel.

For example, a dual-core can run two instructions in parallel in a given unit of time and a quad-core can theoretically double that for the same time frame.

Because they are individual processing units, a given OS can assign tasks to each of these and run them individually off the available cores.

This allows the CPU to do more even if there are requests that come in and block the pipeline.

Now, a single core with two threads can accomplish more if it runs instructions on one thread while another thread is waiting for an IO response to continue.

So, in essence, multi-threading allows users to experience better multitasking in a computer, and even more than that, it allows applications built to run on multiple cores to perform much better.

Not all tasks, however, benefit from a very high core or thread count. Some tasks, mostly games and even professionals tasks like designing in CAD or sculpting in Blender are highly single-core based.

Hence, when choosing a CPU, make sure you study its both single-core and multi-core performance and benchmarks.

Conclusion

Having knowledge of the amount of cores and threads a CPU has is vital for understanding it capabilities as well as its price range.

It is quite common to ask how many CPU threads do I have. The best way to find out, in our opinion, is to look at the manufacturer’s website if you know the model number.

However, if you don’t know the exact model number, you can get this information from within your system by using the built in system utilities such as the Task Manager or the System Information.

Whichever method a user prefers will depend on the density of information needed.

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