Per-CPU performance statistics are useless

Windows, Linux and OS X offer the ability to view the utilization of each CPU/core in the system. This is completely useless. On all these operating systems, tasks get switched from one core to another on a regular basis. (I don't know why this happens, but I suppose there is no reason for it not to happen.)

Here is my CPU-bound single-threaded program running on a dual-core computer.

I suppose all one can really say is that if one has N cores and the average CPU% usage (over all cores) is approximately 100/N then probably one is running a program which can't take advantage of multiple cores.

I would rather replace the current "CPU usage history, per core" multiple graphs with:

I mean it's not a brilliant solution but I reckon it would be more meaningful than the way the information is currently displayed.

This article is © Adrian Smith.
It was originally published on 1 Apr 2009
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