When we buy a new laptop or a new PC, we want to make sure that it comes with the right amount of RAM and that it has a strong processor. However, after months and months of usage, we start to feel that our devices are becoming slower, and we’re looking to get better hardware. But sometimes the problem can be solved from the inside, by using the right software utilities.
Today we’re going to discuss about ParkControl, a free software that allows you to play around with the Core Parking option in Windows. Core Parking is a CPU power saving feature which disables individual processor cores when your system is idle, and it can then turn them back on as you resume your work or game.
Core Parking is a hidden setting that lets you have more control over your Windows power plans, so that you can save more energy or improve your system speeds. Whenever you choose a new power plan, Windows will adjusts core parking settings to fit your plan, but ParkControl lets you have more control over that.
Empirical evidence shows that disabling core parking can make a real difference in system performance. There are many factors that will determine how efficacious it will be for any given system, including the CPU type, application load, and user behavior. However, we find that Windows is often over-aggressive in its core parking, resulting in excess latency as cores are unparked to accommodate bursting loads (the most common type of CPU load).
In our tests, we’ve found AMD processors benefit most from disabling core parking. This is perhaps due to the dramatic difference in the way AMD processors share (hardware) computational resources between logical cores. Microsoft optimized for Intel’s HyperThreading, which has much less capable secondary cores. AMD’s secondary logical cores are near full CPUs.
The freeware is really lightweight, having a size of just 1.44 megabytes; and it also has no installer, being a live EXE. So, you just download it and then open it, and that’s it. As you can see in the above screenshot of my system, there’s a live graphic of the CPU use where the green bars represent active cores. In my case, I only have four, but if you have extra that are unused and currently parked, they will be represented in solid grey colors.
So, by using the tool, you can disable core parking to improve performance, or enable it to save energy. After you will click Apply (don’t forget to make active the power plan before that), the graph will immediately deliver fresh information. The developer of the software says that these tweaks are entirely safe for any PC that is constructed properly and ‘the only way that they could possibly seem to cause some change in behavior is if the PC has overheating issues’.