Unpark CPU Cores: Everything you need to know

Unparking CPU cores, a topic discussed by many people around the internet, and the last few years, has become an exciting topic for gamers looking for a performance boost on their computer to increase their FPS and have more stable gaming machines with fewer shutters and fps drops.

CPUs had low power sleep states for a long time. In the early days, these low power states ordered the whole CPU to pause execution and sometimes require other components to power off, which was, after all, not so efficient. Fast forward to the next big step in the CPU power saving features was when the multi-core CPUs was developed. Instead of resting the whole processor’s execution, what these low power states did instead was to pause execution on each core collectively, resulting in fairly effective power management. The cores were marked as idle, but they were still drawing power. The next level of these CPU features is Unparking and Parking Cores, which we will discuss below.

What is core parking?

Core parking is a power-saving mechanism. Core parking allows an operating system to put a core in sleep mode that it no longer performs any tasks and draws little to no power at all. When desirable, the operating system can wake up the CPU cores that were previously parked and fully load them.

What are the benefits if you Unpark CPU cores?

Instead of cores being on sleep mode and waking them up when needed, by unparking all CPU cores, we can achieve to hold all our CPU cores ready and waiting to execute tasks. This results in better responsiveness and, most of the time in better performance.

What are the drawbacks if you Unpark CPU cores?

Two of the most important drawbacks you should keep in mind are that since all your CPU cores are working simultaneously, you should expect higher power consumption and higher temperatures.

Is it safe to Unpark CPU cores?

CPUs are designed to run all their cores simultaneously at any given time so that it will have no negative impact on your CPU, and it’s completely safe.

Does Core Parking affect performance?

Core parking does affect performance most of the time in a negative way. By unparking all your cores, it means that you have all the processor power available without delay and sometimes mess of unparking and parking cores.

Does unparking CPU Cores boost FPS in games?

Yes, it does. Since many games are poorly optimized and tuned, they negatively interfere with Windows making the parking/unparking process a complete mess by parking cores that there is no need to park and resulting in FPS drops & performance issues.

Here are some benchmarks tests with all cores unparked vs. core parking enabled:

Benchmarks tests with all cores unparked vs. core parking enabled
Three different gaming Pcs on CS: GO – Credits to 3kliksphilip

Should I unpark all my CPU cores?

This is really up to you. If you benefit from unparking your CPU cores and power consumption and heat are not an issue for you, then go ahead and unpark all your CPU cores. If, on the other hand, you’ve already experienced high temps while idle, it might not be a good idea to unpark your cores.

If you are a laptop user, don’t unpark your cores while on battery, instead remove your battery and use your laptop with the power cable directly connected to the power outlet.

Does parking cores save power?

Parked cores will draw little to no power, so the answer is yes. Parking cores does save power. Here is an example of power consumption on different CPUs with parked/unparked cores while idle.

Does Unparking cores increase heat?

Since all your CPU cores will be running, you can expect higher temperatures.

How to unpark CPU cores?

Before you start unparking your CPU cores, let’s first examine the current status of your CPU cores.

Navigate to Task Manager -> Performance, choose your CPU and click on Open Resource Monitor.

How to navigate to CPU statistics in task manager in order to check if CPU cores are parked or unparked.

Now on the right side, you can see if some of your cores are parked or not. If any of your cores are parked, you will see an indication “Parked” next to or under the core number.

An image showing the status of CPU cores (Parked or Unparked)
All the cores are unparked

If your cores are parked, and you would like to unpark them, follow my steps below :

Visit QuickCPU by CoderBag and navigate to the bottom of the page and click on download. A zip file will be downloaded, extract the file, and double-click on the .exe file to install it.

How to download QuickCPU
Download x64 or x32 depending on your OS.

Once installed, open Quick CPU, and you should see a window with all your CPU cores, parked or unparked status, and a dozen other information about your CPU. Under the Power Data tab, you can see the System power plan option. You want to choose the power plan for which you want the CPU cores to be unparked, so you can switch between power plans if you don’t need your cores to be 24/7 unparked.

Status of CPU cores in QuickCPU app
Cores before unparking

You should see the option “Core parking” with a slider at the bottom of the window, move the slider to 100% to unpark all your CPU cores, and once done, click apply.

How to Unpark CPU cores
Move slider to 100%

Now your CPU cores should look like this :

How unparked CPU cores look like
All cores unparked

Once you are done with the settings, you can safely uninstall the program from your computer.

How to park CPU cores?

The process is identical to unparking your CPU cores, but instead of moving the slider to 100%, this time, move it to 10 – 30%.

But let me quickly explain it to you step by step:

Download, extract and install QuickCPU by CoderBag.

Once installed open the app and choose the power plan you wish to edit.

pre-requirements to park CPU cores in QUickCPU app
I recommend you choose the “High Performance” power plan, and remember to set it as active

On the bottom left of the QuickCPU window, you will see the Core parking option. Drag the slider to 10 – 30%. This will ensure that at least one or two cores(Depending on the number of your cores) will never get parked and cause stability issues even on light tasks.

How to Park CPU Cores with QuickCPU
As you can see the cores get parked.

Once you are done with the settings, you can safely uninstall the program from your computer.

If after following this guide you still can’t unpark your CPU cores, or you feel like your CPU is underperforming, you can book a PC Optimization appointment with me and I will be more than happy to help you out and solve all your problems.

Using a VPN?

If you absolutely need to use a VPN for whatever reason, then make sure they have a lot of servers across the world, as well as their servers, are the fastest with the lowest ping possible. If you are looking for the best gaming and general use VPN without spending too much money, then you should take a look at NordVPN and get 3 Months completely FREE!

Guides to Optimize your PC

Below you can find some posts from me that will help you optimize your PC even more and possibly increase your FPS.

Conclusion

Unparking/Parking Cores feature may be beneficial for you, but you should consider the things I wrote above. The best thing you could do is try it yourself and see if the results are worth it.

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