Hyperthreading is an Intel-developed technology that allows a single physical central processing unit (CPU) to appear as two logical CPUs in the operating system and applications. If a system has 2 cores when hyperthreading is implemented it creates 2 more virtual cores. This means physically we have 2 cores but from an operating system point of view, it sees them as 4 cores.
It works similarly to when you partition a hard disk to get 2 partitions from one physical disk. The operating system treats each partition as a single disk.
This can improve the performance of certain types of workloads by allowing the CPU to switch between threads more quickly, potentially leading to faster completion of tasks. Hyperthreading is implemented in the hardware of the CPU and is transparent to the operating system and applications.
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Advantages of hyperthreading
- Increase CPU utilization: the technology ensures that all the cores are fully utilized by reducing CPU idle. This pushes utilization to the optimum.
- It increases system throughput: this means the number of tasks that can be done within a given time. Since the process can be worked on simultaneously it means more work is done within a given period.
- More background processes are executed. The system can run more background work without interrupting the system.
Disadvantages of hyperthreading
- Software incompatibility: Not all software are designed to take advantage of hyperthreading. This means even if your system is using hyperthreading you cannot benefit from the technology.
- Since the cores are utilized to the maximum it means the system produces more heat than when no hyperthreading is used. The system will need a better cooling system to counter that.
Difference between hyperthreading and multithreading
While hyperthreading is implemented by logically splitting processors, multithreading is implemented in the operating system. This is where the operating system allows the execution of more than one thread at the same time
In multithreading, a single process is split into many lightweight processes called threads. This creates a multithread since now we can execute many threads at the same time. It is similar to multiprogramming where more than one process is executed at the same time.
Both hyperthreading and multithreading can be implemented on the same system. We can have logical cores that are running multiple threads at the same time.
How to enable hyperthreading on the BIOS setting
Now let’s see how to enable the technology. BIOS means basic input output system and it is used to change and set different parameters that help the computer during the booting process. You can read more on BIOS settings in this other article for more details.
By default HP system have the HT technology activated. This means most likely your computer is already using hyperthreading. However to activate follow the step below.
To open BIOS setting restart and before the computer boots click on ESC, F11, F10, DELETE, or another key that is indicated when your computer start. For the HP system use F10 to open bios settings. You will be presented with a window similar to the one below. NOTE: The interface may look different from mine.
Click on device configuration to view available device configuration. Then look for Intel Hyperthreading (HT) technology.
In this case, it is the Intel HT Technology tick on the checkbox to activate hyperthreading. Click on save to apply changes.
Click on Save Changes and Exit to save all changes on the BIOS. The system will restart with hyperthreading activated. Below is how to confirm whether the settings are ON or OFF.
How to check if hyperthreading is ON or OFF in windows 10
There are a number of ways that you can check if hyperthreading is already active in the Windows operating system.
Open computer task manager. Click on the performance tab and you will be presented with the following window.
The above system has 2 physical cores but after hyperthreading activation, we have 4 logical processors.
For this, you will need first to know how many physical cores your computer has. In this case, the system has 2 cores but the window below now shows 4 processors.
Open the computer resource monitor and then click on CPU. The operating system will display 4 processors instead of 2.
How to disable hyperthreading on BIOS
There is no need for disabling HT technology since it is helpful. But to disable hyperthreading on HP computers just follows the same procedure on how to activate and then uncheck the box.
If the option is not active like above ensure the Deep sleep is turned OFF. To do that just scroll on the same window. It is the last option on the device configuration.
When the Deep sleep is OFF you can now uncheck the Intel HT technology option to deactivate. Save the changes and let the computer restart. Now your computer will be using only physical cores and it will indicate that in all places like on the device manager, resource monitor, and task manager.