How To Disable Hyperthreading on your PC
With increasingly demanding games and streaming needs, many people struggle with the constraints of slow hardware. Hyperthreading is there to help in these situations. It increases the speed of your CPU, but there are some downsides you have to take into account.
There has been some speculation that hyperthreading on Intel CPU can make your system vulnerable to hacks. Intel claims that this is not the case. But regardless of security issues, it’s best to disable this feature if you want to avoid straining from your CPU.
Some Notes Before You Start
Hyperthreading can be done on Intel and AMD CPUs. That said, certain processors are not compatible with hyperthreading, which means there’s no way to do it in the first place.
On the other hand, there are some models that are hyperthreaded by default and you need to disable the feature from the BIOS. This isn’t too difficult to do, but you do need to be at least familiar with the system. The exact steps for disabling this feature may vary depending on the system you are using and the CPU in question.
The following section provides some basic steps that apply in most cases. But should you run into a problem, you can always consult the help page of the CPU’s manufacturer.
As mentioned, first you need to enter the BIOS. Although Window 10 allows you to do so from the system, it’s easiest to power off the computer, turn it on, and press a certain set of keys. This depends on the machine you are using. For example, Dell computers use F2 or F12, but it’s F10 on HP. On some models, you just need to press the Delete key on boot up.
Once inside the BIOS, you need to navigate to the right host for the given system. Right off the bat, this might sound as intimidating, but there’s a menu or configuration tab you should find with relative ease. The label you are looking for is Processor and it might be located in one of the sub-menus. Take your time until you find Processor and then hit Enter to access the settings.
When you get to the Processor menu, select Properties. In most cases, a dialogue box will appear, allowing you to choose to turn hyperthreading off (or on). After you disable the feature, go to the Exit menu and select Exit Saving Changes. The name or layout may differ on your computer.
Note: This applies to Intel processors, while AMD ones use slightly different labels. For example, you navigate to Logical Processor instead of just Processor.
How Does Hyperthreading Speed Up Your System?
Simply put, hyperthreading creates more room for your data to travel. Once you enable the feature, you allow the data to move along two tracks instead of one. The data gets separated and then processed by the computing depot, which makes your computer run faster.
Without hyperthreading, your processor gets one program per core at the time. Hyperthreading means you can get multiple programs per CPU, which allows you to basically turn each core into two processors.
The system that provides this is called parallel computing or superscalar architecture. This means your computer is able to cope with several instructions from multiple threads (or tracks).
How Many Cores Are There?
Having more cores on your CPU means faster processing. The more cores there are, the less likely you are to need hyperthreading. But make sure you know the real facts about the hardware you have.
For example, Intel hints at the number of cores by labeling its processors i3, i5, i7, etc. But in reality, you only get four cores on some i7 processors, and i7 Core processors from the Extreme series may come with up to eight cores.
If you want to do heavy-duty image or video processing, or 3D rendering, you might benefit from hyperthreading your processor, even if it’s i7.
Does Hyperthreading Always Work?
For gaming and streaming purposes, hyperthreading usually does the trick. You get a significant improvement (up to 30%), especially if you are on a slower processor, such as i3 or i5.
However, the speed might not improve in other applications. In part, this is because certain programs cannot efficiently send multiple data strings into a threaded core.
The Final Thread
This article should provide you with enough information to avoid trial-and-error when disabling hyperthreading. You can easily turn the feature on using the same steps. The important thing to note is not to rush things with the BIOS, especially if you are using it for the first time.