Process Explorer

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by Prometheus, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Prometheus

    Prometheus Administrator Staff Member

    I don't generally recommend many applications, but for any windows users out there that really like to know what's going on with their system, or anyone who ever uses Task Manager and knows what that is, you really should check out Process Explorer. It's a free utility that does a lot of what Task Manager does, only miles better.

    One thing I've been doing is tracking CPU time to track down resource hogs. Tracking percent CPU usage is nearly useless because almost everything is using less than 1% of the CPU most of the time. CPU time tells you the total time the CPU has been used by each running process on the system since the process started. From that you can see that most processes hardly use any CPU time, as you'd expect, but some would mysteriously use 100 times more than others. A couple times this has led me to uninstall an old app I never use that is sitting there quietly sucking up CPU time (auto-updaters are the main culprit).

    Another thing to watch is memory and IO usage. If you run out of memory, windows starts using your hard drive, which is often more than one million times slower. In general, anything that causes a lot of disk IO will make your system grind to a halt. Having a good CPU and video card does absolutely nothing to solve that, btw, but it's often hard to tell what applications are spinning your hard drive. Process Explorer really helps identify who is using what resources.

    Anyway, just my opinion, and if you hate it you can uninstall it, but I find it quite useful and have been using it several months now.
     

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