How To Unpark CPU Cores For A Stutter-Free Gaming Performance

Lindsay Hayes

The most effective way to unpark CPU cores is to use a third-party software, but if you don't want to go that route, you can use the Windows Registry to get the same result.

In my experience, disabling CPU parking can improve system performance and reduce stutters when gaming.

But don't be surprised if you do the same and nothing happens. It's not a sure-shot way to get the results you've been wanting.

In this guide, I'll explain how to unpark CPU cores using simple techniques, along with some tips on how to make the most of this feature.

Contents

How To Unpark CPU Cores?

We'll show you 3 methods using which you can easily unpark CPU cores. Two of them don't require installing any third-party software.

But let's first go over the one which does, and is the most effective:

1. Using Quick CPU By Coderbag

Download the latest version of Quick CPU by Coderbag. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Download button.

Don't worry! I've tested it and it's a completely safe tool to use. Once the zip file is downloaded, extract it and double-click on the installer package file to install the software.

Now open Quick CPU and find the 'CPU Data' section. You'll see a lot of information in this section related to Physical core, Logical cores, Base frequency, Core parking index, etc.

Don't get overwhelmed. For now, we're only interested in the 'Enabled cores' and 'Parked cores.'. These will tell you how many cores are parked or unparked.

Let's unpark all your CPU cores:

At the bottom-left corner of the software, you'll see a slider labeled 'Core parking.' Move this all the way up to 100% and click 'Apply.'

Once finished, you'll immediately notice the number of Parked CPU cores turn to 0. That's it! Every CPU core is now active and will help during gaming or heavy workload scenarios.

Additional Tips:

Just below the 'Core parking' slider, you'll find two more options: 'Frequency scaling' and 'Turbo boost.'

Turn the Frequency scaling up if you want to increase your CPU's minimum frequency levels closer to the base frequency. If you set this to 100%, your CPU will maintain the base frequency at all times.

Increasing Turbo boost, on the other hand, will allow your CPU to push beyond the base frequency as much as possible.

I recommend that you crank up these sliders only if you have a great cooling setup, as pushing processor frequencies will bump up heat levels as well as power consumption. I won't recommend doing it on a laptop, but on a gaming PC, these will certainly give you better performance.

Freelancer working with the laptop

2. Using Windows Registry Editor

The second method uses the Windows Registry to disable CPU core parking.

Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type in 'Regedit' in the text field and hit Enter. (Alternatively, you can open the Windows search box, then type 'Regedit' and press Enter).

Once the Windows Registry Editor opens up, follow these instructions:

  1. In the menu bar, navigate to Edit > Find.
  2. In the small window that pops up, enable the Keys and Match whole string only checkboxes, and disable all other checkboxes.
  3. Now type the following code in the text field (without the quotes): “0cc5b647-c1df-4637-891a-dec35c318583” and click on ‘Find Next’.
  4. A new window will open showing various registry items. All we need to look at are the ‘ValueMax’ and ‘ValueMin’ items.
  5. Double-click on ValueMax and type ‘0’ in the Value data field and press OK. Repeat the same for ValueMin.

The ValueMax and ValueMin represent the % of cores your system will park. So, all you're doing is telling the system to park none of the cores.

One important thing is that sometimes, you have to find the key multiple times and repeat the process for each one. Just check it again after restarting the computer. Also, a major Windows Update might reset these settings. Make sure to change them again if you want to keep using it.

3. Changing Power Management Settings

The final method is the easiest, but it's also a little less effective than the previous ones. Here, we simply switch the power plan to a high performance one.

Open the Control Panel and choose 'Power Options.' In this window, choose High Performance. If you don't see this option, click the arrow next to 'Show additional plans.'

Doing this will improve system performance and often reduce lag and stutter in games.

Even if you have a laptop or perhaps a PC without the greatest thermals, you can safely use this feature of Windows. The best thing is that you are not manually forcing the system like the methods discussed earlier.

What In The World Is Core Parking?

CPU core parking is a feature where the operating system puts some of the cores to 'sleep' when they're not needed. Consequently, the core temporarily shuts off and draws little-to-zero power.

When the cores are needed, Windows can 'wake them up' and utilize them for the processes at hand. The benefit to this is that your computer saves on some power and thermals when there's less load on it.

The downside, however, is that it can take a split second to wake up the core, which can result in lag or dropped FPS when you're playing games. This is the reason why many gamers recommend unparking them.

What Is CPU Core Parking Index?

In simple terms, the CPU core parking index is the percentage of cores that can be parked by the OS. In Quick CPU, it's represented by the same slider that you used during the unparking process.

Let's explain that with an example:

If you have a total of 8 cores, then each of the cores is delivering about 12.5% of CPU power. Now if you want the OS to have control over only 4 cores, you can set the index to 50%. This will tell the OS that it can only park 4 out of 8 cores, and the remaining 4 will function at full capacity at all times.

Turned on macbook pro

Does Unparking Cores Do Anything?

In many cases, disabling CPU core parking can deliver improved gaming and system performance. However, there's no guarantee that's going to happen. If you have a high-end machine, you might not notice any difference at all.

Unparking will also lead to increased heat generation and power consumption, as now all the cores are constantly running at maximum capacity.

Having said that, it's generally recommended to use this technique if you're planning to play heavy games and your PC has decent thermals. It has no major negative impact but might boost FPS and fix stutter issues with certain games.

Is It Safe To Unpark CPU Cores?

Yes, it's completely safe to unpark all your CPU cores. All it does is disallow Windows from controlling when each core is made available for processes. All the cores will be available to use the entire time your system is running.

As mentioned above, the only minor downside is that you might notice increased power consumption and possibly higher CPU temperature after unparking.

How Do I Know If My CPU Cores Are Parked?

If you have the Quick CPU tool installed, you can simply open it to know what cores are parked. If you don't have it, you can also use the Resource Monitor.

Here's how:

Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and switch to the 'Performance' tab. Click on 'Open Resource Monitor' at the bottom of the window. This will open the Windows Resource Monitor.

Now select the 'CPU' tab and you should see all your cores on the right side of the window. If a CPU core is parked you'll see the indicator 'Parked' beside the core number, e.g. "Core 3 - Parked."

If you don't see any such indication, then none of the cores are parked. But if there are one or more parked cores, you can simply follow the above methods to unpark them.

FAQs

Does CPU Core Unparking Increase FPS?

Not necessarily. All it does is keep the core 'awake' at all times. How it's utilized totally depends on the OS requirement and the rest of the hardware.

But since there's no harm in it, a lot of folks would advise you to keep using it. Unparking will certainly help if your system keeps putting the cores to sleep occasionally, or if your CPU struggles to maintain a high clock speed for longer periods.

What Happens If I Disable Core Parking?

Once you disable core parking, you'll notice better CPU performance and possibly an improvement in lag and stutters while gaming. You might also see that the computer is now drawing more power, which is completely normal.

Is Quick CPU Safe To Use?

Yes. Quick CPU is a trustworthy tool that has a lot of useful features for fine-tuning CPU and other system parameters. You can use it to monitor hardware sensors, modify CPU parking and frequency settings, create custom power plans, and more.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that unparking is simple to do and doesn't have any negative impact on your PC, unless it's a laptop or a PC with poor thermals. So you might as well use the feature!

If you're a gamer and often notice lags or stutters, you should give it a try and see how it goes.

I hope this guide has helped you learn more about CPU monitoring and unparking techniques.

Thanks for reading!

Lindsay Hayes

Author
Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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