How to Optimize CPU Speed

By Justin A. Mann

The CPU, or Central Processing Unit, controls how well a computer performs tasks. The CPU handles all of the calculations a computer needs in order to function. Optimizing the speed at which the CPU runs increases performance and allows the computer to perform more CPU-heavy tasks. Optimizing the CPU is done through the Power Options section of the Control Panel in the Windows operating system.

Step 1

Hold the "Control," "Alt" and "Delete" keys to bring up the Task Manager. In the Task Manager click the "Process" tab. Scroll through the list of processes and delete those that are not needed, such as the Windows Sidebar and any game or chat programs. Eliminating needless processes frees up CPU power for more important tasks.

Step 2

Click "Start" and select "Control Panel." From the Control Panel click "System and Maintenance" and then "Power Options." In the "Power Plan" section choose either "High Performance" or "Balanced." The balanced setting gives you good CPU performance without causing heating issues, while high performance forces the CPU to use all of its resources constantly, resulting in high CPU temperatures.

Step 3

Click the "Change Plan Settings" link under the plan you chose. In the next window click "Advanced Power Options." Move down the window to the "Processor Power Management" field. Expand the field and click "Maximum processor state." Ensure that the number in this field is 100. This number is the maximum amount of processor power the computer can access at one time. Click "OK" to save any changes and navigate out of the window.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can reset any changes made to their default value by clicking the "Restore to Defaults" buttons located in the "Power Options" and "Advanced Power Options" windows.