Your CPU speed determines how fast your process can perform tasks. CPU speeds matter less than they did in the past, thanks to the advent of multi-core processors. Still, it can be useful to check your CPU speed when purchasing a new Program to make sure that your computer can handle it. It's also very useful to know how to check the CPU's true speed when you're overclocking for better performance.
1. Open the System window. There are several ways that you can open this window quickly.
* Windows 7, Vista, XP - Right-click on Computer/My Computer in the Start menu and select "Properties". In Windows XP, you may need to click the "General" tab after selecting "Properties".
* Windows 8 - Right-click on the Start button and select "System".
* All Versions - Press ⊞ Win+Pause.
2. Find the "Processor" entry. This will be located in the "System" section, beneath the Windows edition.
3. Note the processor speed. Your processor model and speed will be displayed. The speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). This is the speed of a single core of your processor. If your processor has multiple cores (most modern processors do), each core will be this speed.
* If your processor is overclocked, the actual speed may not be shown here. See the next section for details on finding your actual overclocked speed.
4. Check how many cores your processor has. If you have a multi-core processor, the number of cores will not be displayed in this window. Multiple cores does not necessarily mean the programs will run faster, but it can be a big boost for programs designed for it.
* Press ⊞ Win+R to open the Run dialog box.
* Type dxdiag and press ↵ Enter. Click Yes if prompted to check your drivers.
* Find the "Processor" entry in the System tab. If your computer has multiple cores, you'll see the number in parentheses after the speed (e.g. 4 CPUs). This will let you know how many cores you have. Each core runs at approximately the same speed (there will always be very minor variations).
1. Click the Apple menu and select "About This Mac".
2. Find the "Processor" entry in the "Overview" tab. This will display the advertised speed of your processor. Note that this may not be the speed your CPU is actually running at. this is because your CPU slows itself down when it isn't working hard to save energy and increase its lifespan.
3. Download the Intel Power Gadget. This free utility will monitor your CPU and report the actual operating speed. You can download it for free from here.
* Unzip the file and then double-click the DMG file to install Intel Power Gadget.
4. Download and install Prime95. If you want to see the maximum speed of your processor, you'll need to put a heavy load on the CPU. One of the most popular ways to do this is by using a program called Prime95. You can download it for free from mersenne.org/download/. Unzip the program and then double-click the DMG file to install it. Select "Just Stress Testing" when you start the program.
* Prime95 is designed to calculate prime numbers, and in doing so will max your CPU out.
5. Find your processor speed. The second graph in the gadget will display your processor speeds. The "Package Frq" is your current speed based on what your processor is working on. This will likely be lower than the "Base Frq", which is the advertised speed of the processor.
1. Open the terminal. Most tools available on Linux don't show the actual speed that the processor is running at. Intel has released a tool called turbostat that you can use to check. You'll need to install it manually through the terminal.
2. Type .uname -r and press ↵ Enter. Note the version number that is displayed (X.XX.XX-XX).
3. Type apt-get install linux-tools-X.XX.XX-XX linux-cloud-tools-X.XX.XX-XX and press ↵ Enter. Replace X.XX.XX-XX with the version number from the previous step. Enter your admin password if prompted
4. Type modprobe msr and press ↵ Enter. This will install the MSR module that you'll need to run the tool.
5. Open another terminal window and type openssl speed. This will start the OpenSSL speed test, which will push your CPU to the maximum.
6. Return to the first terminal window and type turbostat. Running this will display a variety of readouts about your processor.
7. Look in the .GHz column. Each entry is the actual speed of each core. The TSC column is the speed reported normally. This allows you to see the difference your overclock is making. The speeds will look low if you aren't pushing your CPU with a process.
Windows (Overclocked CPU)
Overclocked CPUs are processors that have had their voltages modified to produce more power. Overclocking is popular among computer enthusiasts, as it allows you to get more bang for your buck, but it can potentially damage your components.
1. Download and install CPU-Z. This is a freeware utility that monitors the components in your computer. It is designed for overclockers, and will report the exact speed that your processors are operating at. You can download it from cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html.
* CPU-Z will not install any adware or toolbars during the setup process.
2. Run CPU-Z. By default, there will be a shortcut on your desktop to start CPU-Z. You will need to be logged in as an administrator, or have the administrator password in order to run it.
3. Start a CPU-intensive task on your computer. Your processor will automatically slow down when it isn't being used, so the speeds you see in CPU-Z will not show the full speed unless your processor is working hard.
* A quick way to get your CPU maxed-out is to run the Prime95 program. this is a program designed to calculate prime numbers, and is used by many to perform stress tests on a computer. Download Prime95 from mersenne.org/download/, unzip the program files, and select "Just Stress Testing" when you run the program.
4. Check your CPU speed. Your current CPU speed will be displayed in the "Core Speed" field of the [CPU] tab. Expect to see minor fluctuations as your computer processes the Prime95 program.