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Windows XP and Hyper-Threading

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

Both Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional treat a Hyper-Threading enabled computer as a multiple processor computer. You can verify this by looking in Device Manager, under the Computer and Processors nodes:
  • In Computer, you can expect the computer to be described as a multiprocessor PC.
  • In Processors, you can expect multiple processors to appear installed.

If the Hyper-Threading feature is disabled in the computer's BIOS, Windows XP may describe the computer as a Uniprocessor PC and may show only a single processor installed in Device Manager.

When Hyper-Threading is enabled in the computer's BIOS, Windows XP automatically upgrades the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) if it must use a multi-processor HAL, and an additional processor or processors may be installed and listed under Processors in Device Manager. The system will prompt you to restart so that the new settings can take effect.
Hyper-Threading CPUs contain a second (virtual) CPU. With this feature, multi-threaded applications can run threads in parallel in each processor. As a result, you experience more efficient use of the processor resources and better performance with multi-threaded applications.

Windows XP Home

Note: Windows XP Home can use a maximum of one (1) physical processor. However, because Hyper-Threading is supported, the operating system takes advantage of the second (virtual) processor.

Article ID: 810231 - Last Review: 05/19/2005 21:44:00 - Revision: 2.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
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