Windows 10 Task Manager Guide – Part II

In Part I of this series, we talked about how to open the task manager and go through the Processes, Details, and Services tabs. In this second part, we will look at Performance and App history tabs.

In Part III, we’ll talk about the Startup and User tabs.

Performance Tab

The Performance tab is probably my favorite tab in the task manager. It allows you to see in real time how your various components are taxed. At the top is CPU, which will be the default selection when you click the tab.

In the right pane you’ll see a usage graph and lots of useful information about your processor. At the top it will give you the name of the CPU, in my case Intel Core i7-8700K. At the bottom and right you will see the base clock speed, number of CPU sockets, number of coresthe number of logical processors (if your CPU supports hyperthreading), whether virtualization is supported, and the size of the CPU cache.

On the left you will get real-time usage and real-time speed of the processor. You will also see the total number of processes, threads and handles. Above, the CPU graph is showing overall CPU usage, but if you want to see each core individually, just right click on the graph, click Change the chart to and then click Logic processor.

If you click Memory, you will get a graph showing how much memory is currently being used. At the top, is the total amount of memory installed on the system (in my case 32GB).

You’ll also get useful information like your memory speed (3000 MHz for me), the number of slots being used (2 out of 4), and the form factor (DIMM). On the left are a bunch of technical details about exactly how much memory is being used and how much is paged and unpaged. Check out this Microsoft article if you want to know more about Group by page versus memory Group by page.

For disks, you will see a graph for each hard drive that you have installed on your system. In my case I have three hard disks, so I have three graphs (C, D, E). Below is the chart for my system drive (C).

There’s not much information on this tab other than disc model/brand, read/write speed, average response time, and disk size.

If you have multiple network cards, you will also see multiple Ethernet graphs. In my case I have two network cards, but only one is connected.

Ethernet graphs are usually pretty empty unless you’re actively downloading/uploading something. Above, I have started speed test, was in the upload stage when I received the screenshot. Therefore, the sending value is 721 Mbps. It should be noted that Flux the value at the top changes depending on how much bandwidth is being used.

Finally, if you have a dedicated graphics card, you will also see the GPU graph. If you have multiple graphics cards, you will get multiple graphs. The brand and style of the card will be listed at the top.

At the bottom you will get information about the installed driver version and supported DirectX version. You will also get information about dedicated and shared GPU memory. The graphs also break down GPU usage by task: 3D, Copy, Video Encode, and Video Decode.

So that’s a detailed look at Performance navigation. Regarding the performance tab is App history navigation.

Windows 10 includes many built-in Windows Store apps, and this tab will show you information about those apps and any you install yourself. This tab is only useful to see which apps are using the most CPU or the most network bandwidth over time. Click a column header to sort the list by that column. There’s really nothing else you can do on this tab. Right clicking only allows you to switch to the application, which will essentially open the application, if it is not already open.

That’s about it for the Performance and App History tabs. In Part III, we’ll talk about the last few tabs of the task manager. Interesting!

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