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Can Windows 7 64 bit use all 6 cores of CPU? Any special settings or version of Windows 7?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The short answer is yes, it will use all 6 cores of your CPU.

The maximum number of cores supported is 256, according to this article (and more precisely according to Mark Russinovich in this video).

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From what I can tell Windows 7 Home Starter and Home Premium are limited to 2 physical CPUs, but can use any number of cores available to those processors. Microsoft distinguish between Physical processors and number cores available on a processor, so while there is little difference between a single 8 core processor and 4 dual-core processors from a user perspective Microsoft will treat them differently.

Taken from the EULA on the Microsoft site:

Licensed Computer. You may use the software on up to two processors on the licensed computer at one time. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, you may not use the software on any other computer.

I've been looking at the number of cores that are permitted in Windows and all I can find is anecdotal evidence that Windows 7 is limited only by number of physical processors, not by number of cores available on each of the processors.

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Yes, I included this licensing information in my answer earlier, but I thought it was not really relevant to this particular case. However, according to one of your links, the home versions are limited to only one physical CPU, and the others to 2. not sure which version is the correct one, then. – Gnoupi Jun 25 '10 at 17:35
Yeah, I tried to look through the EULAs for both Home Basic and Home Premium, they both suggest that the limitation is 2 processors, not 1 as the link suggested. The line in the EULA for number of processors is the same between all the editions of Windows 7 that I can find, even the Starter and Ultimate editions.. – Mokubai Jun 25 '10 at 17:54
+1 simply for going through 2 EULAs in one day. – Gnoupi Jun 26 '10 at 15:30

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