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On my desktop computer I have a remote desktop connection open using my laptop.

In the remote desktop connection window, I am installing (unzipping) XAMPP which is pretty CPU intensive for the laptop.

However, the CPU on the desktop machine is constantly between 60% and 95%. Why would the desktop CPU be so affected by what laptop is doing? I thought that was one reason to use remote desktop connections is to perform tasks independent of your host computer which are resource intensive, without it affecting your host computer.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would stop the connection and restart, click advanced and make sure you are not accidently sharing any "funky" hardware. I remember a friend having this problem when he was trying to do something with a USB missile launcher - don't ask.

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Other than that, You may want to go to the Experience tab and turn it down a little, it is possible that something is going on in the background of the laptop that is being brought forward to your desktop without knowing it.

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It could be because the RD software is lame and not optimised (rare, to be fair). OR that the CPU on the client (your end) PC is slow, and the amount of data to be compressed and sent over the connection is large (i.e. a lot of on-screen activity). Also, the slower the network connection, the more compression is required for a given minimum video resolution to be displayed. Some (Wifi!!!) connections are too lame to do this effectively, and so the RD software's algorithm chooses more compression to fit the available bandwidth. This uses more CPU (significantly-so, it transpires). Something along those lines. Also, there can be incompatibilities between drivers, the software can require a special driver to be installed to work well, can require tweaking its own network settings etc.

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This doesn’t answer the question. At best, it would be a comment. “lame” is not a synonym for “slow”. The OP clearly stated which software he’s using (Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection). This software using this much CPU is not normal and therefore, some general guessing just doesn’t cut it. – Daniel B Apr 4 '15 at 22:51

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