I'm trying to determine which processes/threads are spiking up CPU usage. The scenario is the following: I'm playing games on my XPS 9560 (suffers from power limit throttling). I've made a mod that mates the VRMs to the heatsink and it worked great in keeping the processor boosted to 3.1-3.2 constantly in games until yesterday. The game I'm seeing this issue on is VALORANT, which is supposed to run only on one CPU core. While that is happening (i.e. only one CPU Core is active), I see constant speeds of 3.3-3.4 GHz in-game. But at some point, the active core count spikes up to 4 cores, which also brings power limit throttling with it, and a drop to 1.1 GHz.

I'm trying to determine what process is randomly spiking up CPU core usage and bringing power limit throttling with it. Is there a tool for that?

This is a screenshot of XTU:

This is a screenshot of XTU

The dark blue line is frequency, light blue is power limit throttling, and orange is active core count. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Hit CTRL +Shift + Esc to bring up task manager. Then click CPU to order by CPU usage. See if anything pops out.
    – aa2397
    Apr 30, 2020 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


Use the Windows app called Resource Monitor

Go to Windows Administrative Tools, run Resource Monitor.

Make sure the CPU and Memory Tabs are both expanded.

Let this run for 15 - 30 minutes. Then look at the Processes in the CPU section and see which ones are causing the CPU to spike.

Processes have to be comfortable with the CPU modifications you made.

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  • Thaks for this. I have been watching it closely and seems like nothing pops out. But i thing the actual problem is that the processor power limit throttles after a while (bad vrm design on this laptop) and the core usage increases in order to cope with the lower allowed frequency. May 7, 2020 at 10:27
  • Thanks for the update about the situation.
    – John
    May 7, 2020 at 10:58

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