I have a powerful desktop, and a decent laptop. My laptop is my primary machine. When I'm home, I'd like to "tap into" the power of my desktop while using my laptop. I'm not thinking a solution like "remoting in" and actually using my desktop from my laptop. I mean sending work to the desktop when my laptop is taxed in a seamless way.

Is this possible at all? How would I do it? I'll do whatever is necessary to my desktop to enable this if it's feasible.

My laptop has Vista installed.

  • What are the exact tasks you want your desktop to perform for you?
    – innaM
    Sep 26, 2009 at 15:01
  • @innaM, I suspect that he is asking about creating a sort of cluster.
    – Synetech
    Sep 4, 2012 at 2:46

4 Answers 4


Short answer: No. Not in a general purpose way. You can use the desktop via VNC or Remote Desktop, but you said you don't want that. You want the work to seemlessly move to the desktop when the laptop hits 100% CPU usage. You may be able to find specific applications that can do this, but there is no general purpose solution for doing so.

The reason for this is the difficulty in moving work to another machine. There is a lot of complexity involved in moving to different hardware and memory. Unless the program is made to handle this complexity, it isn't possible to make it work.


Depends on the work you're doing.

Many 3D applications can render to remote machines as can professional video and audio editing software. If you develop, you could always get the desktop to compile stuff, perhaps when you check in code to SVN use hook to autobuild the software.


The only seamless solution in existence is distributed processing, of which the world's greatest example is the Google internal network. However, this requires specialized software and is not supported by any utility I know.

You also refer to clustering, which is the same : only used by large and specialized software products, for example database servers like SQL Server or Oracle.

The answer is then that you can't distribute the workload automatically. The most you can do is share your hard disks between the two computers, and launch your heavy tasks on the desktop thru Remote Desktop or VNC. However, please take note that while large files are transferring between the laptop and the desktop, both machines will most likely be too occupied for other tasks.


There are commercial solutions out there that can something similar. However, they are enterprise level software products. Citrix, VMWare, Microsoft, and others Im sure, have the ability to make applications look like they are running on your PC, however they are in fact running on a remote server.

These applications are not cheap though and require knowledge to set up. This is not really a home based solution.

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