In a computer with Intel Core i3 and 4GB of RAM running Windows 8.1 build 9600, in conditions I expect no have performance problems it become very very slow and it's close to freeze (or even freeze it)

see UPDATE at bottom


  • Enough free RAM
  • Enough free HD for swapping
  • 125-135 "processes" (*)
  • No database services such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc BUT Java and .NET frameworks
  • Some I/O unexpected peaks when I just using Chrome web browser and I'm not expecting swapping because free RAM

I guess "multitasking" is not so good when threads are >= 100, but it's empirical in an Intel with 2 cores.


  • What other informaion I need to make the correct guess about my problem ?
  • More RAM (I'm not sure) could help me ? maybe decreasing I/O for swapping ?
  • A better processor with more cores ? 8 cores ? (Is any linear relationship between number of cores and thread limit ?)

Maybe related with: https://serverfault.com/questions/365061/high-load-average-low-cpu-usage-why

Process Hacker screenshot: Process Hacker screenshot


As @Roland Smith suggest, Google Chrome is a MONSTER consuming resources, I did the following experiment in Chrome / Firefox:

  • 29 tabs
  • More or less same extensions (I could disable all but I don't think it could change much)

Measure of RAM / CPU usage in both web browsers:

Chrome:  116  threads / 2-12% CPU / 60-70% RAM

Firefox: 72 threads / 2-6% CPU / 39% RAM

Google Chrome can gain stability and be very fluent using 1 thread for every tab / extension but definitely it's a cons when you need to have a lot

  • CPU and RAM usage ![Process Hacker][1] << image (follow link)
    – Boctulus
    Dec 27, 2014 at 16:16
  • What you have to suspect and check is the state of the hard disk such as PIO mode instead of DMA, Disk errors -> use chkdsk and so on. The other suspect is the graphic card. Start with this. Slow performances often require a long troubleshooting process. Be patient.
    – climenole
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:05
  • One more suggestion. Try System Explorer, run a security scan. This utility give you more information about system and will be usefull to find the "culprit". There: systemexplorer.net
    – climenole
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:11
  • What type of disk does your pc have, HDD or SSD? My laptop runs on a dual core processor, 4GB or RAM and it's very fast. But that was not until I upgraded to an SSD. I did that because the HDD had bad sectors which could not be fixed, and as I result Windows froze from time to times, and browsing was really worse then ever...
    – Erlis D.
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:27
  • It's probably Google chrome man, close some tabs
    – xR34P3Rx
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


In google Chrome, every tab, web app and running extensions has its own process (not thread). In your screenshot you can see that this adds up to a lot of processes. Each process consumes memory and has to contend will all other processes for CPU time.

If you have enough processes, you can make every computer slow.

Close some tabs in Chrome and/or see if you need disable some extensions/plug-ins.

If the memory usage in the screenshot is correct, try adding more memory first. You CPU usage isn't that high.

I have a quad-core intel CPU. Under FreeBSD it has routinely >200 threads running without problems. The amount of cores limits the amount of threads that can (more or less) run at the same time. But since your CPU usage is low (again based on the screenshot) I don't think this is a problem.

  • This happens to my father, he has like 30 chrome tabs and wonders why it's slow.
    – xR34P3Rx
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:35
  • I've not seen yet a Quad-core running 140 >= threads. Is this related with number of cores ? is any linear relationship between cores and thread limit ?
    – boctulus
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:43
  • See updated answer. Dec 27, 2014 at 18:43
  • Roland: you was RIGHT :)
    – boctulus
    Dec 27, 2014 at 20:39

Although this answer doesn't apply to the OP, I'll keep this answer for reference by future readers.

Your hard drive may be failing

  • Slow I/O performance can be caused by hard drive problems. If the media is degrading, the hard drive will repeatedly attempt to access the data, which can cause significant delays in accessing data. Use a program such as CrystalDiskInfo to check the state of the hard drive, and be sure to post an image of the results. If it says Caution or Bad, you should back up your data and replace the hard drive as soon as possible as the hard drive could fail soon, resulting in data loss.

Upgrading memory and storage can help

  • Your computer has 4 GB of memory. While this may be sufficient to handle all of the applications you're running, your computer still needs to hit the hard drive quite often to start up applications or load data because there isn't a lot of free memory. Windows (and other operating systems) use free memory to preload data from disk, so adding more memory will allow more data to be stored in memory and reduce slow disk accesses.

  • Replacing the hard drive with an SSD will dramatically increase performance as well. SSDs are significantly faster than hard drives because they are entirely electronic and do not rely on mechanical seeking to access data the way hard drives do. However, I'd consider this less important than a memory upgrade in your situation, since upgrading to an SSD can be expensive and requires migrating data to the new drive.

Alternatively, you can use Windows ReadyBoost to increase performance

  • If neither of the above upgrades are options, ReadyBoost can increase your system's performance by using USB your flash drive or other flash memory device as a cache. ReadyBoost takes advantage of the fact that flash memory has fast random I/O performance to speed access to data.
  • I will run every test you suggest me and update my question. Thanks a lot.
    – boctulus
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:48

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