Disabling cores

I noticed with the BIOS that it has the options of disabling cores, I’m a bit new to tinkering with that stuff, so before I jump in and decide to start fiddling with things I was wondering:

  • Can I disable specific cores, or just reduce how many are running?
  • Besides the obvious of the computer not running as fast, are there any negative impacts to doing this? i.e. reducing the life of the processor somehow because under load the other cores have to work harder (not that I expect to run the laptop at 100% non stop)
  • What has been everyone else’s experience with performance and disabling cores? i.e. you found a sweet spot of disabling 1 performance core and 2 energy efficient cores or it made no difference etc.

Not harder…the cores just work longer. There is atomic level wear at the gates…but typically not something you’ll need to worry about…until you plan on running it 24/7 at 100% for 20+ years. Each time you pass current through a gate, it wears.

Mind you though, the “confidence level” Intel has of their retail desktop CPUs is 3 years (if you use warranty as the bar of confidence). Enterprise desktops and laptops typically have up to 5 years of warranty.

So using that as a rough guesstimate, you’re not expected to have issues within 5 years, I’d say. At some point, the bathtub curve will come into play I would think.

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