Last Updated on March 8, 2022
With games nowadays being as demanding as ever, it’s not an uncommon scenario to be looking for ways to squeeze the most out of your aging hardware and PC. I mean, take me for example. I used to get a steady 120+ FPS on Warframe back then, but due to its plethora of updates and how old my rig has gotten, I can barely hit 90 in some areas. Of course, it’s still way beyond that magic number of 60 FPS, but the question remains: where did 25% of my FPS go?
Check: How To Fix Lag in Warframe
Well, I didn’t need to find where my FPS went anymore as my new favourite tool, CPUCores, brought back the power and life of my PC. However, let’s take a closer look at what CPUCores really is first and answer this question instead: Is CPUCores worth purchasing? Buckle up and get ready as we’ll dive deep into some technical terms and factors regarding PCs and CPUs.
What is CPUCores for?
Like I mentioned earlier, CPUCores is a tool that allows its users to fiddle and adjusts their CPU settings as well optimize their game’s settings before launch. Think of CPUCores as the CPU equivalent of MSI Afterburner. Although CPUCores isn’t inherently overclocking software, it does give us freedom and liberty to turn cores on and off at our will.
In layman’s terms, it’s an app that fixes and optimizes the faults in your CPU cores, game settings, and game launch priority.
How do I use CPUCores?
Launching CPUCores for the first time may be confusing and overwhelming for some, so let’s get you up to speed on how you can use it to boost your FPS.
CPUCores allows you to tweak how your CPU/processor functions while you’re playing your favourite game. If you’re a casual gamer who doesn’t know anything about CPUs, then you’re fine with just tinkering the basic settings. The basic settings can be found at the bottom part of the program, occupied with 4 checkboxes. Let’s run you through these basic settings real quick.
First, there’s the ‘Disable Virtual AMD SMT Cores (AMD Ryzen CPU)’ checkbox. This setting is exclusively for AMD Ryzen CPUs, so double check your system’s CPU/processor first before tinkering with this one.
If you’re certain that you have a Ryzen processor, this setting basically serves as a switch to force your games to run on actual CPU cores rather than using AMD’s Simultaneous multithreading which is known to bottleneck in-game performance and FPS. Note that this setting does not guarantee a boost in performance for every game. It should most of the time, but it’s mostly trial and error before you figure out which games get a boost and not with this setting turned on.
To check your PC’s CPU/processor, you can right-click on the Windows button and select ‘System’. A new window shall pop up where your PC’s basic specs like RAM and Processor should be listed. If your processor is anything that starts with ‘AMD Ryzen’, then you’re good to go.
Under the ‘Disable Virtual AMD SMT Cores’ checkbox, we have the ‘Game on dedicated cores only’ setting. As the name suggests, this setting forces your PC to only use high-powered CPU cores to run your games. This is advisable for single-threaded games or in other words, titles that were released in the early to mid-2010s. If you’re playing a modern AAA title like GTA V, Elden Ring, or even Warframe, leave this setting off as these games take advantage of your CPU’s multiple threads.
The next two settings, namely ‘Run game with higher priority’ and ‘Isolate and constrain the operating system’ should always be turned on regardless of the game or your CPU’s brand. These two settings are general optimizations on your PC that should give you some FPS boost down the road. They should be turned on by default anyway, so just leave it at that.
For advanced users out there who really want to push your CPU and PC to their limits (and get your money’s worth with CPUCores at the same time), you can tinker with the program’s advanced settings which are found under the basic settings.
In the advanced settings area, you can tweak which cores are turned on while you’re gaming. If you know the best set and combination of cores to turn on, this should allow total control over your performance gains. Apart from that, this is where you’ll also have the setting to allow CPUCores to run in the background, to allow CPUCores to start every time you boot up, and to turn ‘Game Probe Detection’ on at startup.
Speaking of Game Probe Detection, it is one of the many features of CPUCores. This is basically a watcher for your game’s activity that keeps it optimized throughout your session. It’s still under beta though, so your mileage may vary.
In terms of how you can run your games using CPUCores, there is a handy ‘start game’ button on the program which, you guessed it, starts any of your steam games for you with optimized CPUCores settings.
Games Supported by CPU Cores
If you have a non-steam application or game, no worries! You can just add them in the ‘Other Games’ tab beside the ‘Steam’ tab.
Finally, the ‘Current Processes’ tab takes a peek at the current applications, programs, background apps, and hidden programs running on your PC. You can then choose to CPUCores optimize it to make it run at its best and optimized state. This essentially means that CPUCores is not only for your games but also for ANY application that you have on your PC as well.
And that’s all about how to use CPUCores! It’s not really a complicated program to run as its interface is easy to use and navigate. It’s also not an overclocking program, so you don’t need to worry about adjusting numbers or tweaking GHz.
As mentioned earlier though, if you’re scared that you might screw something up in the advanced settings menu, you’re good with just sticking to the basic settings as they’re more than enough to deliver you that sweet, extra FPS and optimizations across the board.
So, is CPUCores worth purchasing?
CPUCores definitely has become one of my go-to and favorite programs that I run every time I game. I use it in conjunction with MSI Afterburner and AMD’s own Master Utility tool to get the most out of my PC. But enough talk, how about performance gains?
Here are a few videos of CPUCores in action and boosting in-game performance by up to 58%.
- ARMA III = 17.5% FPS Increase
- Team Fortress 2 – 58% FPS Increase
- Tombraider – 6.3% FPS Increase
- Left 4 Dead 2 – 14% FPS Increase
In my personal use and experience with the program, I have noticed around 20% FPS gains on Warframe, 5.6% FPS gains on Destiny 2, and around 10% gains on Lost Ark.
For a cheap price of $16.99, and often at a 50% discount when it’s on sale, I can definitely say that CPUCores is worth the money and that it’s the next program you should be running while gaming.