PC gamers have long enjoyed freedoms that aren’t available to other gamers. One of these freedoms is the ability to unpark their cores. What does this mean and what does unparking cores do? Perhaps more importantly though, does unparking cores increase FPS? In this article we aim to answer all those questions and help you decide if it is right for you.
What Does Unparking Cores Do?
Unparking cores modifies some of the power management settings, ensuring that the operating system never parks cores and all cores are in full use at all times. For some people, this results in a faster system and increase in FPS rates. However others did not see significant change at all.
Whether it will be good for you will depend on a few things: Your version of Windows, the generation of your CPU and what games you’re playing. Older Windows systems such as Windows 7, will benefit from manually unparking cores, and will result in a massive increase of FPS.
However if you’re using Windows 10 or 11, you won’t need to manually unpark the cores. Both Windows 10 and 11 are advanced operating systems, which can determine for themselves when they need to park and unpark cores.
As a result of the increased intelligence of the newer systems, manually unparking cores likely won’t have any effect, although it may decrease game lag.
You’ll mostly notice a difference in unparking cores if you have an older CPU, since it is likely to be less responsive. Now you may be wondering what the downsides of unparking cores are.
Firstly, parked cores draw little to no power, meaning if you unpark all of them, your CPU will be drawing considerably more power than if some were parked.
The CPU using more power obviously leads to higher CPU temperatures, which can cause issues, especially if your cooling system isn’t up to scratch. Now this can lead to FPS drops and eventually can cause components to be damaged if the problem isn’t addressed soon enough. Plus constantly overheating your CPU will drastically shorten its lifespan.
Does Unparking Cores Increase FPS?
The short answer is it depends. As shown above, the primary purpose of core parking is to conserve power, but what if you don’t care about your power usage?
Some people have reported a 20% increase in their FPS when they unpark cores, but it is quite rare to see. The reason being that recent versions of Windows, such as 10 & 11, can determine this themselves.
It seems that the results of unpacking cores are fairly relative. Some gamers will say that unpacking their cores gave an increase in FPS, while others will say it does nothing. It all comes down to these variables: What operating system are you running, how old is your rig, what games are you playing and how good is your cooling system?
Generally if you’re running an older operating system, unparking your cores is a good idea. Over the years Microsoft has made a point to increase the capabilities of their operating systems, making the need to manually unpark on newer systems obsolete.
It is a good idea to test each game’s performance, parked and unparked. Then make a decision based on the result.
Should I Unpark My CPU Cores?
The question remains, should you unpark your CPU cores? Well the answer is maybe. If you’re running Windows 10, you could certainly go ahead and try it, but you shouldn’t be expecting any drastic changes to your FPS.
That being said, while you may not see any drastic improvement in FPS, it can help make your games run that much smoother, as it will eliminate stutter.
Stuttering happens because of the time it takes your CPU to unpark the cores and start using them. If they’re already unparked then stuttering won’t be a problem.
Now you must be wondering, how do you unpack your cores if you really want to? The best way would be to download a program, you can find a program easy enough on Google.
These programs are designed to make unpacking cores easy, so with most of them it should be as simple as clicking on “Unpark All” and that should do it.
It is recommended that you play around with packing and unpacking. Try it with different games and see for yourself which games benefit and which suffer.
Unparking CPU Cores FAQ
Is It Safe To Unpark CPU Cores?
It is generally safe to unpark your cores. The only real issues you’re going to run into is if you have an older rig, your cooling system isn’t adequate or your CPU is old. If any of these are an issue for you, it’s probably a good idea to upgrade your PC, especially your cooling hardware.
Remember that unparking the cores will generate more power, which creates more heat, which in turn, if you don’t have proper cooling, will result in your CPU overheating, which if left unresolved will dramatically shorten its lifespan. So if you have the appropriate set up, unparking your cores will be completely safe.
Does Unparking Cores Increase Heat?
Unparking your cores will draw more power to the CPU, which in turn will cause the CPU to build more heat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, provided you have the appropriate cooling systems in place. Make sure you have thermal paste on your CPU and your CPU cooler is sufficient to keep the whole thing cool.
It might be helpful to decide whether it is more beneficial for your rig to be cooled using air or water, but either way you’ll need something decent enough to protect your CPU and extend its lifespan.
Modern cores are meant to take advantage of all their cores, so you are not likely to run into any issues with unparking cores, especially using Windows 10 or 11.
Is Unparking CPU Cores Good For Gaming?
Unparking cores can be good for gaming, it just depends on what operating system you’re using and what the games you’re playing are. Windows 10 & 11 have the intelligence to know when to park and unpark cores, which means they will regulate it for you. However if you’re wanting to reduce lag or stuttering in your games, then go ahead and unpark the cores.
If all your cores are unparked, you may not necessarily see an increase in FPS, but you will see that stuttering has become a thing of the past as the main cause of stuttering is the CPU unparking and then using the cores during the game.
It also depends on the games you play, some will respond to unparked cores much better than others.
Games are made differently and as such they all have different processing requirements, some games operate quite well on a single core, while others seem to do much better when making use of multiple cores.
Take a look at the game specs and do some testing, you’ll soon see for yourself which games benefit from unpacking cores.
Final Words About What Does Unparking CPU Do
So we’ve now answered the questions: what does unparking cores do and does unparking cores increase FPS? Both these questions are important to know the answers to since it can make a difference to your overall gameplay.
Just remember that Windows 10 & 11 can do this for you, however if you’re wanting to cut down on lag or stuttering, then it’s a good option.
Unparking cores will increase the power usage of the CPU, which will increase its temperature. Be mindful you may need to upgrade your cooling system, especially to protect the CPU and extend its life. Unparking the cores is a useful tool to have and can improve your gameplay.