what a bottlenecked cpu is?
It's one with a really thin neck.... j/k
We usually use the term bottleneck to describe which component of the PC is the cause of poor performance.
"Your CPU is the bottleneck" could mean your other components are up to date and fast, but your CPU is a little old and is limiting the performance of your system overall. Like a bottleneck in traffic, there is one specific area that is holding everything up.
Intel P4s had and always have an inherent bottleneck, the bottleneck is worked around using hack with Distributed Processing origin called HyperThreading.
What is that bottleneck? Intel's P4 is deficient at handling smaller instruction and data chunksizes, the smaller they are the worst the performance due to large parts of the processor left idled, it functions as if it is a 100 feet wide single-lane superhighway with only a lonely bike rider on it.
Hence the need for programmers to fill in the single-lane superhighway with a monster 18 wheeler truck packed full of bikes. Because it is designed as a single-lane single-vehicle optimum superhighway, unfortunately the real world are full of vehicles of different sizes - itty bitty, small, medium, large, big, humongous, etc...
HyperThreading is about small fragment processing, is it the processors which are performing the small fragment processing? Nope, the programmers did it using supreme acrobatic to fit all different chunksizes into single big chunks not the processors.
Below is the graphic presentation of that bottleneck (matrix size is the chunksize), click on the pic for the pertinent article at Tech Report
well how could I find out what is bottlenecking my PC?
what are your system specs and when do you see the bottleneck.
ok just looked at your system specs in your profile, i am assuming that is the rig you ar talking about.
exactly where do you see your bottleneck? the system you have should be a smooth running rig.
without knowing what you are trying to do and what software you are trying to use. I would say 1 big bottleneck could be spyware and viruses if your system is running extremely sluggish... and of course there are the background tasks... any programs that startup when windows starts up can cause you some performance problems. normally not but if you have a lot of programs starting up it can cause slowdowns....go to start>run>msconfig click on the startup tab and list all of the things you have in that list that are checkmarked....
Since you have one of the best Single-Tasking Processor configuration ever made to date in your profile, without any notes of your background I'll assume the problem you have with bottlenecking isn't simple ignorance... but that you already max out the performance demand of your processor, as much as you know of it and wanted even more.
1- Your Processor isn't a hardware accelerated Multi-Tasking processor, you need to use and buy software which properly support converting all multiple little tasks you wanted into single big ones (software accelerated Multi-Tasking, HyperThreading support is a good example of what you must have).
2- Look at the performance graph above. Did you notice in the newer Intel CPU performance profiles, the optimum peaks had moved to the right? You needed to buy new software which are also optimized to move with the optimum peaks to get the most performance out of your processor. Intel had blessed MS with old software performance obsolescence for the new hardware generation, if you had an AMD processor you would not need new software for the most perfomance possible, it is backward performance compatible with all old software.
well I left hyper-threading technology out, but my CPU came with that I disabled it though, because I heard from everyone that it could actually reduce performance of certain things, such as games. I havent overclocked my CPU yet, only because I have a prescott and I'm already nervous as it is with its temperatures.
To truly get it to work properly, all your software have to support HyperThreading.