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set processor affinity for an application in registry

Posted on 2012-03-28
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Last Modified: 2012-03-30
Is there a way to permanently set the processor affinity for a specific application in the registry?  Preferably without a 3rd party utility?
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Question by:icecom4
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by:n2fc
ID: 37779178
Task Assignment Manager...
Free download:
   http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bang-dual-processing-buck,815-3.html

Using Windows Task Manager is not an option, since it rewuires manual intervention at each execution.
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Vanguard_LH earned 500 total points
ID: 37781144
Windows XP doesn't provide the user with profiles where they can define CPU affinities for processes that get reused the next time that process is loaded.  The user is stuck having to manually change the affinity in Task Manager.  Hardly a good solution.  So you're stuck with having to use 3rd party software.

Besides the THG utility that n2fc mentioned, there are also process manager's that include CPU affinity profiles for processes.  One, for example is Process Lasso.  Even its freeware version includes CPU affinity profiles except it is nagware (after the trial period is over, you occasionally get nags).  This program has been handy enough that I bought it so I don't know how often the nags appear.  As I recall, you see a nag each time you reboot your computer, load Windows, and login.  If you leave your computer powered up 24x7 then you won't see the nag until whenever you next reboot your host.  

Process Lasso
www.bitsum.com

Bill2's Process Manager is another process manager that includes CPU affinity profiles.  Some folks don't like utilities that use .Net but then they don't realize it's just another programming environment of libraries just like MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) used by the older programs they do like (because they don't realize the coding environ required by their favorite software).  This one is freeware (no payware version) and why some folks prefer it over Process Lasso.  Alas, there is no English version web site so you'll have to know French or use something like Google Translate to read the site converted to English (or whatever is your native language).  

Bill2's site even includes a comparison table between its process manager and several others, so you can get an idea of what others you can try.  Process Tamer is one that I see mentioned employed by some users.

If you go to http://www.softpedia.com/progViewOpinions/Bill2-s-Process-Manager-94017,.html, you'll see my review of a quick trial of Bill2's Process Manager.

Using a process manager that includes CPU affinity profiles or a standalone CPU affinity utility makes sure that the process, no matter how it is loaded, will run with the CPU assignment that you prefer.  You may not directly load a program but instead it loads as a child process, like clicking on a URL link in an e-mail in your e-mail client will load your web browser.  If, however, you aren't interested in making sure a program is assigned to a CPU every time it is loaded and only care when YOU load it by using a shortcut or .bat file then look at SysInternals' psexec.  This lets you at the command line specify the CPU affinity for the program that psexec is told to load.  Use the -a parameter to psexec to specify on which CPUs the specified program will run.

SysInternals psexec (just this utility):
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897553

SysInternals pstools (suite of command-line utilities, including psexec):
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896649
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