Intel Alder Lake CPUs have Thread Director, boosts perf on Windows 11

Intel's new Alder Lake processors have Thread Director, a physical unit on the CPU: it's like AI, but for your CPU threads.

1 minute & 50 seconds read time

Intel's new Alder Lake CPU architecture is a huge change for Intel, you can read all about that here -- but there's something very cool that Intel announced with Alder Lake... and it's called Thread Director.

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The new Intel Alder Lake CPUs include P-core and E-cores (performance and efficiency cores) so Intel created Thread Director to manage all of those cores and threads more efficiently than ever before. This means you'll have more performance, use less power, and have what should be minimal or zero lag or stuttering on the tasks you're running or the games you're playing.

Intel Thread Director will do a few things with your Alder Lake CPU: prioritize tasks scheduled on P-cores, background tasks get scheduled on the E-cores, with AI thread prioritized on P-core, and the Spin loop wait moved from the P-core to the E-core.

Intel created Alder Lake and the new Thread Director with Microsoft's new Windows 11 operating system at its heart, which explains the rumors that Intel will be launching Alder Lake with Windows 11 in October 2021. Thread Director will optimize your threads for the best performance possible if you mix Alder Lake + Windows 11 together.

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There's an actual physical Thread Director chip on the Alder Lake processors, where the chip will communicate with the operating system -- Windows 11 in this case -- and then using the information at hand to prioritize the Alder Lake cores and threads.

Thread Director will monitor the runtime instruction mix on each CPU thread, as well as the state of each core -- with "nanosecond precision" says Intel. The physical chip built into the core will also dynamically adapt guidance -- with things including thermal design point (TDP), operating conditions, and power settings. Best of which, you don't need to do a thing about it, that's what Thread Director does for you.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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