I am using both Cpu's of my dual-core?

  • Good evening folks,

    I am a new member of the pfsense family and I have version 2.1.5 up and running and everything seems good. The question I have is that I have a Dual Core computer that I am running pfsense on but in my System Information box on the Dashboard it shows "2 CPUs: 1 package(s) x 1 core(s) x 2HTT threads". Am I using both cores? Did I miss something during the install?  Is there a way that I can make the change, if needed, without doing a fresh install?


  • Hyperthreading is really when 1 core is pretending to be 2 cores to better utilize all of its potential.

    If its showing dual-core, then yes - Its using it.  All both/one of them.

  • Thanks for your response. I was confused by the "1 package(s) x 1 core(s)". I have been watching a few youtube videos and in each case it their machine would show "1 package(s) x 2 core(s)".


  • Netgate Administrator

    What CPU is it? If it really is dual core then it's not seeing both 'real' cores.


  • I don't know for sure what CPU it has. I looked up the specs online but there seems to be a few possibilities. Is there a way I can find out this info using SSH?

  • The name of the processor is printed in the same window where you say the 1 core message in pfsense.

    So, whats the name there?

  • Straight from the CPU Type Box:

    Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz
    2 CPUs: 1 package(s) x 1 core(s) x 2 HTT threads

  • Netgate Administrator

    You're fine then. I don't think even the newest cpus branded as P4s were dual core.


  • Thanks Steve and thanks to all that responded, it is appreciated!

    Would it be worthwhile to use a dual core? What would be the main advantages?


  • You only need to upgrade if your hardware breaks, your CPU or ram is maxed out (according to pfsense console) or you get tired of the power bill associated with your Pentium 4.

    If its working and the electric bill isn't a problem and you feel the system is reliable, no reason to mess with it.

    Main advantages to switching to something like a small 2 core low power fanless machine would be power, heat, reliability, size of device…  Things that may or may not be reason enough for you to spend money to replace a system thats working fine.

  • Thanks kejianshi!

    What I have is running very well. The CPU and memory usage is very low and power consumption is not an issue. I am thinking about picking up a dual core computer for backup for when/if this one dies. When installing pfsense on a dual core machine is there any difference in the install procedure or does pfsense automatically detect the dual core.


  • None.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Exactly. In much earlier versions of pfSense there was a separate kernel for SMP that you had to choose during install so you might find some references to it in the forum or docs. That's no longer the case though.


  • Pentium 4 chips were all single core with Hyper Threading.  They changed the name to include a "D" when they made them dual core.  Truth told though, HT was a liability on those original chips.  In many workloads they actually performed better if you disabled it.