For the Super User Questions of the Week #15 the highest voted answer was How much speedup does a hyper thread give? (in theory).

While we should be looking at what theoretical boost Hyperthreading can give I believe we also need to bolster that and physically quantify the "real-world" boost that Hyperthreading gives. To that end I would like to gather opinions and programs that are suitable for proving whether this feature is useful or not.

At the moment I can see the following tests being valid

  • Prime95

  • 7-Zip using a large file collection & 8 threads

  • Handbrake H.264 encoder (does anyone know if there is an accepted "standard" video to convert? Probably not necessary so long as the tests are consistent...)

As I see it we can also gather some information from http://www.cpubenchmark.net and compare CPUs with and without Hyperthreading to get some vague correlation.

If anyone has any good multithreaded programs, appropriate single-threaded applications or even just best-practice test procedures I'd be grateful if you could let me know.

2 Answers 2


If you have any video games (I know you've got Portal 2), you could compare the performance when hyperthreaded vs. when not. Portal 2 has an option under the advanced video settings to enable or disable multi-core processing, too. You could benchmark it by looking at the average FPS.

  • 1
    That is actually a very good point, a lot of games these days use a high level of multithreading to support different task such as the renderer, physics, audio, and other jobs.
    – Mokubai Mod
    May 20, 2011 at 21:11

The best links I ever found on HT performance were at




However, from what I understand, HT is much better on the newer Sandy Bridge & beyond than it was on the original i7 -- so you might check for updated articles on that site.

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