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You might want to check the cpu speed while the machine is under load. If I remember correctly, the cpu ramps down power consumption to the minimum unless there load is high enough to warrant the increased power consumption to avoid noticeably latency. I think this is all about improving the lifetime of the processor. Temperature cycling the cpu is not good either, but in general the long the cpu stays hot the shorter its life will be. If you run a singly threaded application for any significant period of time, you will notice that the cpu (or os?) will move the load from one core to another. ... at least that is what happens on my core i7 1.6 GHz.