I have a Macbook Pro 15" with the quad core i7. I am looking to see what if any performance decrease I could expect moving to a 13" Macbook Pro with a dual core i7. To that end I thought Activity Monitor might be able to show how many cores are being utilized while I run through various tasks (VMWare, Photoshop, etc ..).

Does anyone know how to display core usage via Activity Monitor?

  • Just assume one core is 100% so 8cores (your max) will be 800% Also note the CPU speed and the type of i7 as newer ones do more for the same number of cores and speed
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 25, 2013 at 18:45
  • Activity Monitor displays core usage as a graph at the bottom of the window in the "CPU" tab. Or did you mean a numerical value of actual CPU usage per core?
    – binarybob
    Sep 25, 2013 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


You can get a graph per core to show by going to Window on the menu bar and selecting Cpu Usage or Cpu History. There is also an option under the View menu to place a similar graph in Activity Monitor's dock icon.

If you're using a reasonably new Mac, Hyper Threading is enabled, so you'll see twice as many graphs as you have physical cores.


There are few ways to view the CPU usage in Activity monitor.

In the Dock

This one is the Dock

in AM

Those are in the Activity Monitor

You can also set it up as Floating window so it will be on top so you can see real time what is happening.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .