Windows 10 File Explorer - All Your Cores Are Belong to Us

Ok, since changing jobs about 3 years back I’ve been 100% on MacOS - before then it was 75% windows on the work laptop, 25% Mac at home because of study and because I just like it. Nothing against Windows - been using it since 3.1 (and dabbled a bit with 1.), loved 2000, XP, & and even didnt mind Vista at all.

So now I’ve built a gaming /coding pc with a Intel 10980xe 18 core / 36 thread. Starting copying files off my backup USB3 external drive - about 4TB onto a PCIe x8 6.4TB SSD (Samsung data center SSD).

What I notice that perplexes me is that Windows 10 uses 100% of all my cores according to task manager. That’s 36 threads at 3GHz all at 100%. There is no way sequentially transferring files requires more than one core.

Looking around the web, none of the fixes worked for me.

My question is… is this how File Explorer behaves or do I actually have a problem of some kind?

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Is that SSD connected onto the Chipset PCIe lanes rather then directly onto the CPU allocated PCIe lanes ?

Also, is it connected onto a PCIe GEN3 interface ?

This can have an affect on the bandwidth allocated to Enterprise class devices which will just take all your bandwidth and then some.

Hopefully somebody else with better knowledge of these Enterprise class devices like Wendell will be able to help guide you on this one.

What kind of speeds are you getting?

I may be ignorant on this, but I thought Windows File Explorer copy operations are infamously single-threaded…?

It could be the anti-malware scanner.


It could be a borked installation of Windows (sometimes it does that with 100% CPU utilization), or it could be some automatic updates that suddenly decided to kick in. Windows Updates can use quite a lot of CPU. I never seen it get 100% usage from updates, but it’s not out of the question if it has to unpack a lot of stuff.

That anti-malware scanner was flipping out this weekend while I had Dragoncenter installed. I guess it’s an appropriate response to anything MSI.

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