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I run ubuntu 11.10 on a Dell inspiron N4050 which has an Intel Core i3 CPU.

After a time of inactivity sometimes few seconds, sometimes 2 or three miutes or even more CPU2 3 and 4 spike then go to zero and only CPU1 still works. when activity is resumed by moving the cursor for example all CPUs are put on.

I would like to post an image but since i'm new i couldn't.

I don't know if putting off the three last cores of the CPU is an option to reduce power consumption or something like that..

share|improve this question… – Qasim Jun 14 '13 at 14:48

You guessed it. It is a power-saving feature of the CPU. When the extra cores aren't needed they are turned off.

share|improve this answer
Is there a way to turn it off?? – Zinou Jun 7 '12 at 15:09
I believe it is a feature of the laptop, not Ubuntu. You would have to find the option (if there is one) in your BIOS. When booting your laptop, it should say "Press DEL to enter setup" or "Press F10 to enter BIOS" or something along those lines. Look for any power-saving settings. – reverendj1 Jun 7 '12 at 15:11

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