I just got a new laptop. It has dual Intel Pentium P4 2.8G processors installed.

I'm running Windows XP Professional.

My question is, does XP really use two processors? How? At what point are both processors being used? Under heavy load? At all times?

Is there a way to assign certain processes or programs to run on specific processors?

Both processors should spread the load, and work at roughly the same levels. In task manager you can see how much work each processor is doing at any time.

Personnaly I have never heard of a Laptop with two processors, that must be a hefty system. To be honest there arn't many applications that really use modern processors to a high degree. Computer games are at the forefront of pushing modern technology, and its only otherwise professional software for programming or web design that need anything near modern system specs. Most office based programs would work on a 2Ghz processor and 256 ram quite happily.

What make and model is your laptop, I'd be quite interested to have a look online at the specs.

Eh hem, you have a Single processor system with HT.

A true Dual Processor Xeon system would have 4 processors shown :)

Definitely a hyperthreaded processor. The Pentium 4 mobile processors are a hyperthread vchip, while the PentiumM processors used in Centrino laptops are not.

Hyperthreading simulates a second processor, and shows up to XP as there being two present. For applications which can actually use the multi-threading capability, performance will be improved. If you only run single threaded applications, like games and most general office software, you won't get a boost in application performance but XP itself will get a boost with multitasking, switching between apps etc.

Gotcha. One processor, HT. It's a Dell Inspiron 9100. Device manager shows a processor 0 and a processor 1.

Dual processors on a Dell Laptop.. That's just funny. Does that mean they will break down sooner than usual??

Don't spill instant coffee on it, you might go back in time.LOL