I have a VM with 8 core of processing, and occasionally the CPU usage is going to around 75 ~ 100%.

I read in some places, that when the CPU usage is with more than 75% is it a trouble, and can damage the processor, besides it can slow the processes running.

So, what is the advisable maximum CPU usage?

If you give-me reliable sources, it is good.

  • Where the heck did you read that??? May 14, 2015 at 14:30
  • @KonradGajewski Some time ago, I do not remember May 14, 2015 at 16:05
  • Bollocks. If a server CPU is not able to take 100% load all the time it needs replacement. May 14, 2015 at 16:15

4 Answers 4


100% is totally fine. Wherever you read it damages the processor -those are idiots with no proper cooling.

Whether 100% CPU utilization is acceptable depends - on the task. Yes, the computer will get sluggish. So what? If the job of the server is to finish calculating something then I rather have him use 100% of the CPU than take longer.

Acceptable CPU usage limits really depend - on usage. For a general purpose server, 50% average load on a per minute base may be where you consider upgrading. But then, my company does a ton of statistical analysis and our HPC server cluster is expected to run at 100% - if that does not happen, we look for and fix the bottle neck.


It may not damage the server, but it could still be problematic for certain applications. I work with SCADA software and if the CPU goes to 100%, the SCADA can freeze or stop updating. This is a problem because the end user cannot see what is happening at their facility. For applications like SCADA/HMI that (sometimes) rely on thin clients and utilize the server CPU, I recommend designing for 80% utilization. This will give you some allowance for things like anti-virus, backups, etc...


You will not damage the processor. There is no advisable CPU usage. You use whatever you want. There is no source of that, i am telling you that from experience. The slowing of processes running is another thing. If it is a multi user server you have to reconfigure it.


100% is considered "thrashing". Aim for 80%, to allow for addition processes if needed.

Server CPUs cannot be damaged by the usage. The heat generated is a different story. Laptops should never got to 100 because the heat will slowly destroy the computer.

Processes will not be damaged because most OSes will manage the priority and take cycles as it needs to do work


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