What is the difference between Processor % Processor Time and Process % Processor Time perfmon counters? Yes, it’s confusing, but once we look at the nomenclature and understand the multi-processor architecture, it is easily understandable. First things first, both the counters are showing % Processor Time – the CPU consumption in percentage factor. The key difference is that the first counter shows it for the overall processor and the second one shows it for a specific process. For example: SQL Server, the executable, also runs as a process – sqlservr.exe. Now let us say that SQL Server is running on an 8-core box. For the sake of simplicity, let us call it a server with 8 logical processors. And if SQL Server is configured to consume all the processors (which is the default), the max value for Process % Processor Time perfmon counter can go up to 800 (for the sqlservr process). So that is 100 units for each processor. But what about Processor % Processor Time? Well, that is a simple metric of overall processor utilization in percentage and the max will not go beyond 100%. So lets say a CPU-intensive workload is running and the overall processor utilization is 80% (Processor % Processor Time), the value for Process % Processor Time (sqlservr) could be 480%. But the task manager for SQL Server process will show 60%. This is 480/800 * 100 = 60%. Confusing? Watch the video below.

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