I am a fairly novice computer user, so my understanding of the terms in the title is probably inaccurate, but I've noticed under Task Manager that my CPU Usage never goes below 50%, even when I have no applications running at all. When I check the "Processes" tab, it shows System Idle Process (which I always thought was (100-CPU usage)% ) as being 85% or higher virtually all the time. Summing up the "CPU" values for the remaining processes seems to bear that idea out (usually less than 15%), but somehow my "CPU Usage" displayed along the bottom of the Task Manager is never less than 50%. I also know that when I do start running applications to the point that the displayed CPU Usage reaches 100%, the sum of "CPU" values for non-"System Idle Process" processes is around 50, so the value displayed for "CPU Usage" seems correct. It's very frustrating because I hit the 100% CPU Usage threshhold much quicker than I ought to - and this is on a machine I just recently acquired a few days ago, running Vista. My old laptop ran XP with an older processor and never had such issues, which is why I am asking in the Vista forum.
I suppose my question is - where can I find the programs/processes/whatever that are contributing to the seemingly baseline 50% CPU usage? I am fairly confident they are not showing up under Task Manager, since the System Idle Process is always 85%+ when I am not running anything (unless I am misunderstanding what that value is, in which case an explanation would be very helpful).
Thank you for any help you can provide!