Currently using Throttlestop to overclock i7-2600 to its turbo state and setting the priority of Illustrator to realtime and the affinity to the first 4 cores. Also, the system has 16gb of RAM installed and is set up as Raid 0 on 2 250gb 7200 rpm hdd's. Even during the most stressful tasks the cpu usage never goes past 13-14%, which is half of one core. The system is completely idle except for 1% in use by various system tasks. Is there a reason as to why Illustrator is throttling itself?
Most operations in AI simply are single-threaded, partly due to its legacy, partly inherent in the underlying linear math. Unless this is massively rewritten at the core, there's no way to change any of that and even then for most people it might not at all make that much a difference and only show up with complex documents and operations...
Right which is why I have tried to isolate the operation to the 4 physical cores. Currently I am trying to apply a complex clipping path to a complex image with several gradients. This is a regular process for me and recently it seems to have slowed toa crawl. It seems unfortunate that even with hyperthreading being around for a while that Adobe has neglected to future-proof their latest installment.