Sets the number of threads that the Garbage Collector uses for parallel operations.

The total number of GC threads is composed of one application thread with the remainder being dedicated GC threads. By default, the number is set to n-1, where n is the number of reported CPUs, up to a maximum of 64. Where SMT or hyperthreading is in place, the number of reported CPUs is larger than the number of physical CPUs. Likewise, where virtualization is in place, the number of reported CPUs is the number of virtual CPUs assigned to the operating system. To set it to a different number, for example 4, use -Xgcthreads4. The minimum valid value is 1, which disables parallel operations, at the cost of performance. No advantage is gained if you increase the number of threads to more than the default setting.

On systems running multiple JVMs or in LPAR environments where multiple JVMs can share the same physical CPUs, you might want to restrict the number of GC threads used by each JVM. The restriction helps prevent the total number of parallel operation GC threads for all JVMs exceeding the number of physical CPUs present, when multiple JVMs perform garbage collection at the same time.