Nice CPU usage and "hanging"

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by SteveC, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. SteveC macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2003
    About 2 months ago, I started noticing a little nuisance with my computer.

    My computer has been getting "hung up" (a brief 1/2 second "pause"/"hang") that causes everything I'm doing to stop briefly. I usually notice it when I'm typing something. I'll be typing, and the system will "hang" and my text will not appear until a half second later.

    Through the use of Activity Monitor, I *THINK* I have discovered that this happens everytime an occurence of "nice CPU usage" happens. I actually don't have any idea what "nice CPU usage" is, but I attached a screen shot of Activity Monitor. The processes in blue are the "nice CPU usage" processes. I don't know what application is responsible for the usage, but whatever it is seems to be causing the "hanging" of my system, because every time nice CPU usage shows up in Activity Monitor, my system hangs.

    Can someone please give me some guidance, share your knowledge, experience, and/or give me advice on what to do to resolve this?

    I just started noticing this problem about 2 months ago like I said, and I've had the computer since July '03. So, it worked awesome for 8 months, and now this annoying little common occurence has shown up.

    Attached Files:

  2. SteveC thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2003
    System Specs

    Oh... :) Since I know someone will ask, my computer is a 17" eMac 1GHz/60 GB Hard Drive/384 RAM/CD-RW, DVD Combo

    And I'm running Mac OS 10.3 Build 7B85
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I would guess that, since you only have 384 MB of RAM, virtual memory is being asked to swap to/from disk and it takes priority over most everything.

    You might want to update to 10.3.3, by the way.
  4. SteveC thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2003
    Thanks... I'll do the OS X update tonight. I know the 384 MB isn't giganticly robust, but I get the "hanging" even when I only have the Finder and Mail open. That's a bit insane isn't it? :( And everything was fine for 8 months.

  5. phreaker57x macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2003
    New York
    You can try some maintenance work on your eMac. Try Onyx . Its an awesome util that automates most of the system cleanup functions like the cron jobs, the cache cleaning, and so some other stuff.

    btw, Use Apple's Disk Utility to repair permissions. It seems faster than Onyx for this job...

    I'm sure you have heard of these things before, but I guess it never hurts to repeat it ;) .

    Good luck on your eMac!
  6. SteveC thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2003
    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it!

    Any additional input and advice/suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Has anyone else out there ever experienced this?
  7. cjc343 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2004
    In the apple store, in front of a G5.
    First, let me assure you that I have NOT changed the color scheme.....

    I am running F@H.


    lots of nice cpu cycles.... my machine never hangs.

    PB g4/1250 512 ram 80 gig hd processor running full not reduced.

    I think that bousozoku is right. Go spend a bit of money on getting more RAM, you won't regret it. (Mac OS X uses a LOT of RAM, I am not suprised that you are having trouble on 384 mb RAM.)
  8. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    'nice' usage is the cpu usage by reniced apps..some apps is os x are aitomatically reniced, activity monitor is one of them..this means that suppose u see in activity monitor that its own cpu usage is 65%, then you open other program which need 50% cpu, so automatically the usage of monitor wd it gets 'reniced' as you can figure doesnt have to do anything with system 'hangs'...
    i would second the already expressed opinion..less ram...
  9. visor macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2003
    in bed

    OK, what does nice meand anyway :

    Nice is a typical Unix feature that was introduced on multiprocessing, multiuser systems.
    It allows a process to be nice to others, and let them have more processortime when they need it.

    Nice can have a value of 0 - 19 where 0 is not nicer than standard, and 19 gives away 19 of 20 timeslices to any process which is not as nice.

    A normal use of nice is if you have long term processes that have little priority (Folding at home is a typical example. It just takes any unuserd resource, but is very nice to other processes so you don't actually notice it running)

    Superusers such as root may use nice with negative numbers. That means the process disallows timesslices to be taken by other processes. Now, while the computer is not any faster with that kind of setting, it can seriously interfere with usability in case your process is running a long time - you could create a singletasking behaviour with that setting.

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