Discussion in 'macOS' started by mcmike100, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. mcmike100 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    I was watching Activity Monitor recently when a lot of my CPU usage started turning blue. According to the legend, blue refers to "% Nice". When I looked it up in help, it said something confusing about users being able to set the importance of certain processes so they'll get more or less CPU time.

    Anyone know what this is about? It could be useful to be able to tell my CPU which apps to concentrate on.

  2. dolphin842 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2004
    'Nice' often kicks in when the processor is taxed... it starts divvying up the scarce resources to apps based on priority. Say when Spotlight is initially indexing your disk, it takes up a lot of CPU... doing anything else intensive causes the Nice % to jump up because there's too many things going on for each app to get what it wants.

    I'm sure someone else can give a more technical explanation. :eek:
  3. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    If a program is running in nice mode, it means that it takes low priority and doesn't tie up CPU time that other programs need. It's often used to run really long CPU intensive jobs to avoid hammering the other processes on the computer. For example, on our schools UNIX machines, if you're going to run a long (days long) processing job, you're supposed to run it with nice so that other users of the computers don't have problems with slow machines. Hope that help explain something.
  4. mcmike100 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Ok, thanks. So is there an easy way for me to choose which programs get CPU priority?

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