Always near 100% CPU

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Eanair, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Eanair macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #1
    Well, I've just gotten my new iBook (1.33 Ghz, 1.5 GB RAM, 60 GB HD), and as it was originally from someone else, I did a fresh erase and install of the OS.

    Since then, my CPU usage has been always above 95%. The culprit seems to be mds and mdworker, taking up anywhere from 75-80 of the CPU use. (okay, once I saw it drop down to 40-something)

    From what I've researched as to why this is, mds is part of Spotlight, and it's going through my entire HD and indexing everything since I've erased/re-installed everything.

    So...I assume that once Spotlight is finished indexing everything newly installed on my harddrive, my CPU will drop back to more normal levels? Does anyone know how long then it'll take for the indexing to calm down?

    Thanks!
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    The indexing depends on how many files you have and how big they are.

    But it should be done in less than an hour I think.

    What OS do you have?

    If it's 10.5.x, just know, that the iBook is not that fast to run Leopard properly (t can run it, but not as fluent as 10.4), but Tiger should be more than okay.
     
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #3
    Yes

    Depends how much stuff you have. Not more than an hour or two, though.
     
  4. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #4
    Left it for about 2 hours, and now it's back to normal.

    Phew, almost had a mini heart attack there.

    I've installed Leopard, but am thinking about going back and re-installing Tiger. I've noticed that with Firefox, pages with lots of images seem to load longer and sometimes use more CPU. Interfacelift seems to load more slowly on my iBook than on my new iMac...maybe it's the graphics? Or perhaps it's Leopard?

    But with a 1.33 Ghz, 1.5 GB RAM, 60 GB HD, I thought that it would be fine to run Leopard with no problems.
     
  5. keithOrbit macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    Are you sure your "slow" web performance isn't just first-view caching? Remember that every time you visit a site, the browser keeps a copy of the images there for future use, so it doesn't have to re-download them. After the reinstall, there is no cache, so the first time you go to any of your favorite sites, it's going to need to download all the images. Future views would be faster.

    I'd stick with Leopard even if it were a little slower, personally (it's going to have the best compatibility with future software, which will increasingly be Leopard-only, I expect), although I don't really see how Leopard would reduce web browser speed unless the CPU were seriously overloaded. Browser display is almost entirely CPU and network bound, and neither of those should be affected by the OS upgrade.
     
  7. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #7
    Could be.

    I'm playing around with Firefox and watching the CPU monitor at the same time. It seems to be that when I'm idling on a loaded webpage and not really doing anything, my CPU usage is about 8-14. If I'm loading a page with mainly text and not many pictures, it jumps to 40-60. Or if I'm writing something in this reply box, it also jumps to about 20-40. If it's a picture heavy page, it seems to jump all the way to 80-100, then once all the pictures are loaded on the page, it levels back down to anywhere between 20-40.

    So, at least it's not staying at about 90-100 levels - it only seems to jump up to them when I load a new page, then they back down once the page is loaded. So, very well could be.

    I've decided I'm staying with Leopard.

    Even though the CPU usage jumps high at times, my computer is still pretty fast for what it is IMO. If I wasn't looking at the CPU levels in real time, I wouldn't even know they jump up to 90-100 levels when pages load...unless it's a page completely composed of pictures perhaps.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    Well, that seems like exactly the behavior you'd not only expect, but want--when the browser is loading something it's using as much CPU as is available to do so, and apparently isn't waiting (much) in the network. If it weren't up near 100% CPU, that would imply that either it was downloading more slowly than it could display or was just taking its time rendering and wasting available CPU power for no good reason.
     
  9. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #9
    You're just seeing the effects of an aging computer. You don't even want to see how poorly Flash plugin runs. I just upgraded from a 1.33 17" Powerbook - and the machine is just slow. Tiger probably would run slightly faster, but I don't think its worth doing that simply because you're going to see more and more software dropping Tiger support with new updates.

    Just get it in your mind that your iBook is probably 1/4 to 1/3 as fast in most ways as your new iMac.
     
  10. Eanair thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eanair

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #10
    Okay, that's reassuring. I'm not too knowledgeable regarding what normal CPU usage should be with computers. If that kind of fluctuation with use sounds reasonable and expected, then awesome - I feel a lot better about my CPU usage. :) Thanks for the info!

    Yep, that's okay with me. :)

    As long as the effects of an aging computer are normal aging effects, that's fine. Just wanted to make sure nothing was seriously out of whack for this computer, even for its age.

    Still though, this iBook runs faster and better than an HP Mini netbook I got several months ago. Compared to that, this iBook is quite a jump ahead interestingly.
     

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