cpu percentages in activity monitor?

biohazard6969

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 23, 2005
836
0
toronto canada
hey, just a question, what are the different kinds of cpu percentages that are represented in activity monitor, theres User, System and Nice, i can basicly figure out that user would be any applications, and system is basicly everyday stuff, but what the heck is nice? i only saw it once an that when my computer was rele screwed up, so i dfon't think it is a good thing
 

varmit

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2003
1,830
0
A nice process is a process that when another process needs more cpu, nice processes will give up their cpu time to the other process that wants it. I can be stuff like maintenance process that can wait till later to run so it gives up what it was doing so you can surf the internet or something else.
 

biohazard6969

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 23, 2005
836
0
toronto canada
so this would happen like when the majority of the cpu is already taken up and somehting important needs to use some cpu that another program is using, so it will "borrow the cpu"? is this right....and when this happens, should i try to quit stuff, like is this a bad thing, cause when i get something usingg %nice, the machine is usually running really slowly
 

kg9ov

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2005
73
0
In front of a computer...
biohazard_6969 said:
so this would happen like when the majority of the cpu is already taken up and something important needs to use some cpu that another program is using, so it will "borrow the cpu"? is this right....
Not exactly. The majority of the programs that run have the same nice value. Programs that run with the same nice value get equal access to the available CPU resources. Also, the operating system does not dynamically adjust the nice value of a running program. It will remain the same unless you specifically change it.

If you are seeing a non-zero value for %Nice, then one or more programs are running with a higher nice value than "normal". These programs would have less priority to get CPU time than programs that do have a "normal" nice value.

and when this happens, should i try to quit stuff, like is this a bad thing, cause when i get something usingg %nice, the machine is usually running really slowly
No, seeing a non-zero value for %Nice is not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, if you are seeing a non-zero value for %Nice, the bottleneck slowing the machine down is probably not the CPU. In this case, you should probably look at memory or disk activity.

Basically, the answer to "Is a non-zero %Nice value what is causing my system to be slow?" is everyones favorite. It depends. :D Any other answer without knowing more details about the specific program would be nothing more than speculation.

-Tony
 

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