High CPU usage on intel mini at idle

frick

macrumors member
Original poster
May 16, 2006
63
0
After attaching an external firewire hard drive, I noticed that activity monitor seems to think my cpu usage is at a constant ~50% or so (under the user category), though the CPU usage of the processes listed does not add up to anywhere near this figure. CoreDuoTemp seems to agree with the figure being put out by activity monitor, but if I actually look at cpu usage in the terminal (using the command "ps -A -o pid,%cpu,command|sort -n +1") I see only a couple processes using ~1% of my CPU.

Could this be a problem with the mini's firmware?
 

blodwyn

macrumors 65816
Jul 28, 2004
1,148
1
Portland, Oregon
frick said:
After attaching an external firewire hard drive, I noticed that activity monitor seems to think my cpu usage is at a constant ~50% or so (under the user category), though the CPU usage of the processes listed does not add up to anywhere near this figure. CoreDuoTemp seems to agree with the figure being put out by activity monitor, but if I actually look at cpu usage in the terminal (using the command "ps -A -o pid,%cpu,command|sort -n +1") I see only a couple processes using ~1% of my CPU.

Could this be a problem with the mini's firmware?
I'm not sure about the discrepancy, but Spotlight will start to index your external hard drive when you connect it, so there will be some activity until it's finished
 

frick

macrumors member
Original poster
May 16, 2006
63
0
I disconnected the external HD, rebooted and opened three programs (Firefox, iTunes and Mail)... the CPU usage still jumps up to ~50%. Is this normal for an intel mini, considering activity monitor is saying these applications are using 1-3% CPU each? Is it possible that some invisible process is running in the background and eating up CPU cycles (this seems unlikely since unix should be telling me everything that's running)?
 

gloss

macrumors 601
May 9, 2006
4,811
0
around/about
It may well be your Mini doing some background work, such as indexing or defragging.

Also, keep in mind that the Duo will, technically, go to 200% CPU use, so you've still got considerable overhead.

(for the record, though, my MacBook is currently idling at about 3-6% CPU use.)
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
Have you switched to looking at "All Processes" in Activity Monitor, and not just "My Processes"?
 

imacintel

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2006
1,581
0
Go to Sytem Preferences>>Sharing>>> and Find windows Sharing. Uncheck it. It uses a lot of your CPU.