iMac G5 - Non-Responsiveness, CPU Usage Maxed Out

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jesuscandle, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. jesuscandle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Looking for a little troubleshooting guidance.

    I have an iMac G5 (Ambient Light Sensor) that runs Leopard pretty slowly, even with 2GB of RAM. Sometimes, it's a pretty severe lag: Type a sentence, twiddle your thumbs, bam, it's all inputted at once. Sometimes, the whole system is non-responsive for 60-120 seconds, before, bam, accepting all your key- and mouse-strokes at once.

    Activity Monitor also reports extremely high CPU-usage. I've been using it for a couple of hours this morning and it's been maxed-out or nearly maxed-out basically the whole time.

    There aren't any processes that appear to be hogging resources. Sometimes, it's finder / time machine that's using the most. Sometimes it's Safari or Mail.

    I'm open to the possibility that it's just time to upgrade, but I was wondering if the forums had any suggestions on how to troubleshoot or reclaim some CPU cycles.

    I've pasted a screen grab of Activity Monitor. Note the pegged CPU. Anyone have any ideas?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #2
    Well, lets go through the motions.

    1. Try rebooting?
    2. Try the applecare Tech Tool?
    3. Try turning off startup items?
    4. Was it slow under tiger too?
    5. Try turning off spotlight?

    Sounds like a bus issue. So you will want to check the harddrive, ram, and cpu for faults.
     
  3. jesuscandle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    1. It's been going on for at least a couple of months, so it's seen plenty of reboots, Leopard updates, etc.

    2. I don't have AppleCare. Is there a way to use Tech Tool without subscribing?

    3. Good suggestion. Is there a separate place for system-wide "Startup Items" beyond the "Login Items" found under my user account?

    4. No, it wasn't overly slow under Tiger. In particular, I didn't get the 60-120 sec. unresponsive hangs. Some of the resource usage seems to be tied into Time Machine.

    5. Good idea.
     
  4. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #4
    System Prefs -> Energy saver -> Options -> Processor Performance on reduced? That could be your problem. iMac G5s should have enough power to run Leopard with 2 GBs of RAM smoothly.
     
  5. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #5
    Considering my girlfriends G4 eMac with 1 gig of ram runs it pretty good - ya.

    TechTool is a piece of software, it came with the apple care package. I wouldn't know where to get it out side of that. The Panther dvds it came with (i think it was panther?) should have a diagnostic mode you can run while holding the ALT key with the disk in the drive during startup. I have never run it my self and don't know of any other diagnostic tools for mac. :\
     
  6. jesuscandle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #6
    It's set to Automatic. I fiddled with this setting earlier today and didn't see any changes in just limited testing.
     
  7. jesuscandle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    I'm running Apple Hardware Test now, so we'll see if that finds anything.
     
  8. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #8
    The one on the panther dvd?
     
  9. jesuscandle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9
    Yep, the original install/restore disc that came with the machine.

    Thanks for taking an interest, zmttoxics. I know my Mac pretty well, but haven't had many reasons to learn how to troubleshoot it, so I am much obliged!
     
  10. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #10
    I was just double checking because I never tried it my self, didn't know if it would work or not. Is it working? lol
     
  11. jesuscandle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11
    It DID work. The fans spun like crazy and it took more than 90 minutes. I got a little worried when the screen went all wonky during the video card test, but ultimately AHT did not report any problems.

    Do you have any other ideas on hardware tests?
     
  12. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #12
    How big is the harddrive and how much free space do you have left? HFS+ and SpotLight get very slow when filesystem starts to run out of space.
     
  13. jesuscandle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    160 GB drive with 21 GB free.

    The free space got down around 7 or 8 GB, so I cleaned a bunch of stuff out. I could certainly trim it down even further, but 20 GB seemed like plenty to me. Is that wrong?
     
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #14
    Well, something is wrong. I would suggest use an external harddrive, do a fresh install to that and boot off of it. If its working fine, then i say do a fresh install on the internal drive.
     
  15. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    on the sofa
    #15
    20 gigs is not a lot of space. However I would check your hard drive. Check the smart status condition of the drive. I had an apple laptop get real slow. It was the hard drive dieing.

    Also you can boot from the install CD and do a hardware check.
     
  16. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #16
    Looking at your screenshot again, it seems like you have at least 10 GBs in use for virtual memory, maybe even 20. So no, 20 GBs free wouldn't be enough. Go to Activity Monitor again and check System Memory. Are you getting any page outs? These would definitely be a source of slow downs too.
     
  17. darkcurse macrumors 6502a

    darkcurse

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    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    #17
    IIRC Mac's only start to choke as in really choke if they have less than 1GB of free hard disk space. I'm on 8.9gigs free on my MBP right now and I don't notice any slow downs whatsoever. Try this, create a new account and then use that account for a bit. If they go away, maybe your user account is corrupted somehow. If not let Apple take a look.
     
  18. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #18
    9 GBs free is enough for some. Right now, I'm only using 6 GBs of virtual memory. But it looks like the OP is using his entire free Hard Drive worth of virtual memory which is slowing the system down (and maybe he's maxing his RAM out too). If you've got less than 1 GB free, I'm sure you'd have problems.
     
  19. darkcurse macrumors 6502a

    darkcurse

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    #19
    I don't think its virtual memory problems because the OP says it happens even after restarts. FYI, according to Activity Monitor my VM size is 45 gigs which is a virtual impossibility seeing as I only have 9 gigs free on my hard disk. There was a thread before which mentioned that the VM size you see in AM does not necessarily match whats being used physically. Look at the "Swap used" section. Mine only says 20MB's :)
     

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