kernel_task uses 70%+ often

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by PStamatiou, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. PStamatiou macrumors newbie


    Mar 7, 2008
    I've searched around and there seems to be an issue with the kernel_task process quite frequently jumping up to 70%+ CPU utilization and after that only 1 core works. I don't think it is strictly a heat issue as my cpu stays under 60 deg C during this issue.

    It goes away if I sleep/awake or restart the MBA. For me it happens when I connect and access/xfer something with my NAS.. so intensive network connections in general I think. Anyone else? This is really annoying. When kernel_task uses that much CPU the mouse skips and its hard to do anything.

    btw, I'm a new member here. Long time lurker and even longer mac user.
  2. maleysnemesis macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2008
    kernel_task uses 60-70% of CPU

    I'm using a Power Mac Dual-G4 450 768MB RAM OSX 10.3.9 and when I have my modem connected to the ethernet card the kernel_task starts using 100% of one of the processors, and about 10-25% of the other processor. Also, whatever the conflict is temporary interrupts internet access. Browser windows times out, but after a few minutes, *poof* access is restored. I am using a 3com Ethernet card in a PCI slot to connect to the internet since the built-in is fried. It seems there are a bunch of people with kernel_task processor problems, but I've seen no fixes posted. Anybody have any ideas?
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    In simple terms, kernel_task is the core of OS X. It runs all the device drivers, and other high privilege tasks. If it's spiking up like that, it could be a bad device driver causing it. Have you checked the logs to see if anything is being reported there? Also, have you installed any 3rd party USB drivers (including printers, scanners, etc) as they are often a cause of problems.
  4. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    How new is your Mac and how long ago was the first time you attached your NAS drive for more than a couple of minutes? Because if either the computer is brand new or this is the first time you've connected to your external drive for any extended amount of time, then Spotlight may be indexing your drives. It takes a few hours to complete and it only happens once. So if this is the situation then the problem should go away after a few hours of the Mac being awake and connected to the drive.
  5. PStamatiou thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 7, 2008
    It wasn't spotlight indexing - I would have noticed the mds/mdsworker procs and the blinking thing inside the spotlight icon. That and I use spotlight almost every 30 min so I would have noticed from that as well. =/

    Also earlier today the kernel_task issue came up just from watching a youtube video, the MBA getting hot and going to one core. When it went to one core kernel_task kicked in using all of the remaining cpu time.
  6. macgoskone macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2008
    Orlando FL
    Kernal_task running 100%

    running OSX 10.4.11 intel core 2 Duo

    kernal_task is running at 100% all the time and my background is starting to fade to black.
    i recently installed a backup drive via USB, think this is when it started.

    I am fairly new to Mac so if you could try to be as simple as possible if you can help.

    Thank You!!
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    With a hyperactive kernel_task, check the fonts and font cache.

    It is one of the reasons for a spike in kernel_task, there are others, can't remember them.

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