Macbook 2010 - is that kernel_task normal?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by MuaMua, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. MuaMua macrumors newbie


    Mar 13, 2017

    I have macbooks 2010 C2D with 320M, 4GB Ram, SSD, Sierra. I have OS X just for a few days so I'm newbie. I saw that when I use safari, Skype, youtube sometimes temp is going up to 85*C - all time kernel task half to half with user usage (screen below after playing Limbo 85*C). Fan is about 3000RPM.

    I have bootcamp also and with full load (prime95 and fur mark) I've got about 95*C max - when I play CSGO - about 85*C. 3000RPM fan.

    I have cleaned heatsink from dust and I've applied new thermal past (Arctic Silver 5) - temps on full load I think are ok.

    I know that notebook have few years but performance is OK for me. Is that temp in OSX okey? Is that kernel_task ok? When I turn on CPUTest - then I have about 85-95% of usage and rest system (kernel).

    Sorry for English but I hope you know what I've sad.

    Ive add EtreCheck test:
    EtreCheck version: 3.1.5 (343)
    Report generated 2017-03-13 19:15:02
    Download EtreCheck from
    Runtime 3:19
    Performance: Good
    Click the [Support] links for help with non-Apple products.
    Click the [Details] links for more information about that line.
    Problem: Other problem
    Hardware Information: ⓘ
        MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010)
        [Technical Specifications] - [User Guide] - [Warranty & Service]
        MacBook - model: MacBook7,1
        1 2,4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Duo) CPU: 2-core
        4 GB RAM Upgradeable - [Instructions]
            BANK 0/DIMM0
                2 GB DDR3 1067 MHz ok
            BANK 1/DIMM0
                2 GB DDR3 1067 MHz ok
        Bluetooth: Old - Handoff/Airdrop2 not supported
        Wireless:  en1: 802.11 a/b/g/n
        Battery: Health = Normal - Cycle count = 208
    Video Information: ⓘ
        NVIDIA GeForce 320M - VRAM: 256 MB
            Color LCD 1280 x 800
    System Software: ⓘ
        macOS Sierra  10.12.3 (16D32) - Time since boot: about 3 hours
    Disk Information: ⓘ
        KINGSTON SV300S37A120G disk0 : (120,03 GB) (Solid State - TRIM: Yes)
        [Show SMART report]
            EFI (disk0s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB
            macOS (disk0s2) /  [Startup]: 85.17 GB (40.88 GB free)
            Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted>  [Recovery]: 650 MB
            BOOTCAMP (disk0s4) /Volumes/BOOTCAMP : 34.00 GB (1.19 GB free)
        OPTIARC DVD RW AD-5970H   ()
    USB Information: ⓘ
        Apple Inc. BRCM2070 Hub
            Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller
        Apple Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
        Apple Inc. Built-in iSight
    Gatekeeper: ⓘ
    System Launch Agents: ⓘ
        [not loaded]    8 Apple tasks
        [loaded]    184 Apple tasks
        [running]    88 Apple tasks
    System Launch Daemons: ⓘ
        [not loaded]    42 Apple tasks
        [loaded]    175 Apple tasks
        [running]    93 Apple tasks
    Launch Daemons: ⓘ
        [loaded]    com.adobe.fpsaud.plist (2017-01-30) [Support]
        [loaded] (2017-03-04) [Support]
        [loaded] (2016-06-11) [Support]
    User Launch Agents: ⓘ
        [running]    com.spotify.webhelper.plist (2017-03-13) [Support]
        [failed]    com.valvesoftware.steamclean.plist (2017-03-06) [Support] - ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/steamclean: Executable not found!
    User Login Items: ⓘ
        smcFanControl    program 
    Internet Plug-ins: ⓘ
        FlashPlayer-10.6: - SDK 10.9 (2017-03-09) [Support]
        QuickTime Plugin: 7.7.3 (2017-01-13)
        Flash Player: - SDK 10.9 (2017-03-09) [Support]
    Safari Extensions: ⓘ
        AdBlock - BetaFish, Inc. - (2017-03-04)
    3rd Party Preference Panes: ⓘ
        Flash Player (2017-01-30) [Support]
    Time Machine: ⓘ
        Time Machine not configured!
    Top Processes by CPU: ⓘ
            19%       WindowServer
            12%       VTDecoderXPCService
            11%       kernel_task
             9%       launchd
    Top Processes by Memory: ⓘ
        872 MB
        542 MB        kernel_task
        213 MB        Safari
        123 MB        mdworker(7)
        90 MB Helper(2)
    Virtual Memory Information: ⓘ
        787 MB        Available RAM
        286 MB        Free RAM
        3.23 GB       Used RAM
        501 MB        Cached files
        152 MB        Swap Used

    Attached Files:

    • cpu.jpeg
      File size:
      145.3 KB
  2. andy9l, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017

    andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    I wouldn't say it's unusual to see kernel_task using that much CPU. It's usually large amounts of RAM that kernel_task appears to use. I wouldn't worry about it, though.

    As for your temperatures - they're fine. It's widely accepted that most modern Macs run extremely hot under load due to lack of sufficient cooling for sustained CPU / GPU pressure. But in reality this isn't an issue as it won't impact many people at all.

    Macs explicitly not built for gaming, and that's pretty much the only common activity that puts sustained pressure on these components. What would be a concerning temperature in a PC is often very typical in a Mac - my GPU reached 108C in one of my iMacs, and I've seen my '09 MBP CPU reach 107C.

    Attached my kernel_task CPU usage at the time of writing for reference...

  3. MuaMua thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 13, 2017
    OK. So its normal :) I will try install Yosemite and see what about battery life because I've read that El Captain/Sierra can reduce battery runtime by 50%, maybe it will help! I have only about 200 cycles of battery and on Sierra it lasts for about 4hours of web browsing on 50% dim - for me its good, but maybe at Yosemite it will be better so I will post results here.

    OK. So i've installed Yosemite 10.10.5 and i think battery life will be better, but not 50%, becouse it shows me more ,,time left". Temperature also was going sometimes high, but i've installed Web Drivers for Nvidia and it looks better! But i need to test it today. Ive testes Mac with TechTool 9 and everything passed - ive uploaded a screen during Memory test

    I think everything is okey - just when nVidia 320M is using heavier - then temps go up - maybe drivers will fix it. Some YT videos can have other decoding and it needs more GPU power - maybe webcam from Skype etc.


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