MBP i5 model price CPU resources

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pipopaz, May 4, 2010.

  1. pipopaz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #1
    First of all, sorry if I wasn't specific enough with the title, I couldn't think of a better one.
    I recently got my first MBP, i5 base model, it has worked just as expected but there are some instances in which doing a task makes the CPU go to 75% and up. I noticed this happened with picasa and recently while trying to send some of my pics to my ipad with itunes. My question is then, these are basics tasks so why do they consume so much resources? is it the processor that is lacking? ram or 5200rpm hard drive? any help would be appreciated it, as I stated i'm new to mbp so it may be nothing, still thanks for your time.
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    It's not a shortage of any resource, just the computer working as fast as it can. Alternately, in some situations (a common one is network uploads that are restricted by bandwidth) sloppy coding makes an app use as much of a thread as it can during the upload, even if it doesn't actually need that much processor to do the upload. I've seen this in FTP programs, for example. You may be seeing something like that in the situations you describe.

    Nothing you can do about the inefficient coding case, but it's not much of a problem, apart from a slight reduction in battery life because of unnecessary CPU use. You have two real CPU cores, so there's plenty of processor left for you to do other things simultaneously. It's also possible that, if the pics were being resized to send to the iPad, the CPU was hard at work resizing them.

    Keep in mind in "regular" cases (like a photo resize), if you ask the computer to do something, the most efficient use of resources is to do it as fast as possible. If the task can only use one CPU core, then you'd want that core to be pinned at 100% for as long as it takes to complete the task--otherwise you're wasting available resources and the task is taking longer than it should. If it is multithreaded, ideally both cores will be pinned at 100% until finished.

    In fact, the situations you don't want are when you ask the computer to do something that takes processing and it DOESN'T take 100% of at least one CPU core--that means that there's a bottleneck elsewhere, for example it can't read/write data on disk fast enough to keep up with the processor. Generally speaking you'd rather your CPU was the limiting factor, as it's the fastest component in the system for most tasks.
     
  3. pipopaz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #3
    Oh i understand a little more now, thanks Makosuke. One thing that does still remain unclear to me is whether the computer can be at risk of breaking when the temperature is too high when using 100% resources. I was taking a look at Istat while Itunes was working, and the highest was around 80, one instance around 90, is this something normal?
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    No and yes.

    While heat is generally bad for electronics, were the computer to actually overheat it would either slow down or shut itself off as a built-in safety precaution before doing any damage.

    That said, 80-90C is a normal range for a CPU under heavy load. The fans are, I believe, set to ramp up to keep the temp under about 90C; install SMCFanControl and you can see what the built-in curve is (and adjust it, though that's probably not necessary... mine is actually adjusted, but entirely to keep the underside of my MBP cooler so it doesn't hurt my lap, which is at the expense of extra fan noise).
     
  5. pipopaz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #5
    Cool, thanks for all info, it has helped me tremendously. As for the program, I would also like to adjust it so my legs don't get hot while using it on battery power I don't mind some little fan noise if it keeps things cool. Thanks again.
     

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