New Macbook Pro w/high kernel task?

Tron72

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 23, 2007
43
5
I purchased a 2015 13" Retina Macbook Pro last week. Last night I checked my Activity Monitor and noticed kernel_task was over 600MB w/100+ threads. The Memory Used was around 2GB. I did some research and found a wide range of suggestions and possible causes but I wanted to share this here to see if you guys think this is an issue I should have a Genius look at. The only thing I had open when I got those numbers is Safari and Activity Monitor. Nothing else was plugged in, Bluetooth is off and I deleted the couple new apps I downloaded from the App store. I restarted before I went to bed last night. This morning when I checked that kernel_task was around 450 and the thread count was 106. However the big difference was the "Swap Used" which was around 6GB, last night it remained at zero. This is with no applications open (other than Activity Monitor). So I restarted again and took the attached photo of my numbers. Swap Used was back to zero and Memory Used dropped slightly but I'm still concerned that my kernel task and it's thread is unusually high so I wanted to see if anyone else is having a similar issue or recommends I take it to a Genius?

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.30.58 AM.png
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,537
25,262
Swap used would indicate high memory usage & paging to the SSD when it runs out of RAM. May I confirm that when you're restarting the computer, the option of 'reopen windows when logging back in' is unticked? When it's ticked it means that background processes can reopen (and if there's one causing a memory leak that could be the issue).
 

Tron72

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 23, 2007
43
5
Swap used would indicate high memory usage & paging to the SSD when it runs out of RAM. May I confirm that when you're restarting the computer, the option of 'reopen windows when logging back in' is unticked? When it's ticked it means that background processes can reopen (and if there's one causing a memory leak that could be the issue).
Yes, reopen windows is not checked.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,537
25,262
Yes, reopen windows is not checked.
Okay, hope you can bear with me while we run some troubleshooting ... at least it will allow us to diagnose what isn't wrong.

  1. We'll start with checking the SSD isn't corrupted by verifying the SMART Data. I use SMART Utility: http://cloudfront.volitans-software.com/smartutility314.zip
  2. If that comes back clean, let's try run a volume verification through Disk Utility. So if you could open Disk Utility, single-click your volume, and select 'Verify Disk'.
  3. If that comes clean, try click 'Repair Disk Permissions' instead and try restart.
  4. Still no luck? Try reset the PRAM/SMC.
  5. More hiccups after this? Check OS X is fully up-to-date.
  6. If there are still problems then see what Login items are enabled in System Preferences -- possibly try delete a few.

What you have to remember is that OS X will always utilise as much RAM as possible to ensure applications run smoothly. You shouldn't need to be concerned unless you're getting high swap files (which you are). So to reassure you about the kernel task - it's not something to worry about. However the swap that you get does indicate that something, somewhere, is eating up the RAM. Hopefully one of the above steps would either resolve or elucidate the issue ...

Speak with you soon.
 

Tron72

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 23, 2007
43
5
Okay, hope you can bear with me while we run some troubleshooting ... at least it will allow us to diagnose what isn't wrong.

  1. We'll start with checking the SSD isn't corrupted by verifying the SMART Data. I use SMART Utility: http://cloudfront.volitans-software.com/smartutility314.zip
  2. If that comes back clean, let's try run a volume verification through Disk Utility. So if you could open Disk Utility, single-click your volume, and select 'Verify Disk'.
  3. If that comes clean, try click 'Repair Disk Permissions' instead and try restart.
  4. Still no luck? Try reset the PRAM/SMC.
  5. More hiccups after this? Check OS X is fully up-to-date.
  6. If there are still problems then see what Login items are enabled in System Preferences -- possibly try delete a few.

What you have to remember is that OS X will always utilise as much RAM as possible to ensure applications run smoothly. You shouldn't need to be concerned unless you're getting high swap files (which you are). So to reassure you about the kernel task - it's not something to worry about. However the swap that you get does indicate that something, somewhere, is eating up the RAM. Hopefully one of the above steps would either resolve or elucidate the issue ...

Speak with you soon.
Thank you for the quick response! I'm trying your suggestions now. I just noticed when I went into Disk Utility that my Mac HD appears twice, see screenshot. Is that normal?
Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.33.57 AM.png
 

Tron72

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 23, 2007
43
5
Not to worry at all buddy, see: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT203172

EDIT: sorry, hadn't realised the poster above me said that first :oops:
Thank you keysofanxiety for your help. After trying your recommendations (except resetting PRAM/SMC) without any improvement I decided to call Apple. After getting a senior advisor on the phone, she was able to walk me through to clean up some of the crumbs left behind from the third-party apps I removed. My kernel task has leveled at around 450, which is ok as you and the Apple tech mentioned, and the SWAP has stayed at zero all day. I'll keep an eye on that one though. This is was 1 of 2 issues I've been weighing on whether or not to exchange it for since I'm only a week in with this computer. The other issue is light bleed on the bottom left screen that I noticed when I went into full-screen mode while watching the WWDC yesterday. I'm creating a separate thread for that now. Thanks again!
 
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