OS X uses at least 50% of my processing power!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Shake 'n' Bake, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #1
    Hello,

    I've got a Mac mini (2, 1) 2 GHz, 2 GB of RAM. I installed this prefpane:

    /Developer/Extras/PreferencePanes/ to get a look at what is going on, like in Activity Monitor in Windows.

    I opened up the Processor Palette and did some basic tasks like going over the Dock, opening Dashboard, etc and found that, at time, those basic tasks used 50% of my processing power! Also the Time Machine GUI used 90%:eek:

    How can I reclaim some of this power?
     
  2. nuclearwinter macrumors regular

    nuclearwinter

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Milky Way
    #2
    Sounds like your processor has some GUI junk in it. The quickest way to get rid of it is to boot to single user mode.

    Actually, this could be natural consequence of implementing a more dynamic and user-friendly UI. :(

    By the way, I don't really recommend single user mode ;)
     
  3. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #3
    That's a Core 2 Duo so at 50% the process it using 1/2 of 1 CPU... you have 2. It's video card is the GMA 950 which means that a lot of the graphics will have to be rendered by the CPU rather than a dedicated GPU.

    That said it's not a shabby system and unless you are noticing a problem I would not fixate on it. Not all CPU consumption is equal, I can write an application that consumes 200% of the CPU but hardly impacts performance by running it at a lower priority.
     
  4. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #4
    It sounds like single user is a command line type thing. Am I correct? I don't really want to restart if that's what it is.
     
  5. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #5
    Correct, the darwin command line isn't a pretty sight.
     
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #6
    I think he is joking about single-user mode (at least I hope so). In Activity Monitor, order the processes by CPU and see what the ones are at the top.
     
  7. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #7
    It is Safari, iTunes, Activity Monitor. Mail is pretty up there too. Then when I go over the Dock, that quickly shoots to the top, same with Dashboard.

    When I launch Keynote for example, CPU usage goes up to about 2/3 and it jumps to the top of Activity Monitor @ about 20 units.
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #8
    Does this settle down after a few seconds of the apps being opened?
     
  9. nuclearwinter macrumors regular

    nuclearwinter

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Milky Way
    #9
    Seriously. I'm joking. Please do not try to remove the GUI via single user mode!:)

    I absolutely agree with snowmoon. The CPU usage is due to Quartz rendering happening on the CPU. It shouldn't be a big deal because my guess is that OS X sets a lower priority for these types of things.

    I wouldn't worry about it unless your processor stays at 50-90% all of the time.
     
  10. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #10
    I meant 50% of total, so 100% then.
     
  11. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #11
    Not iTunes or Safari, and Keynote stays in the top 6 or 7. I tried Numbers and unless it is sitting still, which isn't often, it uses about 23 units, and about 1/4 of total processing power.
     
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #12
    Most apps will hover around 10% but can use quite a bit when starting up or processing. As snowmoon said, this is the percentage of 1 core so you have 200% at your disposal at any one time.
     
  13. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #13
    Thanks for that.

    I was just thinking though, to get a bit more out of my processor, could I overclock it? That is something that I've always wanted to do, but never could because Dells have BIOS locks, and I don't know how on a Mac.
     
  14. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #14
    The Intel CPUs used on the minis have their clock multipliers locked. The only way to overclock is to hack into the EFI and change the system bus speed. This would have serious implications across all part of the computer and has, to date, not yet been done AFAIK.
     
  15. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #15
    Darn!

    I guess that these things aren't really bogging my computer down, but it does get slow when using iMovie or iDVD.
     
  16. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #16
    If you are a developer you may be aware of the sin you are committing.

    - Premature optimization

    You are attempting to "fix" something that isn't broken.
     
  17. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #17
    It's got a GMA 850, it's amazing that Apple makes that thing jump through all the hoops it does do. Graphics and video intensive work will always be a little handicapped compared to newer systems. Your best bet is to try and upgrade the ram for those heavier applications.
     
  18. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #18
    Nothing is "broken", but getting a little extra speed is never a bad thing.

    Short of buying a 7200 RPM drive, is there anything HDD wise I could delete to make my Mac faster?
     
  19. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #19
    If you are getting bogged down reading and writing to the drive your best best is 3gb or ram or a 7200 rpm drive. Deleting files won't make a difference unless you are under 10% free space and even then the difference is minimal.
     
  20. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #20
    +1. That's what to do. Add 2 sticks of 2GB to get 3.3GB using dual channel.
     
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #21


    THis is exactly what you want. When the CPU is running at 100% it means there is no other preformance bottle neck and the CPU itself is the limmiting factor. When yo see it at 50% then it means there is something that is causing the active process to have to wait (swaping to disk or whatecer..). Your system is running at it's best what there is high but not 100% CPU utilization

    What you hope is that it is waiting on the user for input but it could be a disk or network. It you see a lot of "swap outs" in preformance meter then adding RAM will help a lot
     
  22. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #22
    Great, if that isn't too expensive, I'll do that. I can't remember what type of RAM the mini takes. I think it is DDR2 SO-DIMM.
     
  23. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #23
    I realized I made a mistake with the percentages. I should have said 180% for the TM GUI and 100% for the others.
     
  24. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #24
    That's correct PC2-5300 (667MHz). There are youtube videos as well as one on OWC that show you how to open the mini.
     
  25. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #25
    Thanks for the specs. I looked at the RAM and it is a bit more than I'd like to spend, as I'm saving for a PowerBook. I may be able to get some RAM from my neighbor if he ever upgrades his iMac...

    Anyways, thanks for all your help. I feel a bit better now that I know that kind of usage is pretty normal. Snow Leopard is supposed to be lighter-weight, so maybe that can help even more. We'll have to wait till 6/8 to find out though...
     

Share This Page