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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Trying to understand CPU load - Activity Monitor


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bonds1972

 
Member Since: Apr 09, 2014
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Hi experts,

My MBP is running Mavericks, and I have to say that it's been running horribly slow since Mountain Lion. My MAC specifications are:
  • 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7
  • 8GB 1333 MHz DDR3
  • 750GB HDD Toshiba 5400RPM SATA

I was working on Pages, and tried to resize a group of icons, and the application froze for more than 15 min. When I check the Activity Monitor (attached), I saw that Pages is using more than 100% of CPU (so it said), which I don't think made sense.

What I don't understand is at the bottom of the list, it says that the CPU load is being used by the System (1.85%), User (26.46%), and leftover Idle (71.69%). So in the upper list, if the process Pages is owned by the user (me = "mufti") and using 105.3% of CPU, how come it only shows that the User CPU load below is only 26.46%?

Furthermore, if I have Idle CPU resource of 71.69%, I would really like to use that resource for my applications (the User). Is that even possible?

Any insight on this would be very valuable.


p/s. I've tried all of the "Basic OSX/Mac Troubleshooting" tips in the sticky thread without any much success in speeding up my machine.



Thanks,

Mufti
Attached Images
File Type: png Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.29.40 PM.png (128.6 KB, 52 views)
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bobtomay

 
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That i7 has 4 cores - each core can be used at up to 100%.

100 x 4 = 400% capability.

105% / 400% = 26.25%

---------------------------------

A machine that becomes unresponsive for 15 minutes...
When is the last time you restarted the machine?
How much free space do you have on the drive?

--------------------------------------

The CPU will be used when needed by any running application - up to 400% maximum.
You'll not see anything even remotely getting close to that except a few things - for example video encoding.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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bonds1972

 
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Ahhh, that makes perfect sense now. Thanks bobtomay..

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
A machine that becomes unresponsive for 15 minutes...
When is the last time you restarted the machine?
How much free space do you have on the drive?
I shutdown and restart my machine every time i finished my work, so that would mean everyday. It's kind of a habit since my PC time..

I have around 348.12GB of free HDD space available, and I believe half of that are image files I use to process my photos. The only 'heavy' application I use is CaptureOne, and my iPhoto library is about 66GB in size.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I have tried everything to try to speed up my machine:
  • Hardware
    • Upgraded my RAM from 4GB to 8GB
    • Upgraded my HDD from 250GB to 750GB
  • Software
    • Clean install my OS from Mountain Lion to Mavericks
    • Try every possible thing suggested by google search, deleting caches, deleting .plist, cleaning up my desktop, clearing trash, clear out my login items, reset pram/nvram, etc

It takes around 3 minutes to boot up, since the time I press the power button until the login window. And approximately 1 minute to shutdown, as soon as I click the shutdown button until the white screen disappears.

I don't believe it is a hardware problem, because right after I did the Mavericks clean install and before I install any applications and restoring all my data files, it starts up pretty fast (around 30 secs).

Not sure what I'm doing wrong here.
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bobtomay

 
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What you are describing sounds like one of the typical behaviors of a failing hard drive.

Would try booting while holding the Command and R keys
Go into Disk Utility and try a Verify/Repair (not repair permissions) on the drive.

The first time I ran into a failed drive with this particular issue - it would play nice with a clean install - as soon as I put any other data on the drive - whammo - 3-5 minute boot time and clicking on just about anything would cause a freeze for 2-10+ minutes at a time - and that was on a Windows build with a brand new drive. WD had a replacement on my doorstep Monday after a Saturday online request.

If you don't have a current backup - would do so "now".
If you have Applecare, probably time to take it in and have Apple take a look.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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bonds1972

 
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I've tried running disk utility in recovery mode as you suggested, bobtomay.

I ran Verify/Repair Disk on the MAC OSX volume and everything reported OK.
When I tried running Verify Disk on the harddrive itself, I received a pop up message. "Alert. The partition map needs to be repaired because there's a problem with the EFI system partition's file system."
So I tried running Repair Disk on the harddrive, and it gives me this report. "Error: Live file system repair is not supported".

Anything else I can do before we can conclude this is a HDD hardware failure?

Thanks
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Can't run that while you're booted up into OS X.
You got the error "repair is not supported" while booted into Recovery?

Do you have either a clone backup or OS X installer on a flash drive?

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In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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bonds1972

 
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I got that while in Recovery mode.

I do have a downloaded Mavericks installer on my harddrive.
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If you have the installer - grab an 8 GB flash drive and create a bootable disk on it.

Here's a couple of ways to make one - link.

Boot to the flash drive (hold down the option key while booting) and head for Disk Utility there to try a drive repair. It's possible, if you can repair the drive, it could run fine for a long time. Personally, when a drive begins having issues, I'm looking to replace it as soon as I can.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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bonds1972

 
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This will take sometime to prepare. I am currently backing up my data.
I will proceed to try and repair the HDD and post the result.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
That i7 has 4 cores - each core can be used at up to 100%.

100 x 4 = 400% capability.

105% / 400% = 26.25%

---------------------------------

A machine that becomes unresponsive for 15 minutes...
When is the last time you restarted the machine?
How much free space do you have on the drive?

--------------------------------------

The CPU will be used when needed by any running application - up to 400% maximum.
You'll not see anything even remotely getting close to that except a few things - for example video encoding.
This is prob the math that they are using to calculate the load. More then likely..


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bonds1972

 
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I have created the bootable usb disk and run Disk Utility from there. It did not find any problems with my HDD. Funny thing is that if I run the Disk Utility from Recovery mode, it always give me the same error message as before.
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bonds1972

 
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Hi all,

Just want to update that I finally upgrade the following to my machine.
1. 16 GB 1333MHz RAM
2. 1TB HDD Seagate SSHD 7mm

It now works like new, and not just the startup but overall (so not necessarily because of the SSHD). Out of curiosity, I replaced the HDD first, just to make sure whether it was a failing HDD issue, and it was. Thanks bobtomay for the recommendation. I also did a clean install, just to be sure that I will not migrate any previous issues as well.

On a separate note, the Pages application still would stop responding when I resize a group of images/icons with a similar activity monitor report as my previous post, but I guess it is separate matter and should be address in a different thread.


Tx, Mufti
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