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Thread: Questions about activity monitor and speeding up computer

  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 12, 2016
    Posts
    34
    Questions about activity monitor and speeding up computer
    Hi, Iím having some issues with Mac running slowly and trying to troubleshoot with activity monitor, Could you please help?



    I frequently find the VTDecoderXPCService, WindowServer, and kernel_task are taking up alot of resources, even though I donít know what they are and am not intentionally using any of them. Pic: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wrjxcryl0lojm1o/Screenshot 2018-07-25 10.43.51.png?dl=0


    Iíve tried quitting them and force quitting them many time (and this may offer temporary relief) but I always find that they come back again at some point.


    1. What are these things that are taking up my resources, are these being caused by my audio/video applications like OBS, Resolume Avenue, Camera Settings, Ableton Live, Astropad, etc? Or something else? What could be the cause or how can I figure out?


    2. And most importantly stop the computer resources from being used so much?


    Also, four general questions:


    A) What exactly does it mean to be using up 439.9% of CPU? How is that even possible? Especially considering that the next applications are also taking up 100.8% and 75.7% and so onÖ. shouldn't it max at 100%? If not, why?


    B) Idle is 3.45%. Does this mean that my computer is at 96.55% capacity? If so, what is a good % capacity to stay at that wonít slow the computer down?


    C) Are there any other metrics that I should pay attention to when trying to speed up computer? I see many metrics like threads, CPU time, processes etc and also see more information on different tabs. I donít know what most of them meanÖ


    D) Are there any other tools that i should use in addition to activity monitor to help speed up computer?



    Thanks!

  2. #2

    McBie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    2,952
    Your Mac's Specs
    iPad Pro 12.9 latest iOS
    Could you take a screen shot of activity monitor ( CPU sorted by usage ) and post it here.
    We can then take it from there.

    Cheers ... McBie
    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

  3. #3

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    10,703
    Your Mac's Specs
    27" i7 iMac, 15" Macbook Pro TB, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 6S, iPod Nano 7th Gen
    You don't say what machine you have. Assuming it's an i7 based system, you have 4 physical cores and 4 virtual cores. Processes can be running on 4 physical cores at 100% and some part of the virtual giving you the >400% usage.

    Other apps can consolidate all those 8 cores into a single percentage (0 - 100%) where each core adds 12.5% to the overall.

    As far as idle goes, from your screenshot it looks like the machine is at 97% capacity and that's broken down between system level tasks (that you don't control) and user level tasks (apps that you launched).

    kernel_task is part of the OS and you shouldn't be messing with it. It is expected to take a lot of resources when your machine is busy, but that's normal.

    So before we can give you useful information, provide the following:

    - Mac model
    - CPU
    - Total memory
    - Version of OS X/macOS
    - Apps normally being used

    Behavior being seen and when it happens and what triggers it.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  4. #4


    Member Since
    Nov 12, 2016
    Posts
    34
    Thanks!!

    Quote Originally Posted by McBie View Post
    Could you take a screen shot of activity monitor ( CPU sorted by usage ) and post it here.
    We can then take it from there.

    Cheers ... McBie
    Yes its right here... or did you mean something else?


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wrjxcryl0lojm1o/Screenshot




    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    You don't say what machine you have. Assuming it's an i7 based system, you have 4 physical cores and 4 virtual cores. Processes can be running on 4 physical cores at 100% and some part of the virtual giving you the >400% usage.

    Other apps can consolidate all those 8 cores into a single percentage (0 - 100%) where each core adds 12.5% to the overall.

    As far as idle goes, from your screenshot it looks like the machine is at 97% capacity and that's broken down between system level tasks (that you don't control) and user level tasks (apps that you launched).

    kernel_task is part of the OS and you shouldn't be messing with it. It is expected to take a lot of resources when your machine is busy, but that's normal.

    So before we can give you useful information, provide the following:

    - Mac model
    - CPU
    - Total memory
    - Version of OS X/macOS
    - Apps normally being used

    Behavior being seen and when it happens and what triggers it.


    Oh thanks , That makes sense now . ooops didnt think to include that. Here's my specs:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/1blpmz0ics32s8a/Screenshot



    - Apps normally being used: many! usually Ableton Live, OBS, Resolume Avenue, then evernote, chrome, etc.



    Behavior being seen and when it happens and what triggers it- what do you mean? The computer slows down and takes long to load applications or gets beachballs. Not sure what triggers it other than having alot of applications open, but trying to reduce CPU as much as i can while still using my apps

  5. #5

    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, USA
    Posts
    4,570
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 10.13, iPhone 8+ iOS 11, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 11,  Pencil 1
    Are you accessing files from an external drive?

    How big is your internal drive? Is it an SSD? That could be where the problems arise?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

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