Saturday, March 28, 2015

High CPU on Macbook Pro

Lately, I’ve been really annoyed at a problem on my Macbook Pro. I love my laptop. It is one of the most incredibly productive environments ever. The second environment is Windows Server 2008 R2 as a workstation. Both of these environments are rock-solid stable. The one problem, I’ve been having is high cpu usage from kernel_task on Mavericks. I did some research to find out what it could be:

Nothing obvious. I would also close down as many different applications as I could. I thought it might have been Chrome as I’ve noticed an increase of this problem occurring when Chrome would run. I switched to Safari. The problem also showed up when I used zoom. I’ve turned off my camera when I joined conferences. Still the problem persisted. I always hated the fact that this problem ALWAYS showed up when I wanted to use my computer the most. Isn’t that always the way?

I then noticed that the computer runs hot. Not sure why, but my guess is that the video card is working overtime with the computer driving a 30” display at 2560x1600 and a thunderbolt hub with multiple usb 3 devices including another 24” monitor at 1920x1080. The upper left corner of the laptop was HOT. I turned off the backlight on the internal keyboard as I used an USB CODE keyboard. This helps to cool it down, but not enough. So I did the simple thing, I moved a fan over and now the fan is helping to keep the laptop cool. Since I’ve started doing this, I’ve not had the same problem with kernel_task running hot. It’s been mighty cool both physically as well as evidenced by cpu/activity monitor.

The only time I see the cpu being busy is when I’m actually doing something like running programs. And so far, I haven’t been able to keep my cpu busy for extended periods of time. I’m back to being a very happy owner.