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Kernel_task is using more than 250% of CPU and My Macbook Pro (13 inch i7 8gb Ram Mid 2012) is getting heated, when ever running Facetime or Games.

306 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2013 12:02 PM by vicky9 RSS
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Jan 9, 2013 2:34 AM

When ever i try to use FaceTime or Counter Strike GO my CPU gets more than 250% usage and my mac gets really slow.. This is the same when ever i try to run any middle end applications not extreme ones. Tried googling and apple support communities uninstalled all my 3rd party softwares. any help??

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,420 points)

    Video and games put a great deal of stress on the CPU/GPU which creates a lot of heat as you have experienced.  Download from the Internet iStat pro or Temperature Monitor.  These applications will allow you to see exactly what temperatures and fan speeds the MBP is creating.  You then can correlate this information with the applications that you are using.


    There are internal temperature sensors that will shut the MBP down if they approach a lethal level.  Theoretically using CPU/GPU intensive applications should not harm your MBP, though personally I feel that excessive exposure to high levels of heat is harmful to the MBP in the long run.


    The course of action that I suggest you take is to install some form of cooling/heat dissipation device.  I do not endorse any fan control device.  I consider that a 'feel good' solution that really does not address the root problem.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,420 points)

    From my vantage point I cannot provide you with the reasons why there are the differences that you cite  between your MBP and your friends.


    60c is not excessively hot.  When the temperature approaches 100c or over, then I would be concerned.


    The only way I can think of testing to see if there is a problem with your MBP is to erase the internal HDD and reinstall the OS.  Then just add the 'problem' applications and see how the performance is.  This way you have eliminated the possible influence of any adverse interference from other items that may currently exist on your MBP.


    Obviously this is time consuming and you can decide if it is worth the effort.



  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,540 points)

    The kernel is using excessive processor cycles. Below is a partial list of causes for this condition.

    Thermal overload

    This can be due to accumulation of dust, high ambient temperature, or to the malfunction of a cooling fan or temperature sensor. The kernel tries to compensate by throttling back the CPU's. You might see messages like the following in the Console window:

    SMC::smcHandleInterruptEvent WARNING status=0x0 (0x40 not set) notif=0x0

    The timestamps of those messages (if any) indicate the times, since the log was last cleared, when a processor was being throttled because of high temperature.

    Note that if the problem is caused by a faulty sensor that reads too high, there may be no actual overheating.

    The Apple Hardware Test, though not very reliable, is sometimes able to detect a bad fan or temperature sensor.

    Using Apple Hardware Test



    Transferring large amounts of data to or from an encrypted disk image or FileVault volume puts an extra load on the kernel. If both the source and the destination are encrypted, the load may be doubled. If you transfer data from an encrypted disk image on an encrypted partition to another such image on another encrypted partition, the load may be quadrupled.

    This issue probably doesn't affect late-model Macs with an Intel i-series, recent Xeon, or later processor. Those processors support hardware-accelerated encryption. You can determine what kind of processor you have by selectingAbout This Mac from the Apple menu in the menu bar.

    Installed software

    User-installed software that includes a device driver or other kernel code may thrash the kernel. Some system-monitoring applications, such as "iStat," can also contribute to the problem. You can test for this possibility bycompletely disabling or removing the software according to the developer's instructions, or booting in safe mode (with the shift key held down at the startup chime.) Note, however, that disabling a system modification without removing it or booting in safe mode may not be as easy as you think it is.

    Corrupt NVRAM or SMC data

    In some cases the issue has reportedly been resolved by resetting the NVRAM or the SMC.


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