One way to test is to Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, Test for problem in Safe Mode...
PS. Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive
Reboot, test again.
If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it could be some hardware problem like Video card, (Quartz is turned off in Safe Mode), or Airport, or some USB or Firewire device, or 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts (Users & Groups in later OSX versions)>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed.
Check the System Preferences>Other Row, for 3rd party Pref Panes.
Also look in these if they exist, some are invisible...
Open Console in Applications>Utilities & see if there are any clues or repeating messages when this happens.
Kernel Task is using 600% of my CPU. When I try to quit the process in Activity Monitor, the QUIT icon is greyed out....?
I wish I could get my Mac to do this. How do you get the 6 times speed bump?
I think you are on the wrong forum - the advice I would give to Leopard users will not help you.
On a MacBook Pro?
Yes. I have a 2011 15" Macbook Pro with a Quad-Core i7 chip that supports Hyper-Threading that makes each core look like 2 CPUs, for a total of 8 CPUs that Mac OS X is managing.
When I tell MenuMeters to show each CPU as a separate menubar graph, I have 8 little CPU graphs (not much room for anything else on my menubar when I do that ).
Here is my System Information (formally called System Profiler):
Model Name: MacBook Pro Model Identifier: MacBookPro8,2 Processor Name: Intel Core i7 Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz Number of Processors: 1 Total Number of Cores: 4 L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB L3 Cache: 6 MB Memory: 8 GB Boot ROM Version: MBP81.0047.B27 SMC Version (system): 1.69f4 Serial Number (system): xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Hardware UUID: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sudden Motion Sensor: