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Macbook Pro High CPU Usage for Video

Posted on 2013-02-03
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Last Modified: 2013-02-21
Hello

I'm having a problem with high CPU usage whenever a program is using video, e.g. Skype, facetime, youtube etc

The cpu usage jumps up to around 80% for the program that is using the video.  This causes my fans to go crazy, and its not got to the point where i can no longer use Skype video calling as the other person can't hear my over my fan noise.

When i first bought the laptop I didn't have any issues like this, it was perfect.  Could it be a problem with the laptop or is it just that video has now become too much for my laptop to handle?

I currently have:

Macbook Pro 15" Mid-2009
2.8Ghz intel core 2 duo
8Gb RAM
750Gb hybrid drive

Would a new model macbook pro solve this problem, or would i still have the same issue?  I was thinking about going for a macbook air

Any help would be grateful as I was trying to put off buying a replacement until at least November

Thanks in advance

Andrew
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Question by:Tony
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9 Comments
 
LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 38848494
Anything of interest in the console logs?
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Expert Comment

by:PCANW
ID: 38848621
your laptop is prefect. the speed of the internet could be the issue
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Expert Comment

by:Xaelian
ID: 38848814
Can you try the following in the Apple kb?

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964
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Expert Comment

by:Justin Pierce
ID: 38849390
Hi HorshamIT,

   How much space do you have left on your HD? If you have less than 15 Gb I would try to free up some space using a program like Diskwave (It's free), since this may be the problem. Also, you should have the latest Skype installed: http://beta.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/

 Another free program that I would recommend, which will keep an eye on your temp and allow you to control your fan speed is smc-fan-control. Here is the link: http://www.eidac.de

Certainly follow Xaelian's advice on resetting your SMC.

 If you don't already have an Antivirus (AV) application here is a link to a free one called Sophos: http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-edition/download.aspx

If you do have an AV and it is Norton's or Mcafee I would recommend uninstalling them because they are known to be serious resource hogs and you have to pay for them.

Try everything here and let us know how everything goes. Take care.
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Author Comment

by:Tony
ID: 38850192
OK, thanks for all the replies, this is what I have tried so far:

1) How do i access the console logs? (sorry...)

2) My average Internet speed is 35mb so i'm sure it can't be that, i'm on fibre

3) I've run through the Apple support documentation and reset the SMC

4)  I've got almost 200Gb of space left on the hard drive.  I'm running the latest version of Skype, and I dont have any AV installed.  Do i really need this as normally its not required for mac

The problem is still happening after trying the above.

It's not just restricted to Skype, but also Facetime, and when i play a video (especially in full screen) from either iTunes or Netflix the CPU and fans go crazy.

I've also tried opening the back of the laptop and using compressed air to blow out any dust, but there wasn't much anyway

Any other ideas?
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Author Comment

by:Tony
ID: 38850193
Just to re-confirm that I am also running the latest version of Mountain Lion and have updated everything I can think off
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 38850675
Type console into spotlight and hit return to access the logs. See if there are specific error messages when the high CPU usage occurs. Copy and paste the suspicious portions of the logs here.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 38850678
Also run Verify Disk and Repair Permissions using Disk Utility (found in /Applications/utilities).
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Accepted Solution

by:
Justin Pierce earned 500 total points
ID: 38859384
Hi horshamit,

Did you download the smc-fan-control? If not, here is the link: http://www.eidac.de/
Once installed you can lower the fan speed to your desired spin/rpm rate. This will cut down the noise. Smc-fan-control also monitors your temp and makes it visible by keeping it in your bar.

Hope this helps.
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