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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Percent Nice in activity monitor

Percent Nice in activity monitor
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Mac Elite
Join Date: May 2005
Location: West LA
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Jul 21, 2006, 04:54 PM
I was running my normal programs on my 1.25ghz powerbook, itunes, firefox, adium, and bittorrent, when everything started to slow down significantly.

I checked Activity Monitor, and nothing seems to be taking an excessive amount of CPU percentage. But the cycling CPU monitor on the bottom right is filled to capacity with mostly green and blue bars. I noticed that I have blue bars representing "% Nice." What the heck is % Nice, I've never known or had a problem with it.

And usually whn Im not doing anything straining on the comp, the CPU monitor only has a few green bars reaching only a quarter of the way up the box.

So what is this % Nice, and is it effecting my CPU usage at all? I haven't done anything out of the ordinary recently, so im dumbfounded.

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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Jul 21, 2006, 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by hickey
So what is this % Nice
This refers to the degree to which running processes will yield CPU cycles when necessary. If your system is under heavy load and you see a lot of blue (% Nice) in Activity Monitor, that's generally a good thing. It means your system should remain responsive to whatever you're doing, because the kernel can easily reschedule the "nice" processes to run at a lower priority.
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Jul 21, 2006, 09:55 PM
Good explanation! It was kind of murky to me what "nice" actually meant, aside from having something to do with thread scheduling (which term makes most people's eyes glaze over). That's a very simple explanation for what seems to be a simple situation. Thanks!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
hickey  (op)
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Jul 21, 2006, 10:51 PM
thanks pinlo, glad to know nothing screwy was going on inside my pbook.
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