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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Is the activity monitor worthless?

Is the activity monitor worthless?
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kevs
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Jun 25, 2004, 10:54 PM
 
Can someone help me here:

1) I'm playing a song in itunes and it says 8% cpu and word which is sleeping in the dock is at 9%.

2) I then start importing songs and itunes goes up to 128%??

3) I then do stuff in Photoshop and itunes is at 85% while Photoshop is at 66%??

4) It says page-outs are at 85,000, but of 1.2GB ram, 496MB is inactive and 40 is free??

thanks
     
Boochie
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Jun 25, 2004, 11:31 PM
 
Do you have a dual-CPU box?
     
Ganesha
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Jun 26, 2004, 12:38 AM
 
Free memory is wasted memory.
     
Simon
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Jun 26, 2004, 03:38 AM
 
To answer the thread title: no.

Originally posted by kevs:
1) I'm playing a song in itunes and it says 8% cpu and word which is sleeping in the dock is at 9%.
Playing a song means decoding MP3 or AAC which is a bit of work. 8% is ok. Word just sucks. I don't know why it has to hog CPU cycles like in the good old OS 8 days. I guess it has to do with the fact that people at MS can't write decent code.

2) I then start importing songs and itunes goes up to 128%??
2 CPUs = 2x100% = 200%

3) I then do stuff in Photoshop and itunes is at 85% while Photoshop is at 66%??
Why not? iTunes is encoding from raw audio to MP3 or AAC which is a lot of hard work. And btw, all together you're still under 200% so everything is fine.

4) It says page-outs are at 85,000, but of 1.2GB ram, 496MB is inactive and 40 is free??
You want to have zero free memory. It's wasted as somebody else here already mentioned. If you don't like the page-outs and page-ins, buy more RAM. But even people with tons of RAM will see those after leaving the machine running for long periods of time. If you boot daily (don't do it) you would see less.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Jun 26, 2004, 11:26 AM
 
I don't use Word much anymore but I heard you can make it stop sucking up cpu while idle by turning off spell-check-as-you-type
     
kevs  (op)
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Jun 26, 2004, 11:45 AM
 
Thanks. Just wanted to see if, in fact, activity monitor is really accurate.

I have dual 533, hence then I have 2 cpus, correct? Never thought of it that way for some reason -- it's like having 2 computers in a way I guess.

What's also weird is if I use terminal to check page out it always is 0.

but in activity monitor it's always some numer, low, high, always something there.
     
wataru
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Jun 27, 2004, 01:37 AM
 
Originally posted by kevs:
Thanks. Just wanted to see if, in fact, activity monitor is really accurate.

I have dual 533, hence then I have 2 cpus, correct? Never thought of it that way for some reason -- it's like having 2 computers in a way I guess.

What's also weird is if I use terminal to check page out it always is 0.

but in activity monitor it's always some numer, low, high, always something there.
I highly doubt you have zero pageouts. How exactly are you checking in the Terminal?
     
ast3r3x
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Jun 27, 2004, 09:47 AM
 
Activity monitor is just a visual representation of the 'top' command basically. Activity Monitor displays all the page-ins/page-outs that have gone on. 'top' displays how many have gone on and how many are still happening. The pageouts should be high if you use your machine for anything that makes it work a little. But it's good to not have any page outs currently.
     
kevs  (op)
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Jun 27, 2004, 02:24 PM
 
Wataru:
Yes, I would just type in top, and it would say 0 pageouts.
     
Ganesha
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Jun 27, 2004, 03:48 PM
 
Originally posted by kevs:
Wataru:
Yes, I would just type in top, and it would say 0 pageouts.
Depending on how you are running top, you my be seeing the number of pageouts that occurred during the last polling cycle.

Try 'vm_stat' instead.
     
Dale Sorel
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Jun 27, 2004, 03:49 PM
 
Originally posted by kevs:
What's also weird is if I use terminal to check page out it always is 0.
That's because the Terminal shows you the page outs as they're happening. The Activity Monitor shows you the page outs accumulated since your last reboot.
     
jessejlt
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Jun 27, 2004, 04:23 PM
 
Originally posted by kevs:
Thanks. Just wanted to see if, in fact, activity monitor is really accurate.

I have dual 533, hence then I have 2 cpus, correct? Never thought of it that way for some reason -- it's like having 2 computers in a way I guess.

What's also weird is if I use terminal to check page out it always is 0.

but in activity monitor it's always some numer, low, high, always something there.
0 page outs is near impossible, regardless of how much physical ram you have. OS X assigns an initial working set to all applications, and even though X's implementation allows for dynamic adjustment of its working sets, before said adjustment is made page outs are sure to occur.
     
kevs  (op)
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Jun 28, 2004, 07:17 PM
 
Excellent Dale and others:
so while I did this from terminal I always thought everything was peaches and cream. Now I know, and know that the activity monitor is just as good. At what point in activity monitor would any of you be concerned as far as pageouts go?
     
   
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