Friday, 21 February 2014

Hmmm, kernel_task running hot on Mac OS X 10.9.1 Mavericks - SOLVED ??

I've seen this a few times over the past few weeks ( having upgrading to Mavericks around Christmas-time ).

I'm running 10.9.1 on a 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

The kernel_task process runs at > 80% CPU utilisation, often hitting 100%, similar to this: -

There're a LOT of hits on Google, relating to the vague symptoms of "kernel_task", high CPU, memory usage etc. including this one from the Apple discussion forums: -

The consensus is that it appears to be related to the audio subsystem in some way, with some people suggesting that the problem only occurs when one wakes the Mac from sleep with the iPhone "smart" headphones plugged in.

In my case, I'm not using wired headphones, as I'm streaming via Bluetooth from the iPhone 5S.

However, I did wonder whether iTunes 11.1.4 might be the villain of the piece - as soon as I exited the application, the kernel_task CPU utilisation dropped back to ~3%.

Interestingly, I've also had a fair number of "iTunes has failed, click here to send a message to Apple" messages ( yes, the precise text is slightly more meaningful than that !! ), when I've woken the MBP up from sleep.

Therefore, I'm wondering if the two may be related.

I'll post some feedback to Apple, and see what happens.

I'll also keep any future "iTunes has barfed" messages so that I can better inform Apple :-)

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