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I run on battery a lot and occasionally a process/app will crash in the background and start sucking up 100% of one or more cores. That in turn burns my battery down way faster than normal. I used to notice this because my iStat Menu graph would go solid, but now with 8 cores and often only one pegged it's not as obvious.

I'm wondering if there's a utility/watcher that would pop up a dialog warning if a process took up 100% of a core for more than 5-10 seconds? That way I could decide if it was OK to let run (ie. compile/render) or I should manually kill it (ie. app crashed).

I vaguely recall something like this years ago but haven't been able to find it.

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There are all sorts of monitoring utilities for OS X here: Maybe one of these will help you. – Faiz Saleem Mar 9 '13 at 21:46
Thanks but I'm specifically looking for one that'll pop-up a notice. – jb510 Mar 10 '13 at 7:01
I usually have smcFanControl running which provides a CPU Core temp. That plus the physical warmth near the top of the keyboard is enough to alert me to this sort of thing – Steven Lu Aug 21 '13 at 16:46
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I don't know if it will accept a time frame as a parameter, but atMonitor definitely will provide Growl notifications based upon specific criteria.


Triggers can be setup to activate any script when a predefined value reaches its target. For example, a script could be written to email system administrator when the CPU usage goes above 90%. Two sample scripts, one basic and the other one a little bit more advanced using GROWL, are included.

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+1 for atMonitor. Great utility. – da4 Aug 21 '13 at 15:57

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