I have a Macbook Pro Retina with the following hardware:
Model Name: MacBook Pro Model Identifier: MacBookPro11,1 Processor Name: Intel Core i5 Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz Number of Processors: 1 Total Number of Cores: 2 L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB L3 Cache: 3 MB Memory: 8 GB Boot ROM Version: MBP111.0138.B15
I recently updated to OS X El Capitan; I have had the same problem occur to me twice now and it's getting me mildly concerned.
I randomly have CPU usage spikes from kernel_task, the highest of which I have seen was 660% CPU. This is frankly an unacceptable and unnatural setting for my CPU (I typically have a total usage of about 2-3%). The highest I've screenshot is this:
The first time, I did not record what I had open. The next time, however, I was ready, and this is the exact list of what I had open:
- Two YouTube video pages (using the processes Safari Networking with a max of about 44% CPU, typically stabilized at 8-10% and
https://www.youtube.com, which got to around 51% CPU max, typically around 10-12%)
- Messenger. Doubtful that this had an effect, but, hey, you never know.
- Skype. This dude was running at a consistent 50% CPU usage.
It is worth noting that I had to close both YouTube windows to actually gain enough control of my computer to open Activity Monitor. None of the aforementioned processes were spiking, just kernel_task.
Also worth noting is my fans - the fans were on maximum, blowing cold air. Even though kernel_task was spinning at 660% CPU, there was no actual heat being produced, as far as I could see.
It's at this point where I force shut down the computer - I had about .5 frames per second (1 frame every 2 seconds, was looking at the clock) and was getting nowhere when it came to even attempting to fix it.
If there is a bug related to this that I have missed, or some wacky thing with OS X in general that I'm missing, please let me know, as this is extremely frustrating and more than a little disturbing.