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.

  • There are all sorts of monitoring utilities for OS X here: mac.majorgeeks.com/mg/sortname/monitoring.html Maybe one of these will help you. Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 21:46
  • Thanks but I'm specifically looking for one that'll pop-up a notice.
    – jb510
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 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
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


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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