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MacPro & Lion experiences same kernel_task problems as MBA

October 11Hits:0
Hello -
Just wanted to post this in case someone else has a similar situation.
I have a MacPro with 3 graphics cards, 4 2T drives, 10G ram and 6 monitors. It is an older 2x4 machine without HyperThreading. I never had troubles with Leopard, occasionally did with Snow Leopard and was having some real difficulties with Lion. kernel_task would get out of control (CPU usage of 90-150%) Window Server did the same. It caused Safari, Finder and several other close-to-the-system processes to bog down to the point of unusability. Often to the point that the machine completely froze and I had to hard-power-cycle it.
I uninstalled Flash. I reinstalled the OS. I ran numerous virus/trojan checkers. I cleaned/optimized my drives (I had a huge amount of volume fragmentation, so I didn't have a large continuous blog for swap - this did help a bit). I changed out my primary drive and installed an SSD. I got great improvements, but eventually it always happened. Sometimes instantly after a reboot, sometimes days later.
After having read about many people with MBA having similar symptoms (and noticing that theirs was, predominantly, related to temperature) I installed smcFanControl and found that my machine was hovering at about 99(F) degrees. That doesn't seem too hot, but on the off chance that it was, I ramped up the minimum revolutions of the fans to about 2000 across the board and it cooled down to about 77(F) pretty quickly.
Since then, about 4 weeks ago, I've not had a single incident where I've needed to cycle it or having kernel_task get out of hand. I run Activity Montitor on one montor / all spaces all the time so I have a pretty strong set of symptoms that say I've got it handled. In retrospect, I THINK I can tie the heat issue to current processes - in other words, I think that as I was working the machine harder it would get slightly hotter and therefore, was more likely to exhibit the behavior.
Good luck,


I recommend holding off six months minimum.
Next, only do clean install of any new OS.
Some apps, drivers, etc need to be upgraded.
Lion may not know to disable or some and you may have a 'dirty' drivers, extensions, background stuff - but not trojan or something.
It is a workstation.
40*C is fine for disks and idle cpu - why not just say "Early 2008" so we know, that means you have FBDIMMs.
I can't see 3 x graphic cards. ATI 2600XT are terrible lately esp with Lion etc and 5770 will drive 3 monitors, that and GT120 should do better.
Safari 5.1 is only beginning to be multithread and still isn't up to snuff and behind the times.
EVERY Mac Pro should run SFC but just some profiles for low-med-high IF needed. Not 2k default.
Do a clean install on a newly initialized drive and then recheck Hardware Monitor readings.
And wait 6-9 months and keep 10.6.8 as primary OS.

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