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High "Kernel Time" (And Higher CPU Usage Than Usual).

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September 4, 2013 12:44:29 AM

Just today, I noticed my CPU usage was at ~40% while nothing was running. So I clicked task manager to see what the problem, the whole thing was kernel time, I've never seen this before and I've been trying for almost 6 hours straight to identify the problem, first I opened Process Explorer to see if I could see what program was causing it, Google updater seemed to play a huge part so I killed it (I never liked it anyways) but even after that it was still spiking up all over the place. My task manager looks like "shark teeth" or something (/\/\/\/\ type thing...), when I first put my PC together i'd never see kernel time's go over 10% and today I've seen them go over 40% a hundred times.

I've re-installed drivers, taken out parts in my PC and applied some of my buddies Arctic Silver thinking it could be an overheating problem... It's eased down quite a bit to the point where my CPU can get down to 0% But still has random spikes. It's really annoying because when I start up a game It seems to push my CPU harder than usual and it's been getting hotter, faster. My CPU runs hot (Idles around 42°c), it's a Phenom II x4 965 BE. It's getting annoying because my CPU fan won't shut up. I plan on getting a new cooler soon but I don't want to waste my money if my hardware is broken. Can anyone help?

Thanks
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September 4, 2013 1:07:59 AM

Hyaku said:
Just today, I noticed my CPU usage was at ~40% while nothing was running. So I clicked task manager to see what the problem, the whole thing was kernel time, I've never seen this before and I've been trying for almost 6 hours straight to identify the problem, first I opened Process Explorer to see if I could see what program was causing it, Google updater seemed to play a huge part so I killed it (I never liked it anyways) but even after that it was still spiking up all over the place. My task manager looks like "shark teeth" or something (/\/\/\/\ type thing...), when I first put my PC together i'd never see kernel time's go over 10% and today I've seen them go over 40% a hundred times.

I've re-installed drivers, taken out parts in my PC and applied some of my buddies Arctic Silver thinking it could be an overheating problem... It's eased down quite a bit to the point where my CPU can get down to 0% But still has random spikes. It's really annoying because when I start up a game It seems to push my CPU harder than usual and it's been getting hotter, faster. My CPU runs hot (Idles around 42°c), it's a Phenom II x4 965 BE. It's getting annoying because my CPU fan won't shut up. I plan on getting a new cooler soon but I don't want to waste my money if my hardware is broken. Can anyone help?

Thanks


There's no such process called "kernel time". If you're seeing a process with that name, you have some malware on your PC.
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September 4, 2013 1:13:58 AM

Start up Task Manager, click performance, view, then click on "Show Kernel Times". Sorry I didn't specify that.

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September 4, 2013 1:32:08 AM

Hyaku said:
Start up Task Manager, left click view, then click on "Show Kernel Times". Sorry I didn't specify that.



Oh okay. CPUs are discrete devices. They are either powered on and are executing something, or they are powered off and are doing nothing.

When powered on, the CPU usage must sum up to 100%, even if it's spending close to 100% of its time idling. Idling is performed by a low priority task known as the "system idle process" in Windows. For visual reasons, this is usually left out of most CPU charts, and the CPU usage is measured as the time over an interval which is spent in a task other than the system idle process.

There's another process called "system". This is the Windows task scheduler. It is responsible for periodically checking to see if there's a task the requires CPU time, and if more than one task requires CPU time, picking the one with the highest priority. If no tasks require CPU time, it schedules the system idle process. Since the System task requires an elevated privilege level, it spends most of its time in the kernel, doing very little in user space.

Whenever a program requires the operating system to perform a privileged operation such as allocating additional memory, accessing the file system, interacting with low level devices, or spawning child processes it makes what's called a "system call". A system call quickly elevates the thread's permission to kernel level and jumps to a predefined location in memory to handle the request (thus preventing the thread from executing arbitrary instructions with kernel level permissions). System calls imply a switch in privilege level, but do not necessarily involve context switches (a change from one process to another), so any thread that makes a large number of system calls will appear to be using a lot of kernel time as well.

When your system is idle, it will appear as if nearly 100% of the CPU time is spent in the kernel through the "system" process as well as the task manager itself. This is normal, the rest is spent in the system idle process.

If you can post a screenshot of what you think is abnormal I may be able to point it out.
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September 4, 2013 1:57:43 AM

Pinhedd said:
Oh okay. CPUs are discrete devices. They are either powered on and are executing something, or they are powered off and are doing nothing.

When powered on, the CPU usage must sum up to 100%, even if it's spending close to 100% of its time idling. Idling is performed by a low priority task known as the "system idle process" in Windows. For visual reasons, this is usually left out of most CPU charts, and the CPU usage is measured as the time over an interval which is spent in a task other than the system idle process.

There's another process called "system". This is the Windows task scheduler. It is responsible for periodically checking to see if there's a task the requires CPU time, and if more than one task requires CPU time, picking the one with the highest priority. If no tasks require CPU time, it schedules the system idle process. Since the System task requires an elevated privilege level, it spends most of its time in the kernel, doing very little in user space.

Whenever a program requires the operating system to perform a privileged operation such as allocating additional memory, accessing the file system, interacting with low level devices, or spawning child processes it makes what's called a "system call". A system call quickly elevates the thread's permission to kernel level and jumps to a predefined location in memory to handle the request (thus preventing the thread from executing arbitrary instructions with kernel level permissions). System calls imply a switch in privilege level, but do not necessarily involve context switches (a change from one process to another), so any thread that makes a large number of system calls will appear to be using a lot of kernel time as well.

When your system is idle, it will appear as if nearly 100% of the CPU time is spent in the kernel through the "system" process as well as the task manager itself. This is normal, the rest is spent in the system idle process.

If you can post a screenshot of what you think is abnormal I may be able to point it out.


Okay, All I have running is Chrome with Facebook, Anime and this site open.
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September 4, 2013 2:03:49 AM

Hyaku said:
Pinhedd said:
Oh okay. CPUs are discrete devices. They are either powered on and are executing something, or they are powered off and are doing nothing.

When powered on, the CPU usage must sum up to 100%, even if it's spending close to 100% of its time idling. Idling is performed by a low priority task known as the "system idle process" in Windows. For visual reasons, this is usually left out of most CPU charts, and the CPU usage is measured as the time over an interval which is spent in a task other than the system idle process.

There's another process called "system". This is the Windows task scheduler. It is responsible for periodically checking to see if there's a task the requires CPU time, and if more than one task requires CPU time, picking the one with the highest priority. If no tasks require CPU time, it schedules the system idle process. Since the System task requires an elevated privilege level, it spends most of its time in the kernel, doing very little in user space.

Whenever a program requires the operating system to perform a privileged operation such as allocating additional memory, accessing the file system, interacting with low level devices, or spawning child processes it makes what's called a "system call". A system call quickly elevates the thread's permission to kernel level and jumps to a predefined location in memory to handle the request (thus preventing the thread from executing arbitrary instructions with kernel level permissions). System calls imply a switch in privilege level, but do not necessarily involve context switches (a change from one process to another), so any thread that makes a large number of system calls will appear to be using a lot of kernel time as well.

When your system is idle, it will appear as if nearly 100% of the CPU time is spent in the kernel through the "system" process as well as the task manager itself. This is normal, the rest is spent in the system idle process.

If you can post a screenshot of what you think is abnormal I may be able to point it out.


Okay, All I have running is Chrome with Facebook, Anime and this site open.


You also have what appears to be some monitoring software (core temp?) running in the background. A lot of those programs are poorly written, and some motherboards have sensors which don't poll well which can cause problems. Close down everything and see what changes.
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September 4, 2013 2:09:35 AM

I closed down Core Temp, Steam, and Networx that were running in the background, and it still seems to spike, however it does look like it's having an easier time staying at 0%. If I start up Black Ops 2, the Kernel shoots up to like 75% at first then slowly dies down to about 30%, maybe that's normal? I just don't remember seeing it do this, Black ops never used to use more than ~70% of my CPU.
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September 4, 2013 2:14:31 AM

Hyaku said:
I closed down Core Temp, Steam, and Networx that were running in the background, and it still seems to spike, however it does look like it's having an easier time staying at 0%. If I start up Black Ops 2, the Kernel shoots up to like 75% at first then slowly dies down to about 30%, maybe that's normal? I just don't remember seeing it do this, Black ops never used to use more than ~70% of my CPU.


That's normal. Remember what I said above, every time the file system is accessed it switches to the kernel.
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September 4, 2013 2:23:58 AM

Okay, sounds good, I wonder why I never noticed it.. Any idea why my fans keep spinning up too max? They were fine till today. Anywho, I'm off to bed, stayed up all night trying to fix something that didn't need to be fixed and I have a job interview in 5 hours. Thanks for your help, it saved me from going crazy.
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September 4, 2013 2:38:20 AM

Hyaku said:
Okay, sounds good, I wonder why I never noticed it.. Any idea why my fans keep spinning up too max? They were fine till today. Anywho, I'm off to bed, stayed up all night trying to fix something that didn't need to be fixed and I have a job interview in 5 hours. Thanks for your help, it saved me from going crazy.


There are a lot of reasons why fans can spin up to max. Would need a lot more information for that though. Good luck
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September 4, 2013 9:19:21 AM

Hey man, today I started up my PC and the kernel time isn't spiking as much and seems to not go over ~5%, and my fans seem quiet. I looked into it a little and it seems it may have been my motherboard overheating. My motherboard automatically over volts my CPU for some reason making it quite toasty. My BIOS doesn't allow me to turn down the voltage whatsoever, is there possibly a way I can force it to (besides using things like AMD overdrive)?

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a b \ Driver
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September 4, 2013 10:04:33 AM

Hyaku said:
Hey man, today I started up my PC and the kernel time isn't spiking as much and seems to not go over ~5%, and my fans seem quiet. I looked into it a little and it seems it may have been my motherboard overheating. My motherboard automatically over volts my CPU for some reason making it quite toasty. My BIOS doesn't allow me to turn down the voltage whatsoever, is there possibly a way I can force it to (besides using things like AMD overdrive)?



Your motherboard is not overheating, trust me on that. Even if it were, it wouldn't have anything to do with your kernel time
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September 4, 2013 10:25:05 AM

Pinhedd said:
Hyaku said:
Hey man, today I started up my PC and the kernel time isn't spiking as much and seems to not go over ~5%, and my fans seem quiet. I looked into it a little and it seems it may have been my motherboard overheating. My motherboard automatically over volts my CPU for some reason making it quite toasty. My BIOS doesn't allow me to turn down the voltage whatsoever, is there possibly a way I can force it to (besides using things like AMD overdrive)?



Your motherboard is not overheating, trust me on that. Even if it were, it wouldn't have anything to do with your kernel time


Alright, I'm going to stop looking at these other forums then, they seem to be very misleading. Thanks for all your help.
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a b \ Driver
a c 169 à CPUs
September 4, 2013 12:06:24 PM

Hyaku said:
Pinhedd said:
Hyaku said:
Hey man, today I started up my PC and the kernel time isn't spiking as much and seems to not go over ~5%, and my fans seem quiet. I looked into it a little and it seems it may have been my motherboard overheating. My motherboard automatically over volts my CPU for some reason making it quite toasty. My BIOS doesn't allow me to turn down the voltage whatsoever, is there possibly a way I can force it to (besides using things like AMD overdrive)?



Your motherboard is not overheating, trust me on that. Even if it were, it wouldn't have anything to do with your kernel time


Alright, I'm going to stop looking at these other forums then, they seem to be very misleading. Thanks for all your help.


Misleading information on a forum... you don't say! Good luck!
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