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Thread: [SOLVED]High idle CPU usage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Ubuntu Studio 20.04 Focal Fossa

    [SOLVED]High idle CPU usage

    There is bound to be many reasons for high CPU usage at idle but I thought sharing my experience here which may benefit others.

    I was running Lubuntu 18.04 on a Pentium D processor with 4GB RAM and recently noticed extremely slow response on Firefox, specially playing video. I then tried to play a video file on VLC with similar issues. I also noticed that my CPU utilization was running over 50% constantly - even at idle time. Initially, I suspected my SSD drive so removed it and replaced with a normal SATA drive but there was no change in the performance.

    Then I noticed that the CPU cooler was covered with a fair amount of fluff. So I pulled out the cooler unit gave it a good clean up and re-installed the unit. Rebooted system and voila! the idle CPU rate went down to below 5%.

    While there could be many other reasons for running at high idle CPU usage this certainly surprised me and something to keep in mind when having problems like this. Just a word of caution, if you are pulling out the cooling unit for cleaning make sure that you have sufficient thermal paste which is required when you are putting it back.

    Sharing this so that this possibility can be ruled out when troubleshooting high CPU utilization problems.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    The Left Coast of the USA

    Re: [SOLVED]High idle CPU usage

    Not a support request. Moved to ULOSC.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines

    A thing discovered and kept to oneself must be discovered time and again by others. A thing discovered and shared with others need be discovered only the once.
    This universe is crazy. I'm going back to my own.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2020

    Re: [SOLVED]High idle CPU usage

    I clean my PC on a regular basis so never had this happen to me.
    Thanks for sharing, though.


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