100% (or more) CPU usage

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Douglas Friedland, May 27, 2020.

  1. Douglas Friedland

    Douglas Friedland Bit Poster

    Messages:
    3
    I am virtualizing Windows 10 Pro on a MacBook Pro.

    When running a game, CPU usage shoots up to 100% (or more) as verified by the Windows Task Manager and the macOS Activity Monitor. CPU usage drops to next-to-nothing the second I quit the game. Please note that these are old games so they are not graphically or computationally intensive.

    The MacBook gets noticeably hot to the touch, yet I don't recall seeing its thermal state drop below 'fair' when monitored via the macOS Instruments app.

    Performance is not an issue; I can play the game, connect an iPad as a secondary display using Sidecar, stream video and perform various other tasks smoothly.

    I am curious as to why CPU usage would skyrocket. Is this a false reading or is this going to damage the CPU in the long run? What can I do to mitigate this?

    Thanks!

    I am running Parallels Desktop for Mac 1.5.0 (20116) on macOS Catalina 10.15.4 on a 2017 MacBook Pro (3.1Ghz Dual-Core Intel Core i5) with 8GB of RAM. I am virtualizing Windows 10 Pro (x64)(v1909).

    I have configured the Windows machine down to be very slim. No network connection, no bloatware, works very well (1 assigned core, 2GB of RAM under typical use. I have tried various other configurations consisting of more or less RAM / more or fewer CPU cores but performance is good no matter what - it's just the CPU that reaches or exceeds 100% usage).
     
  2. pmconaway

    pmconaway Bit Poster

    Messages:
    17
    Douglas, I'm wondering if Parallels is RAM constrained? I allocate 4GB to my Windows VM. Also, I'm currently running 15.1.14 (47270) have you tried updating to the most recent version? How much disk space is left on your MBP? If you are running low on disk space the computer may need to do a lot of swapping of memory to disk.

    Paul
     
  3. al_8

    al_8 Bit Poster

    Messages:
    3
    Hi Douglas,

    I'm using MBP 15" 2015 with 16GB RAM no external GPU. Playing first shooter game in Windows 10 Pro.
    The average package temp of the CPU is around 60 ~ 80 C when playing in room temp. 45 ~ 60 C when idle or no process intensive Apps are running.

    MBP Display Setting:
    Resolution: Default

    The settings I use on Parallels 15 (Home Edition) are:

    For CPU & Memory:
    Processors: 2 (Recommended)
    Memory: 8GB
    Advanced Settings: Parallels
    Adaptive Hypervisor: checked

    For Graphics:
    Memory: Auto (Recommended)
    Resolution: Scaled
    Advanced Settings:
    Vertical synchronization: checked
    Automatic graphics switching: checked​

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers
     
  4. Douglas Friedland

    Douglas Friedland Bit Poster

    Messages:
    3
    Hello; thanks for the reply! I'm thinking macOS Catalina might somehow be the culprit? I have tried allocating up to 6GB and as little as 1GB of RAM and either way everything works smoothly but the CPU still reports over 100% usage. I am running the latest Parallels version available on the Mac App Store (which I'm assuming is restricted/encumbered a lot more firmly by macOS). I have almost 80GB of free space left on the machine.
     
  5. Douglas Friedland

    Douglas Friedland Bit Poster

    Messages:
    3
    Hello; thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, I don't currently have a utility to monitor temperatures in number values. The only thing I can use as a guide is macOS's Instruments app which gives readings in terms of "nominal" and "fair."

    I am running the latest Mac App Store version of Parallels so I am starting to believe Apple's restrictive nature might be the cause of these issues (since I'm undoubtedly running a diluted version of Parallels). Is this a reasonable guess?

    At this point I've configured the VM in a million different ways and the results are always the same: great performance but 100+% CPU usage.
    I'm assuming it's just a faulty reading? There's no way to utilize the CPU to 150%, I've even seen 200% sometimes. This must be a glitch, right?
     
  6. al_8

    al_8 Bit Poster

    Messages:
    3
    Hi Douglas,

    Not sure if the Mac App Store has the same settings but on Parallels Pro version from the Parallels website, there is a setting under Options\Optimization where you can lower the Resource usage from No Limit, Medium and Low. Here is a link for the article https://www.parallels.com/blogs/monitor-your-virtual-machine-performance-with-parallels-desktop/

    On a side note if you want a software to monitor the temperature of your mac, you can get one directly from Intel website. It is called Intel Power Gadget.

    Cheers
     

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