Friday, July 10, 2009

Macbook Air and kernel_task - Apple speaks

Happy Friday everyone!

As promised our sources at Apple have forwarded information to us regarding the Macbook Air and the "kernel_task" process spike.

According to them the kernel_task process basically under clocks the CPU by running in the background (we can only assume similar to a "system idle" process). This allows temperatures to be reduced or to be maintained at safe levels.

Our Apple contacts recommended that we make sure the Macbook Air is on a smooth surface and the vent ports should be free of obstruction. They also mentioned there should be no unexpected processes running in the background.

Now, the above is not public information and so we are as usual grateful to them for what they were able to send to us but we do wish they had gone a bit further and at least hinted as to why Apple has not made this information public after such a long period of time. Or even why Apple chose to replace the default Core Shutdown safety feature with just another under clocking method (kernel_task). Readers of our previous article will note that here at Go Go we have a few ideas on this subject...

Go Go


  1. Everyone mentioned MBAs, but I have an iMac and I just got the same issue. Could this be some kind of virus? I didn't have it until yesterday, when a friend installed a hard drive. HE has an MBA... did he 'give' it to me??? Surely the iMac doesn't have the cooling issues of a laptop? Dunno, but very glad I got the extra RAM, else I'd be out.

  2. I get about 133% Kernal task with a fresh clean install of Leopard or the same with Snow Leopard, and the only application running is Safari. I have recorded 156% spikes on top of 140% constant rate as well. After long battles with Apple on this they are replacing my MBA that was bought in July and have been dealing with Apple Care since early August. They still won't state, categorically, that this is a problem. They were unable to diagnose a hardware issue after a week of testing.
    I hope my new machine does not have the problem.