"After reading some of Jim Hamm's comments on iStat I located the widget and added it to my dashboard." David Passell continues, "Yesterday I ran it after noticing the fan on my Mini seemed to be working rather hard. I found that something, I still don't know what, was continuously consuming 95% of processor time. Both processors were being involved. I decided I had better give the machine a rest and shut it down for the night. This morning when I started the Mini I looked at iStat and found more reasonable numbers." Above is the first screen shot. (Double click on it to enlarge the view.)
"As I write this email here is a screen shot of current usage.
I noticed earlier that when the Time Machine backup was running, usage went up to 47%. I just thought it interesting to note and it may have saved my computer to shut it down when it was whirring away.
"Now I keep the CPU Monitor on the screen out of the way so I can spot anything like happened yesterday. The Mini is now nearly silent, as usual." David adds, "Any ideas, anyone?"
"Restarting the computer is unnecessary. Just launch Activity Monitor (in your /Applications/Utilities folder), select all processes from the pull-down menu, and then click on the column header to sort by CPU usage. This will tell you what application is the culprit. If it's not a critical application, use Activity Monitor to quit or force quit the offending process."