Heavy Resource usage, and application failures


I am currently evaluating the software, and am a bit worried about how much resources the screensaver seems to be using.

When I run the Brendan Holmes test/preview screensaver… my MBP will start to heat up and the all fans kick in at max after about 30minutes… everything cutting back to normal when I come out of it though…

If, I let it go into a screen shutdown (after an hour) and then revive, I get a fatal error message for the screensaver… Not really ideal for a paid product.

… any ideas?

Tell us more? you mentioned MBP which I assume is MacBook Pro? Which model? Which OS? How many monitors? What sizes? By “screen shutdown” do you mean “Display sleep” or “Computer Sleep”?

What is the exact error message?


I will try and record the error for you…

In the meantime:

Macbook Pro 17"
4gb RAM

  • no external monitors

Operating system: MacOS 10.6.3 (all security patches current)

The error occurs, on “display sleep”, “computer sleep” is set to never.

Hope that helps in the meantime…

Thank you – Can you clarify which MBP you have? There are several models with the 2.4 GHz chip – a detailed list can be found here: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/index-macbookpro.html

It matters since they all have very different graphics cards.

More info re The Brendan Homes screensaver:

  • The iScreensaver Control Panel, if left open, uses a fair amount of CPU – it can actually use more than running the screensaver full-screen! The CP is only meant to be open when you install the screensaver and/or are fiddling with the options. Be sure to close the Control Panel before doing any testing.

Some test results:

Running on an old MacBook Pro 17" Core Duo, Mac OS X 10.6.3
ATI Radeon Mobility x1600 / 256MB VRAM

Fullscreen on the single internal LCD monitor (1680x1050), CPU usage hovers at around 15% (out of 100%). At this level, we do not hear the fans kick in noticeably even after running for many minutes.

Note that although this is a rather old macbook pro, it did have the (in our opinion) very fast ATI Mobility Radeon x1600 graphics card with 256MB VRAM.

Running on a newer (but still 3 year old) MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X 10.6.3
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M / 128MB VRAM

Fullscreen on the single internal LCD monitor (1440x900), CPU usage hovers around 15%. With “Main Monitor Only” unchecked, and the screensaver playing on both monitors (internal 1440x900, external 1680x1050), cpu usage hits about 30% (out of 100%).

Note: although the GeForce 8600 is newer than the ATI x1600, it’s widely thought of as a mediocre performing card, which is why performance is roughly the same as the older ATI card.

In conclusion – on a modern laptop with a dedicated graphics card, running OS X, you should be seeing roughly 10% to 15% CPU usage per screen. This should not be enough to cause your fans to run full blast, etc.

We have a number of models we can test on, so if you let us know more about your system, we can try to duplicate what you are seeing.