We Caught Apple Slowing Down Computers on Purpose.
We’ve all experienced that electronic device ironically failing a couple days after the warranty expires. Sometimes it almost feels like device manufactures plan obsolescence to boost revenues. Although this conspiracy theory is almost impossible to prove, we ran into a situation with a 27 inch iMac recently that was very suspicious in its symptoms.
A friend of mine had reached out to resolve a symptoms of an Apple iMac running very slowly, after a few false diagnosis’s we noticed that kernel_task in the Activity Monitor was running at over 100%!!!
Now it is impossible for any process or task on a computer to run at more than 100% and simple math tells us that this is illogical. After doing a little bit of research, I found out that Apple has a fail-safe slow down the processor on a computer when one of the temperature sensors starts to get “To Hot”. The way that the computer throttles performance on the computer is to ramp up a fake CPU usage of the kernel_task of anywhere from 1% to over 1000% CPU usage.
When doing a simple touch of the computer, we were quite certain that the computer was not actually overheating. We decided to download a temperature sensing/ fan control program from this website to verify for sure.
All of the temperatures were showing within a reasonable range. The computer was not overheating at all.
If you are having issues where the kernel_task process is showing up at 200%, 300%, or even 400% in the activity monitor, then these are the referenced websites we used to resolve the issue.
Be sure to verify that the temperatures are actually reasonable. This is a safeguard that Apple has programmed in to make sure the computer does not break or even worse start a fire. There are certain reasons that a computer can actually be overheating, such as improper ventilation from dust or other blockage, improper processor mounting, ect.
Do We think that Apple is doing this on purpose to get people to purchase new computers prematurely?
If this was a symptom that I saw more often, I may think otherwise. In this particular situation, I think that there was some sort of corruption in the IOPlatformPluginFamily.kext that was causing the overheating safeguard to not work properly. Regardless this is an example of how easily we can misinterpret the appropriate time to upgrade our technology with new equipment.