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Handles Slow, Warm Macs – The Eclectic Light Company



Many users complain about performance issues, which are often associated with Mac's cooling fans, weak response, and if they look at Activity Monitor, use very high CPU at kernel_task . There are many conflicting advice on how to cope with this: Last week, I explained how kernel_task is a symptom of the underlying problem and not the cause.

There are several blog articles and many comments that recommend those that the Macs appear to be shattered by kernel_task to edit or otherwise tamper with their IOPlatformPluginFamily core extension. Common to most if not all are two claims:

  • Those who recommend doing so admit that they do not know what this core extension does, and
  • Everyone disclaims all responsibility if someone follows their recommendation and because of their Mac is corrupted or damaged.

So what does this mystery extension include and what does it do?

In macOS Mojave 1

0.14.3, IOPlatformPluginFamily.kext contains a small of its own executable code and five other kernel extensions, which I look at again.

ACPI_SMC_PlatformPlugin.kext contains a real estate list for each supported Mac model until around 2011-12. Each property list contains hardware-specific CPU and GPU control settings that form their thermal profile.

AppleSMCPDRC.kext is a small, conventional extension that deals with PCI management on some older Mac models before IPlatformPluginLegacy.kext is another small, conventional extension that is concerned with IO on some older Mac models before around 2012.

X86PlatformPlugin.kext contains many real estate listings, each specific to a variety of logic boards installed in different models of Mac, which primarily look like to be models. These are IOPlatform Power Profiles, which specify the configuration of the Energy Saver panel for that logic board, its System Sleep Policy, thermal configuration, GPU & # 39; betting curves & # 39; battery management, sleep & wakeup settings.

X86PlatformShim.kext is another small, conventional extension that shows regarding the SMC feature on older Mac models before around 2012.

The extension that has been recommended for the PhD is the first in the list ACPI_SMC_PlatformPlugin.kext. The latest models included in it are iMac 12.2 (discontinued 2012), MacBook7.1 (2011), MacBookAir4.2 (2012), MacBook Pro 8.3 (2012), Mac mini5.3 (2012), Mac Pro5

Thus, I conclude:

  • The proposed "fixes" for high kernel_task CPU usage can only apply to Macs created earlier in 2012 (those described above). I can't find any suggestions that seem to have any effect on the Macs made since then.
  • The proposed "fixes" remove all model-specific settings for thermal profiles for the CPU and GPU. It is inherently dangerous for your Mac.
  • Suggested repairs, when and if they do, by disabling Mac's custom thermal controls. In the worst case, they can prevent the Mac from shutting down when it gets too hot, which in turn can cause fire.
  • Before you even consider trying any of these "repairs", discover that you can afford to replace Mac's logic board or even your entire Mac if that goes wrong. Since these models are so old, supplies of replacement logic plates can dry up.

If your Mac is not so old that it might be covered by a suggested "fix" or you would not risk destroying its logic board, you should treat high kernel_task loads as if they was the problem with fans driving at full speed, which is often the case at least. This article covers the process of systematic diagnosis of the cause.

Remember that any error processes may begin to take over the CPU and result in a rising thermal load, which may trigger kernel_task to lock these processes out and allow the CPU to cool. These include old favorites such as the Spotlight metadata demon mdworker and many extensions, boot entries, etc. They may be difficult to identify without looking at the log, where they usually leave a trace of distress messages and good links about what's wrong.

My two best suggestions for handling full speed kernel_task loads and fans running at full speed are to reset the SMC and to clear out Mac's fans and cooling channels.

Interestingly, the problem of kernel_task has a fairly close parallel in human physiology: sweat, water consumption and heat. Sweating is one of our primary mechanisms for handling thermal stress, but requires ample water intake to maintain fluid balance.

For some groups, especially armies, who provide sufficient drinking water to support 8 or more liters of sweat per day, is also difficult, so it grew myth that you could somehow "train" people to sweat less. This, of course, leads to dehydration, which reduces your sweating rate – as body temperature floats and you are at risk of death from heat.

Stay cool – both of you.


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