How can this 'top' command output make sense? Load over 7 and total CPU use ~5%

Wojciech Puchar wojtek at
Mon May 25 19:38:26 UTC 2009

> The CPU = "Central Processing Unit" will perform it's calculations at so many 
> megahertz while at 10% utilization or at 100% utilization. The entire machine

no. it will not. all today x86 CPUs reacts on HLT command and doesn't do 
anything except waiting for interrupt (and saving lots of power).

> is only performing at 10% of its capacity, in your statement above.

no - CPU is performing at 10% of it's capacity. entire machine (disks, 
network etc.) is another thing.

> Actually, it's a combination of both running and waiting processes.

yes that's true. i missed this - all waiting for machine resource to be 
available+those which are presently calculating something.

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