more CPU being used than I have (?)

Craig Butler craig001 at
Tue Jan 25 01:29:37 UTC 2011

On Mon, 2011-01-24 at 16:57 -0700, Chad Perrin wrote:
> I'm running a two-core laptop that, once in a great while, shows
> approximately 250% CPU usage by a single process in top.  How exactly
> does that work?
> Note: It's not entirely surprising that this particular process is
> consuming a lot of resources.  It's just surprising to me that it's
> consuming more than CPUs * 100%.

Hi Chad

Its to do with top using weighted CPU percentage... for some reason this
show peaks as more usage than 100% -- maybe something to do with the top
averaging out over a specific time.
I find that raw CPU mode gives a more accurate representation. 

raw mode is toggled by passing the -C argument to top.


Craig Butler 

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