Poor Mac performance when running GarageSale. WIndowserver CPU usage

Hello everyone.

i want to share the problem i have with GS.
several months ago i noticed that my Mac Mini 2012 became too slow. This is good machine with i5 processor, 16gb certified ram and fast Cruicial ssd.

i can do all my work (graphics, huge excel sheets and even some gaming) on this Mac without problem. until i run GS. first time i thought that it just large database and etc. but checking system resource monitor i saw that process called “windowserver” eat up 30-70% of CPU.

i noticed that after rebooting my Mac working fast as new for sometime. and then windowserver became crazy again.

i decided that something bad happened with my OS (high sierra). i have not done any clean OS X installation since day one of this Mac. only upgrades.

so after several month’s of such “rebooting every several hours” hell i finally decided to do clean install of High Sierra OS and done it fast with successful restoring back up of GS database.

since this mac is currently dedicated ebay machine - only few programs were installed (GS among them).

after couple of days i again faced that windowserver problem :frowning: and shutting down GS leads to significantly lower windowserver cpu usage. 40% -> 10-15% which is more or less manageable.

windowserver is Mac OS process which is responsible for interface / application windows drawings. but even in complicated apps like graphic editing with multilayer semi-transparency i have no problems with windowserver. but GS leads to very slow Mac.
so i believe that GS has poorly interface optimization and make computers very slow.
also GS process itself when running for several days in many cases uses more than 100% of CPU time.

so this is serious problem. i believe authors had to fix it and optimize machine resource usage. GS is an app with simple interface (in terms of program windows of course). So Core i5 processor must be more than enough to run such tasks.

anybody else has such problem with Windowserver high CPU usage? please post responds here.

GarageSale is indeed not very demanding when it comes to graphic performance.

My guess is that your Mac is running low on RAM under certain conditions. Mac Minis use integrated GPUs which use standard RAM, instead of dedicate VRAM. Thus, when RAM is low, the GPU only gets limited memory, which leads to a drastic performance drop across all apps.

When the system gets slow, how much memory is being used?

i’m in IT for about 30 years. so i understand how memory works on integrated GPU’s. this is not the case.
(and not all Mac Mini has integrated GPU)

and we talking NOT about RAM but about CPU, right ?

total RAM usage usually is no more of 10 Gb (of 16). windowserver RAM usage is about 200-700 Mb.
GS RAM usage is from 200 Mb and up to 3 Gb (when running for several days (i believe because of memory leaks).

i just restarted machine. will post screenshot with system resources when windowserver will rise again.


I don’t believe GarageSale’s being involved in this strong CPU usage.
I see that many “Google Chrome Helper” process are running, as well as a few other programs.
Have you tried closing them one by one to see how does it it impact windoserver consumption?

On Mac, hardware issues can also strongly impact software performance.
For instance, I had an incredibily slow 15’’ MacBook Pro A1286 running OS X El Capitan. The mouse cursor movements were so jerky that the MacBook was unusalble. There was also some spinning wheel.
I had tried several things like adding RAM, replacing the HDD by an SSD but without success, and at the beginning I wondered if GarageSale could be the culprit. It was not.
The fact is that the battery was in very poor condition (with “to replace now” status). Common sense would have been that this doesn’t impact the operating system layer, especially as the MacBook had the power supply plugged. But it did, as the battery level controler was at the software level and completely eating processor ressources.

Your case is of course different, as you’re running a Mac Mini and not a laptop, but I would however suggest checking hardware components. If there is a BIOS battery, replace it. Such battery costs about 2 $. Also check the S.M.A.R.T. values of your hard drive or SSD.

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