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Old 05-15-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
mufc
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Calibre overtaxing my CPU

I have an Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200 Processor that produces a high pitched whine at times when it is overstressed. It does not happen often but a reboot ends it. It happens a lot when doing intensive video processing.
All of a sudden it is starting every night. I figured it was either Calibre (when it starts to download my news @ 3am) or Microsoft Security Essentials (when it does a full scan @ 2am).
I have used these settings for a long time with no problem. This just started a few days ago.
I assumed it was MSE so I disabled the scan and still when I got up the whine was present. Only Calibre executes anything when I go to bed. I have tried to replicate this problem during the day with no luck. I ran MSE full scan and downloaded all my news with Calibre and the CPU was at 100% but could not get the whine to happen.
However this morning I redownloaded all my news from Calibre without MSE running and my CPU shot to 100%.
Any ideas.
Should I revert to an earlier version of Calibre.
Thanks
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mufc View Post
I have an Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200 Processor that produces a high pitched whine at times when it is overstressed. It does not happen often but a reboot ends it. It happens a lot when doing intensive video processing.
All of a sudden it is starting every night. I figured it was either Calibre (when it starts to download my news @ 3am) or Microsoft Security Essentials (when it does a full scan @ 2am).
I have used these settings for a long time with no problem. This just started a few days ago.
I assumed it was MSE so I disabled the scan and still when I got up the whine was present. Only Calibre executes anything when I go to bed. I have tried to replicate this problem during the day with no luck. I ran MSE full scan and downloaded all my news with Calibre and the CPU was at 100% but could not get the whine to happen.
However this morning I redownloaded all my news from Calibre without MSE running and my CPU shot to 100%.
Any ideas.
Should I revert to an earlier version of Calibre.
Thanks
Calibre conversions can be very intense.
Start the Task manager and switch to 'Processes' and click the CPU column to sort the big numbers to the top.
Now you can see who is sucking up cycles big time
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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That is how I know it is Calibre.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:12 PM   #4
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There's nothing you can do about it. Calibre will try to use as much CPU power as it can get when doing tasks, as will any task. Couple that with CPU intensive conversions and you get the behaviour you're experiencing. You can change the thread priority for Calibre's worker threads in the settings, however, that will only influence how nice Calibre plays when other programs are trying to run at the same time.

Oh, and unless your system is overclocked and/or not cooled properly, 100% CPU usage isn't overtaxing.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:35 PM   #5
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buy a faster CPU or earprlugs, whatever's cheaper :-)

or configure intensive tasks to run when you're NOT trying to sleep!

dunno about calibre but MSE is definitely configurable ( & full, regular scans are only for the terminally paranoid! )

Last edited by cybmole; 05-15-2011 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:27 AM   #6
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I have an Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200 Processor that produces a high pitched whine at times when it is overstressed.
CPU's are fine running at 100% for significant periods of time, (several hours will be no problem), provided they are suitably cooled. The noise is probably just the fan working a bit harder to cool the CPU down. (Systems can automatically increase the fan speed as the CPU gets warmer). Being mechanical, fans tend to get noisier with age as the bearings wear, so you could always change it.

Check for any fluff/dust clogging up the heatsink as this also causes the CPU to run hotter.

There should also be a thermal cut out setting in the BIOS which switches off the PC if the CPU overheats. Signs of overheating are random crashes and hangs.

So I wouldn't worry about the 100% CPU but try changing the fan if the noise it too annoying.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:01 AM   #7
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duh - of course - the whine will be the fan , not the CPU chip. you can get 3rd party fans that are much quieter than stock. I swap out the fans on my Dell Pcs everytime I upgrade.

try sites like quietpc for more info.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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It is not any of the fans. You are all missing the point. I have been running Calibre like this for months without issue. Since going to version 0.7.57 then 0.8 I have had this issue. Once I upgraded to 7.57 Calibre the noise would start at night some time after starting downloading of 33 newspapers/magazines. I have shut off MSE and know now that Calibre is doing this. I built this computer and the fans are not the issue. Originally this computer had an Athlon 64 3500 cpu and had never a single problem or noise EVER. Only after upgrading to the dual core 4200 (thoughtit would be better) did I have this problem. I believe something is wrong with the way the cpu sets tasks when asked to do intensive work. Downloading news thru Calibre was never considered by me before as intensive. I have watched the heat on both cores and even when the noise starts they do not exhibit large heat spikes.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:09 AM   #9
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It is not any of the fans. You are all missing the point. I have been running Calibre like this for months without issue. Since going to version 0.7.57 then 0.8 I have had this issue. Once I upgraded to 7.57 Calibre the noise would start at night some time after starting downloading of 33 newspapers/magazines. I have shut off MSE and know now that Calibre is doing this. I built this computer and the fans are not the issue. Originally this computer had an Athlon 64 3500 cpu and had never a single problem or noise EVER. Only after upgrading to the dual core 4200 (thoughtit would be better) did I have this problem. I believe something is wrong with the way the cpu sets tasks when asked to do intensive work. Downloading news thru Calibre was never considered by me before as intensive. I have watched the heat on both cores and even when the noise starts they do not exhibit large heat spikes.
Proves you have good cooling. .
The fans sped up and the temps stayed in range.

Calibre made performance improvements (to run faster ), that just might be your CPU performing those at its peak.
How can you say, fetching and converting News is not intensive ?

33 News. Bet some are being grabbed, while others are in the queue for further conversion.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:04 AM   #10
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simple test. grab news - then throttle calibre via task priority controls in task manager - see what happens

i'd guess - old versions only use 1 core, newer versions of calibre multi-task better, hence the change

I'd also observe: if you hear a whining noise & its NOT coming from the fans then you have a hardware problem!

PS try doing something else that hammers CPU - like video format conversion - & see what noise that makes
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:28 AM   #11
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Proves you have good cooling. .
The fans sped up and the temps stayed in range.
As theducks says - no heat spike because your cooling works.

@mufc : So, can you monitor the fan speed as the CPU load goes up? You may find the point at which the noise kicks in.

If it's not fan noise then what do you think could be making it? You could always stop the fan when the noise appears and see if the noise stops: that would show whether it's the fan or not. (Obviously don't stop it for long or things could get a bit warm!)
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:01 AM   #12
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in my experience computer noise comes only from moving parts i.e. fans, & disc drives; some cheapo components like PSU can add a little whine but the main source is CPU & case fans. case vibration can amplify those , but something has to be moving/vibrating to create noise within PC case.

I don't get how you reckon you can hear noise but that it's definitely not coming from any of the fans ???

PS check / reset calibre preferences - misc - max conversion/ simultaneous news jobs

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:39 AM   #13
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Could not believe how dirty/dusty my computer got so fast. Cleaned it out problem gone.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:59 AM   #14
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Could not believe how dirty/dusty my computer got so fast. Cleaned it out problem gone.
Those little variable speed cpu fans can make a whine when the temp causes them to kick up the speed. On my last computer whenever my wife was on Farmville I could hear it kick in.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #15
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I don't mind having the CPU used at 100%. There are other programs that do it. But for some reason, calibre is the only one not playing fair. While transcoding simultaneously 20 audio files with lame.exe through Wine, I can simulate a fully running Windows 7 machine with 2 CPUs and 2 GB RAM. But when calibre starts, screen refreshes every few seconds, abd downloads are dropped, despite callibre's network load being minute. Today it even killed the X session in which I was running it. There is something wrong.
PS. This is under Ubuntu. The Windows version is more friendly. I might have to use calibre under Wine.
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