Forums > MaxMSP

100% CPU on startup with 10.7.3

February 10, 2012 | 4:34 am

When I open up Max (6.0.3 or whatever version of 5 I have) my CPU usage immediately goes up to 100%, even if I don’t have any patches. It goes down to acceptable levels after maybe five or ten minutes, but the laptop gets pretty hot in the meantime. The biggest change to my system in the past few days was 10.7.3—anyone else having any issues?

February 10, 2012 | 4:50 am

Yeah this is a problem with the version of SQLite installed by Mac OS 10.7.3 which Max 5 & 6 both use for creating the Max database.

We’re working on making this better for the next incremental update of Max 6, which will be Max 6.0.4, due soon.

Sorry for the inconvenience.


February 10, 2012 | 5:00 am

Thanks for the reply—anything I can do on my end, or is waiting ten minutes my only option? I love hacking around in the terminal without having any idea what i’m doing.

February 10, 2012 | 8:23 am

does this mean that upgrading to 10.7.3 will also have adverse effects for Max 5?

February 15, 2012 | 10:58 pm

hi everyone — I just encountered this problem with 10.7.3 and Max5.

I worked around it by downloading the source code for SQLite 3.7.10 from – then you build it and install it as root on your machine. You have to overwrite the /usr/bin/sqlite3 binary with the newly compiled one, but it definetly calms Max down when you launch it! I’m back down to sane CPU levels…

and with a performance on Saturday! Almost had to downgrade to Snow Leopard…

February 15, 2012 | 11:04 pm

It’s fixed in 6.0.4, just tried it.

February 17, 2012 | 3:20 pm

Max 6.0.4 uses SQLIte 3.7.10 internally – we switched from using the Mac OS installed one.

It works much faster, and has a performance benefit on Windows as well.



February 17, 2012 | 3:50 pm

BTW, an easy option for Max 5 people who want to run their patch in a performance and don’t want the hit from the slow version of SQLite in Mac 10.7.3 is to open the patch in the Max runtime, which does not use SQLite at all


February 29, 2012 | 8:22 pm

For the record, I am still having the problem of CPU hit on startup with 6.0.4 on OS X 10.7.3.

February 29, 2012 | 8:42 pm


Everyone’s CPU hits 100% at startup. In 6.04 it stays there for a much shorter time.

A future release of Max6 will also have the thread priority of this DB scan process lowered.



March 6, 2012 | 1:56 pm

Hi there,

I’d like to report very similar issues running 6.0.4 and OS X 10.7.3. Removing sqlite.mxo fro extensions calms down the CPU to between 3-4%. My CPU usage with SQlite however hovers between 85%-100% and stays like this for 10 minutes and more. I guess my main question is what sqlite does in simple terms, and if I really need it at all? As a database I notice that the object pull down menu disappears, however file preferences stay the same. My computer is constantly whirring at me every time I open Max – and I have sometimes left the machine and had a coffee before sitting down to work! Obviously patching at this level of usage becomes sluggish, not to mention running fairly involved and complex patches.

Any other thoughts? Is anyone else finding this update has not calmed down CPU as expected?



March 6, 2012 | 6:13 pm


Try a DB reset

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

Does it still grind away on restart after this? How big is your search path?



March 6, 2012 | 8:48 pm

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for this – I did a db reset, now Max is coming back down to sane levels after 30 seconds or so which is much better. Does this reset the file preferences database? Is it wise to do a db reset every now and then? When you say is my database large, I assume you're talking about what Max finds and indexes from it's search path?

My File preferences include the normal /Patches and /Examples folders, a patches folder with 1,307 items at 6.52GB (because of audio files) that goes at most 3 subfolders deep (see attached screenshot), a maxmsp downloads folder with 3,511 items at 428MB, and the CNMAT and Elsea libraries.

I hope this helps.



  1. ScreenShot20120307at7.44.06AM.png

March 6, 2012 | 9:55 pm

Yeah Ben this seems like a fairly typical search path size.

The DB reset does indeed recreate the DB files in the prefs folder.

Resetting them is a troubleshooting step rather than something you should need to do regularly.



February 5, 2013 | 10:38 pm


I’ve checked the CPU usage after opening MAX without doing anything afterwards, too.

MAX 5.1.9, 6.0.8 and 6.1 (beta)
on Macbook Pro (3,1), OS X 10.6.8, 2,2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB RAM,
(Pre-)Installed SQLite 3.6.12

MAX 5.1.9 – after start it goes up to 105% CPU and stays there for 7 minutes. Then it goes down to 11-15% CPU and it stays there

MAX 6.0.8 – after start it goes up to 50% CPU and goes up and down in between 20% and 60% CPU
after around 3 minutes it goes up to 110% for half a minute,
then it goes down to 12% and it stays there.

MAX 6.1 (beta) – after start it goes up to 100% CPU for a few seconds, then it goes down to around 14% and it stays there!

A DB reset does not help.

Because I’m still using MAX5 I’m curious if there will be an update for MAX5,
or if there is a recommended workaround available, like updating SQlite.
Why this is also happening with pre 10.7.3 OS
and still happening with latest MAX 6.0.8 already with an internally used SQlite?
At least MAX 6.1 (beta) works as desired – but is an upgrade the only solution?


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