jitter 4.6 vs. 5.1 cpu usage

Dec 4, 2009 at 7:30pm

jitter 4.6 vs. 5.1 cpu usage

I’m trying to move a mega-jitter patch (my cell DNA program, if you want to know) into Max 5.First, I wanted to see if there was much performance difference. It feels more or less the same, but I’m wondering about CPU usage reports on OSX.5. Activity monitor gives this report for 4.6:

34.5 117 354.07 MB 32.86 MB 1.21 GB Intel

and this for 5.1:
121.0 120 391.94 MB 30.10 MB 1.26 GB Intel

I’m wondering, first, how it could use 121% of the cpu? Is that because there’s 200% available on a Core2Duo processor (Macbook pro)? Or is Activity monitor just crazy?
Next, is Max 5 really using 4x the CPU that 4.6 does? It certainly doesn’t “feel” like it, so I’m wondering exactly what I’m seeing and what I should worry about.

I’m happy to share code w/ C74 to figure this out if you need more details.


Dec 4, 2009 at 11:12pm

Hi Peter, no answer to your particular post, but I already used in concert a patch going to 104% or so (maybe more) in the Activity Monitor – and on a single Powerbook G4… Confident, I used the old adage “if a patch works in rehearsal, it should work in concert”, and that worked.

Dec 5, 2009 at 12:12am

Ok. Strange things in the OSX activity monitor! Your adage could become a koan: If a patch works in rehearsal, and no one is around to see it, it really art?

Dec 5, 2009 at 8:03am

yep cpu has 2 cores so it can run on 200%.
my 8-core mac runs on 800%….

Dec 6, 2009 at 3:15am

Ah, ok. Then why does the same patch in 4.6 take 1/4 the cpu of it running in Max 5? Probably more of a rhetorical question…

Dec 6, 2009 at 5:51am

Hey Peter,
I think you and I had a similar discussion (off-list) when I was making the transition to 5 many moons ago with my mega-patch (and you were still holding back ;) For me, both CPU and memory hit were significantly more in 5 vs. 4, and it appears to be just the nature of the beast. Memory usage went down significantly when I finally compiled the app, but CPU load has always been higher. And yes, the > 100% cpu usage is a function of multi-cores.


Dec 8, 2009 at 11:39pm

Hi Peter,

These results may be misleading since for patches which have many nested subpatchers (which it sounds like yours does), there is an issue in 5.1 on Macintosh which will consume huge amounts of CPU asking the OS if all of the contained files have changed. This has been solved in a forthcoming 5.1.1.

If you find that 5.0.8 or the forthcoming 5.1.1 exhibit dramatic performance differences from 4.6, please contact us directly and send us a complete archive of your “megapatch”, which we can use as a reference to further improve Max 5 performance where possible.


Dec 8, 2009 at 11:46pm

Thanks for the clarification! Like I said, it didn’t seem like it was a big difference in “feel”, but the numbers had me concerned about long-term or heavier use. I’ll try 5.11 and let you know how it goes on the 5.11 testing place.


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