Whilst watching video one core will spike to 100% for a few moments drop off and then another core will spike to 100%.

30 second htop .gif

one cpu 100%.gif

30 second conky .gif

one cpu conky 100%.gif

Other points:

  • CPU MHz running over 3000 Mhz (3 GHz) when it is normally around 1000 MHz
  • Temperature about 20 degrees Celsius above normal.

Narrowing it down

While writing this question I accidentally closed the chrome tab with the video on external monitor. CPU frequencies and load dropped to normal. I've noticed before how apt-get will spike a single CPU to 100% but this problem is nothing like that.

The process causing abnormal behaviour is chrome but what steps can be taken to narrow it down? ie Can a certain sub-process be identified within video codec-land (whatever you call it) and targeted for bug reporting?

Chrome Version

Version 63.0.3239.132 (Official Build) (64-bit)

  • which version of chrome are you using? Another user had chrom65 spiking his cpu. I forget the name of the process that was doing it, but reverting to chrome 56 solved the issue as 56 doesn't have that process. PS - the process also used a lot of RAM. and he would crash with 4 tabs open
    – ravery
    Jan 6, 2018 at 0:32
  • @ravery Thanks for comment. Chrome version 63 added to question. Note that I restarted the video after accidentally closing it. The problem did not reoccur. Also note I think I've been using this version for a couple of weeks and never noticed it before. Note I installed kernel 4.14.12 for Meltdown CPU security hole today. Final note I didn't reboot between problem and restarting video. Jan 6, 2018 at 0:35
  • I was also curios how to do that in htop and discovered the "F" key with which i can follow a process. Starting from sort by CPU "P" i selected the process with follow "F" and then pressed "F5" for tree again.
    – noreabu
    Jan 6, 2018 at 0:36
  • @noreabu That sounds very interesting. Would you care to post an answer in suitable format? I'd be happy to up-vote it. Jan 6, 2018 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


Using htop you can

  1. sort by CPU usage with P
  2. follow the process with F
  3. Switch to Tree view with t / F5
  • Accepting this answer but, the problem is no longer present four years later... Feb 8, 2022 at 0:59

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