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Battery drain & CPU usage.


I'm experiencing an issue with Cafetran's resource use. I'm using a 2014 Retina Macbook Pro with i5 2,6 GHz, 8 GB of RAM and a solid state drive running the final build of El Capitan 10.11. The laptop is still pretty new and maintains a stable 8-9 hour battery life (~120 load cycles) while using Safari, MS Office and other simple, everyday tools.

However, using Cafetran decreases the battery life to approximately 2,5 - 3 hours, the fan fires up to more than 3,000 rpm (idle value = ~1,300), also the temperatures rise considerably. I've already tried changing the autosave setting value for glossaries, projects and memories to 10.
At the moment I'm using a single TMX memory consisting of little less than 12,000 entries and a couple of glossaries with several hundred terms.

I'm using the full version of Cafetran, revision 2015101301 released today and I have the newest java 8 installed.

The above happens regardless of the translated file's size. It makes no difference if the document contains five thousand characters or a hundred thousand.

I'm attaching a screenshot of the Activity Monitor's energy tab, with the second and third columns being Energy Impact and Average Energy Impact. That's after ten minutes of working in Cafetran. CPU Usage stays between 15 and 20%.

I had the same issue with older revisions of Cafetran on my old 2010 Macbook white running Mavericks and, later on, Yosemite. However, it wasn't that much of an issue since that laptop wouldn't last more than two hours on a single charge anyway.

As my hardware finally allows to spend more than a couple of hours away from the wall socket, it would be great to take advantage of it.

I would be very grateful for any help on this matter.

...or is it supposed to be like that?


For the record: on my iMac Retina the fans sometimes start working like crazy too. And then they stop.

Other MacBook Pro user just reported the same issues. I've invited him to discuss the topic here.

It's a known problem. I don't know if Apple is to blame, or CafeTran. I do know very heavy video editing on a maxed-out 15" rMBP does not cause problems.


>I don't know if Apple is to blame, or CafeTran.

I think it's related to Java on Mac. Java is nice, but I guess it hasn't been optimised for Mac's energy saving features.

My approach: brute force. 32 GB RAM on my iMac.

Hans CafeTran Wiki: My approach: brute force. 32 GB RAM on my iMac.

That doesn't lower the processor temperature a single degree. And the processor is the culprit.


>That doesn't lower the processor temperature a single degree. And the processor is the culprit.


The iMac has a fan, that sometimes sounds like an airplane. As long as it works for the next 2.5 years, I see no prob.

But then again, I don't have a problem with my iMac either, even though I have only 12 GB of RAM (8 GB assigned to CT) and the processor usage can go dangerously near 200% (only two cores). And I can't hear the fan, under no circumstances.


My friend the skipper, who is also a gifted programmer, told me yesterday that while Java is a great language it can probably not accommodate for energy saving techniques that are implemented completely different on different operating systems.

You definitely hear the fan in MacBookPros and also in MacBookAirs, although I never heard it in my iMac from 2010.


I think all this CAT-Tool issue is widely underestimated, it does need a lot of CPU and RAM to run smoothly. In the last 10 years, always when trying to explain to the salesperson in a computer store what I’m doing, using a CAT-Tool and Dragon Dictate at the same time, they assured me that in this case, there is no need for a powerful machine.... that is only necessary “for people who are playing games”. Great advice!


This August I bought a MacBookAir with 8 GB RAM and 2,2 GHZ i7 CPU and it started to get stuck when using CafeTran and, not even Dragon, but the Mac-integrated dictation software. So I gave it back and changed it for a MacBookPro with 16 GB RAM and 3,1 GHZ i7 CPU. Since then, I’m not facing any problems, although, when using CafeTran, or running other difficult processes, the fan starts to run like crazy and the battery usage time decreases to about 4 hours, compared to 8 or 9 hours (not sure) when NOT using CT. The MacBookAir seems to have a genuine-like battery running time of 12 hours without CT and only little less when using CT (and it never ever gets warm unlike the MacBookPro). But it starts to cough when importing really big files or the program even crashes. Not even thinking about trying to dictate on the CT interface.  


(I’m facing a problem, although this does not belong here, because it is not CT-related. Now, after about 2 months using the MBP, there appeared a process on the activity monitor called kernel_task which uses constantly 1 GB RAM and the respective amount of battery life. Seems to be a problem for many, but the mostly chosen solution to delete the “ressources files” way down in the system, doesn’t help in my case. No problem, with 16 GB I can live with it.)


Just for comparison, on Windows, trying to dictate in MemoQ made not only the dictation process terribly slow but also caused MemoQ to work in snail’s pace.


I think the “brute force” approach is the only right one.







Patrick: I think the “brute force” approach is the only right one

It doesn't make sense, but if it helps, it helps.

kernel_task which uses constantly 1 GB RAM and the respective amount of battery life

This makes more sense as a possible cause. This and Hans CafeTran's Wiki's shipper's comment that Java apps cannot use OS X' saving techniques.

I still think it's the processor heat that causes the problem, not heat from the RAM or the SSD, if any. Possible causes:

  1. Java
  2. The retina screen. It does "stress" the processor
  3. kernel_task. It not only "eats" RAM, it is also a process, and therefore using processing power. Especially if there are connected devices, like... a second monitor. Hans CafeTran Wiki uses a second monitor (though not retina), and I guess so do you. Please try to restart your Mac without any connected devices, and check the kernel_task activity.

Macs do not produce fan noise, Steve was against it. The only time I heard fan noise was years ago. The HDD fan of a Mac mini. It was about to die. The HDD, of course, not the mini (it still "lives," and it's a PPC).

When my iMac retina was new, it made a lot of noise. I blamed it on Spotlight. Even now the fans are fired up occasionally, say once or twice a day.

Hans CafeTran Wiki: Even now the fans are fired up occasionally, say once or twice a day.

Close sell, I'd say in option trading terms. On a more serious note: Does this

  1. always happen [twice a day]
  2. only happen when you use Java
  3. only happen when you use CT
I can't reproduce the high processor usage with another app than CT.

Now my message disappeared too. Had attached something in the corpus of the mail. I had written:

I don't use a second monitor and there are no other devices connected.

And now my fan is having a party (see attachment).



Did anyone with a "hot Mac' ever try to run CT under Bootcamp or in a VM (Windows/Linux)? That test may exclude OS X or the OS X/Java combination as the culprit.


It is definitely the combination of CafeTran and Dragon. Victim has now switched to Dragon plus other Java based CAT tool: problems are gone
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