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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?


I follow this discussion with interest and can only say that CafeTran is a processor-power hungry app when run with the full features set deployed. You can treat it as a server app or a game without the relieve of the Graphics processor (GPU) that games use. However, it is quite possible to limit the processor usage without compromising much functionality in the laptop/tablet mode. Please see this Knowledge Base article here for the tips. Perhaps it would be a good idea to add a battery mode option in the Project Dashboard to switch to the settings outlined in that article automatically?


I support Tom's request. One of these days I'll have to use my MBP on a holiday probably. And chances are that it'll be in a sunny region. So it'd be nice if the problem will be solved then. Though I realize that it's hard to reproduce in the cold Polish dev labs.

Tom: ... yes, I'm afraid I have tainted my Mac with it

I shall never forgive you for that, but at least it allows you to try the experiment I mentioned above: Run CT under Win Windo err Whatever, and see if that would make any difference. I can't believe it's a hardware problem (Apple usually underclocks its processors, especially for MacBooks), can't be Java, so I still think CT for Mac is to blame. If you run CT under "that other OS" and the MacBook doesn't get hot, we will know it's CT's Mac version.


As a happy and devoted Mac user, I am permanently on the look out for a good CAT tool for this platform. CT comes close to it but the single biggest stumbling block to this becoming my CAT tool of choice is its energy consumption/high CPU usage. You don't need to have a long document or a huge TM; a mere 300-word document with a newly created TM is a sufficient for the CPU usage to spike on my MBP immediately. Since I have to work on battery power a lot, it feels like a race against time every time I launch CT.

I have used Wordfast Pro on Mac and worked on some big projects with huge TMs, etc., but energy use has never been an issue with it. I also use Windows-based CAT tools with Parallels Desktop (yes, I'm afraid I have tainted my Mac with it), but even running Parallels + Windows on battery power isn't as draining as running CT.

I can accept that there might never be a native Mac-based CAT tool any time soon and that any CAT tools available for Mac will probably have to be Java-based, but is Java really the cause? I do all sorts of things on my Mac, some of which are meant to be energy-hungry (like re-encoding multimedia files), but I can categorically state that nothing is as draining as CT. No other Java-based apps have this problem.

I think Igor is doing a fantastic job by constantly adding new functions, listening to and communicating with customers with such energy, etc. Even though energy efficiency isn't the most eye-catching or sexy feature, I consider it to be absolutely fundamental. I'm afraid CT is well below par in this regard and I urge Igor to please have another look at this issue. 

>I must say about the MBP that it fires up the ventilator and gets warm just from having 8 tabs open on Firefox and browsing on one, for example, through Facebook. Firefox sometimes can use up to 3 GB of RAM.

I guess that the best browser on a Mac is Apple's own one: Safari.

The victim is a bit tired of using all those machines and all those environments that don’t play together. In 50 years, translators going to say, oh it was difficult back then when it was all in its infancy.

Maybe I should get back working as an interpreter, so I only have to rely on my brain and not on a machine.

As far as I understood it in Swordfish you got the choice to create a remote (saved in the cloud) or an internal (saved on your comp) database. I was simply creating an internal database and imported my huge TM ENG > DE. I didn’t experience any problems but I must say I didn’t use Dragon with the tool for very long, just some hours. It seemed quiet.


I must say about the MBP that it fires up the ventilator and gets warm just from having 8 tabs open on Firefox and browsing on one, for example, through Facebook. Firefox sometimes can use up to 3 GB of RAM.


Why buy all this expensive stuff when all the software gets heavier and requires more energy? As if we would construct car motors with an extremely high output to drive the same speed as before because the material the car is built of has grown ten times heavier.


I probably don’t understand the underlying complexity of programming software, but it sucks.  



>Can you tell which version of Dragon is being concerned here?

The latest. And the strange thing is, that with the other CAT tool (database based) no problems exist. Well, let me check that quickly once more.

Well, I know that CT and Dragon can be RAM-intensive (but on an iMac, not on a Macbook). Can you tell which version of Dragon is being concerned here?

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

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.


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).



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.

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.

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).


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.







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