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In the screenshot below, the overall CPU is being reported as 3% but the mysqld process is reported as using 57%. Is this 57% of the overall 3% and thus mysqld is only using about 1.5% of the CPU?

top screenshot

UPDATE: A commenter below requested I press the '1' key and post the results: the 1 key

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The 57.6% means that mysqld is using .576 of one cpu. The discrepancy is likely to be a race condition between data collection for the system as a whole and collecting the per-process data.

EDIT: Based on your update looks like you have 16 cores.

57.5% => .575/16 = .036 = 3.6%.

So that's where your 3% is coming from.

If you sum all the idle percentages and subtract from 1600%, that also comes out to about 57.5%.

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Can you try pressing the number 1 when top is running and see what happens.


Mr Unknown says it well.

top is saying "If you had one CPU core, it would be 57.5% busy."

But you have 16 cores. So this 57 number is spread out all over the place, with mysqld being multi-threaded and everything...

Kind of confusing. But I think this is because top would find it harder to display information for each core... imagine a top info line with 16 or more cores!

Also if you add up all the "%us" CPU time

1.7+1.0+2.3+1.0+7.4+11.1+15.1+8.7 = 48.3
48.3/16 = 3.01875

This is where the 3% number comes from...

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done; see updated question. – Teflon Ted Jun 20 '09 at 22:48

Has anyone recommended htop? Not that it would help with this particular question more than previous answers already have, but I feel obligated to mention htop anytime I see someone still using top!

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I can't tell if your top is merging any multiple CPUs that you have, but that still wouldn't make a great deal of sense.

What might be happening is that top doesn't get the values for every process and the total CPU usage at the same time. There's a small amount of time where mysql may have stopped or started using a lot of CPU between the time the process info is read and the global is read. It could well just be a simple race condition.

Of course, this would have had to have happened long enough for you to have noticed, so I'm guessing this could just be a weird bug somewhere in top or the kernel's accounting.

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us: userspace - what you're running above the kernel sy: system calls - what is running inside the kernel ni: reniced processes id: idle wa: waiting for i/o hi: hardware interrupts - how much time is spent dealing with hardware si: software interrupts - how much time is spent dealing with software-created interrupts (system calls, etc.)

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