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I'm curious to see if there's a way to log which applications cause a spike in CPU cycles. I'm trying to figure out exactly how much processing power I use and which apps cause the spikes. Is there a program or some scripting arguments that monitor the cpu usage, and can log the application with the highest amount of cycles being used when I hit a certain percentage? Thanks for your help. Also, I'm running Snow leopard with a 2.4 GHz Core2Duo processor.

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You can try the iStats product. It is a simple dashboard to see the real time info. Otherwise you can try setting up a cron job use the below command to grep the CPU utilization of the of the top process.

top -us5
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