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On OS X Mavericks I noticed that while rendering or playing games, the maximum CPU usage is 99%. Trying the same render test on Windows on the same machine gets me 100% CPU usage.

Why can't Mavericks take full advantage of my CPU? Is there any way to get 100% on Mavericks?

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They are two totally different operating systems and therefore handle CPU usage differently. Furthermore, OS X may be doing more to ensure the system remains responsive to user input. I really don't think there is an issue here. –  James Feb 19 at 14:21

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If any application really used 100% of the CPU then there would be no way for the operating system or any other task to interrupt it from doing so, since there would be no CPU time to give to the OS. You couldn't even move your mouse, let alone stop the game or benchmark.*

Those CPU load measurements are calculated differently across operating systems, and whether you're using 99% or 100% really doesn't matter. It's not like the OS cannot take "full advantage of the CPU"—that's a misconception.

* Of course, that's really simplified, not really looking at the details of process scheduling, etc.

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