Control Your Processors (revisited for 10.6)

Processor.prefPane iconFunny how if I search long enough for the geeky answers I end up clicking links back to my own site. That was the case today in search of answers for controlling my CPU’s.

It used to be in the days of OS X 10.4 you could control the number of CPU’s and turn them on or off from the menu bar–you simply installed /Developer/Extras/PreferencePanes/Processor.prefPane and then enabled the “Show control in menu bar” from the Processor preference in System This was more like a 3 tiered operation because the preference pane enabled the CHUD tools that appeared in the menu bar which also gave you access to the

However this little menu extra was a 32-bit application that never got converted to 64-bit when the rest of the OS’s core services did, namely the SystemUIServer (menu bar), so this no longer works in 10.6. We still have access to the 32-bit preference pane and we still have access to the but we don’t have the bridge between the two, the menu bar extra.

In my previous post I noted that you can use the on it’s own (found in /Library/Application Support/HWPrefs/), but you have to dig for it. Or you can install the 32-bit /Developer/Extras/PreferencePanes/Processor.prefPane, but using it in a 64-bit System Preference panel is a pain in the butt (and the “Show control in menu bar” still doesn’t work).

So here are a few work arounds, though less then ideal, for controlling your CPU’s in a less then frustrating manner. Until these CHUD tools get a 64-bit refresh (or I figure out how to run SystemUIServer in 32-bit mode) there are little other options…

Make CPUPalette Easier to Access

This is likely the least invasive method…

  • first, find the Processor.prefPane in /Developer/Extras/PreferencePanes/ (because it has a cool processor icon) and get info on the preference, click the icon (top left), then type ⌘-C.
  • then find the in /Library/Application Support/HWPrefs/, get info, click the icon (top left), then type ⌘-V. The now has the same processor icon.
  • now drag the app to your dock. Clicking the icon in the dock will now launch CPUPalette for quick access.

Make Processor.prefPane Easier to Use

Well not easier to use I suppose… just make it one less step. You can install Processor.prefPane but when you go to use it you’re prompted with the message “To use the “Processor” preferences pane, System Preferences must quit and reopen.”

The workaround for this is simply to use System Preferences in 32-bit mode. To do this, get info on /Applications/System and choose “Open in 32-bit mode” under the “General” section.

In my limited testing this had no ill effect on any other preference but I think I’d rather stick with the CPUPalette method instead.


Adam Merrifield


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