MacFixIt reader "Martin V." writes in to alert us about an ongoing issue with his MacBook Air. The process 'kernel_task' uses an inordinate amount of system resources causing his system to run abnormally hot.
"A few months ago I bought a MacBookAir1,1 (standard hard disk, no solid state) which was then hugely reduced in price (?999). Lately it has been nearly impossible to watch youtube video's (for instance). If I do the machine gets really hot and slows down dramatically. A process called 'kernel_task' uses almost all resources. Just do a search on "macbook air" and "kernel_task" and you'll see this is a widely spread problem"This issue seems to be incredibly widespread among MacBook Air owners. Upon doing the search Martin suggests, I found a number of threads in Apple-related forums describing the issue.
Apple Support Discussions user "cognita" reports:
"it seems to be temperature issue, i.e. the system tries with the kernel task to avoid an overheating of the cpu/gpu.When attempting any of the solutions provided here at MacFixIt or by anyone posting on any site, it is always best to have a stable backup of all your data.
Read this extensive Apple Support Discussions thread regarding MacBook Air heat issues caused by 'kernel_task' using system resources.
Read this MacRumors.com forum regarding the best settings for CoolBook when dealing with an overheating MacBook Air.