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18.21. My CPU is showing 100% - Isn't that a problem?

Background

After installing Symphony OCR, you will almost certainly notice that the CPU on the machine running Symphony OCR is consuming 100% of the CPU.

What's Going On

Symphony OCR is designed to consume all CPU resources available - Up to 16 cores (depending on the number of cores and the license you purchased) during OCR.  OCRing documents is an *extremely* CPU intensive operation, which means that it will use far more CPU than almost any other application you may be familiar with.  With many applications, seeing the CPU spike for a long period of time is cause for concern - but with Symphony OCR it is absolutely expected and desirable behavior.

That said, it is important that Symphony OCR be a good digital citizen and allow other applications to use those CPUs when they need to.  Symphony OCR is designed to allow exactly that to happen.  Symphony OCR runs at a lower priority than all other tasks, so it will always yield when another task needs the CPU.  You may notice a little delay when other applications need the CPU, but we've had no reports of Symphony preventing anything else from running as needed.  If you are seeing other apps hung up, we'd definitely like to know about it. 

To limit the cores that Symphony OCR utilizes, use the "Advanced settings" section of the 'Processor' tab (very bottom of the page).  Just enter the maximum number of CPUs for Symphony OCR to use in that field.  See Processor for more information.

Additional Information

In some extremely rare situations (we've seen this twice now), if thermal management of the CPU is not designed properly (e.g. incorrectly applied thermal paste between CPU and heatsink), it is possible for a machine running at 100% of CPU to overheat and shut down.  The two times we saw this, the machine powered itself down without any warning or user interaction.  After fixing the thermal paste, the problem never recurred.

Note: if you have other CPU-intensive or time-sensitive apps that need to run and you feel that Symphony OCR is interfering, you can add events in the Symphony OCR Scheduler to stop processing documents during time periods.  In practice, we've seen very few sites that require this type of schedule management.

 

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