How to Test Processor (CPU) on a Mac

Testing your processor (CPU) in a Mac generally involves ensuring that it is running correctly and not overheating under load. Apple doesn’t include a built-in CPU stress testing tool, but you can use third-party applications and some built-in macOS utilities to assess CPU performance and monitor system health.

Here are some methods to test your CPU on a Mac:

Using Activity Monitor:

  1. Open Activity Monitor:
    • You can find Activity Monitor in the Applications > Utilities folder, or you can use Spotlight (Command (⌘) + Spacebar) to search for it.
  2. Monitor CPU Usage:
    • Click on the “CPU” tab to see your CPU usage. High usage on idle may indicate background processes that are using up CPU resources, or it could also suggest a problem with the CPU.

Running Stress Tests:

To stress test the CPU, you can use third-party tools:

  1. Install Intel Power Gadget:
    • This tool by Intel provides real-time monitoring of your CPU’s temperature, power consumption, and clock speed. It’s useful for checking if your CPU behaves correctly under load.
  2. Install Stress Testing Tools:
    • Tools like yes, Prime95, or Cinebench can put a heavy load on your CPU.
    • You can run yes in the Terminal with a command like yes > /dev/null & multiple times to load multiple cores.

Using Terminal Commands:

You can use Terminal to issue commands that will put a load on your CPU:

  1. Open Terminal:
    • Find Terminal in Applications > Utilities.
  2. Run a Stress Command:
    • Use the yes command to stress the CPU. To stress all cores, you could open one yes command for each core:
      yes > /dev/null &
    • To stop the process, use killall yes.

Monitoring Temperature:

  1. Use iStat Menus or Macs Fan Control:
    • These third-party applications allow you to monitor the temperature of your CPU and other components.

System Diagnostics:

  1. Run Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test:
    • Restart your Mac and hold the D key upon startup. This will start Apple’s built-in diagnostics utility that tests your Mac’s hardware, including the CPU, for issues.


  • When running stress tests, monitor your Mac’s temperature closely to avoid overheating. If temperatures get too high, terminate the stress test.
  • Running stress tests will affect system performance, so it is best to do them when you don’t need to use your computer for other tasks.
  • Ensure your Mac is plugged into power and has proper ventilation during these tests.
  • If you encounter any issues, such as unexpected shutdowns or excessive heat, consult Apple support or a certified repair technician. It could be a sign of a more serious hardware problem.

By following these steps, you should be able to get a sense of how well your Mac’s CPU is performing and whether it is operating within normal parameters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *