[Chimera-users] Issue: laptop gets sooooo hot when running chimera

Tom Goddard goddard at sonic.net
Mon Apr 6 15:14:18 PDT 2020

Hi Yangfeng,

  It does appear something weird is going on with Chimera 1.14 on macOS Catalina (10.15.3).  I tested on a MacBook Pro (2019).  When I open a large structure 1aon (60,000 atoms) it works as expected.  But when I stop rotating the molecule and don't touch the Chimera window the GPU use continues to periodically shoot up past 80%.  I see this using macOS Activity Monitor (found in /Applications/Utilities) using its menu entry Window / GPU History.  It shows a graph like the one in the attached image.  That image covers about 5 minutes along the horizontal axis and I was only using Chimera during the first of the 4 groups of peaks for about 1 minute.  I also found that if I click on a different application then GPU stays at 0.  But if Chimera has the focus and I am not doing anything it still spikes the GPU every minute for 5-10 seconds.  I don't know why.  Probably macOS is asking Chimera to redraw its window.  So I suspect this is ultimately a macOS problem.

  All our development effort is on our ChimeraX program and we have no funding to develop or even maintain Chimera although we do maintain it.  But I don't think we will be able to look into this problem.  I'd suggest not leaving Chimera having the focus when you leave your laptop idle.  I also suspect this is a new problem caused by macOS Catalina.


> On Apr 6, 2020, at 9:21 AM, Yangfeng Li <yfli3 at uic.edu> wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been using chimera for several years. Recently I used it on my macbook air (2019 model, macOS 10.14) and found that it gets extremely hot when operating chimera even for ten minutes. That doesn't occur on windows laptops. So I guess the software might have some further optimization to better work on macOS.
> Hope to see a new version of Chimera launched soon.
> Stay safe and healthy,
> Loyal user Yangfeng
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