MacOS 'WindowServer' and 'Roon' process CPU spike

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
Roon client MacOS 10.15.2 Macbook Pro late-2013

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Wired gig Ethernet, clients wireless 802.11AC 5Ghz Netgear Orbi 2-node ‘mesh’

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

I2S from AudioLinux Core to DAC

Description Of Issue
After 2-3 days of running Roon client on my Mac, both Roon and Window Server (Window Server more than Roon but they seem to track as they climb the GHz ladder) being consuming more and more CPU until I notice my fan spinning up and making audible noise.

I normally close Roon client and Window server calms down within a few seconds.

Otherwise, Roon client behaves normally.

Let’s tag @support to follow this up with you.

Hi @Larry_Post,

The next time this happens can you share some screenshots of resource usage?

Have you noticed any patterns that seem to lead to this behavior occurring?

Hi @dylan,

Will do. No pattern other than a couple of days continuously use. Laptop sleeps at night but I’ve used it quite a bit over the holidays during the day.

Rebuilding db from scratch on Core, this is from the client MacOS machine.

Music not playing, client just sitting on Overview screen. Ingested albums are updating as expected. Closing and restarting client, CPU begins climbing within a few seconds…

Rebuilding db as I recently dumped Tidal for Qobuz and wanted to purge all the Tidal artwork, etc. I sure wish there was a true db cleanup (remove deleted items and reclaim space) ability with this db.

Hi @Larry_Post,

Is there any background activity going on? Do you see an Activity Spinner in the top right-hand corner?

Has background analysis of tracks completed? You can check this in Roon Settings -> Library.

In this later case, analysis was still running. In prior cases, before rebuilding the db from scratch, analysis had long since completed.

Hi @Larry_Post,

Thanks for confirming that aspect. I’m only seeing Roon use ~30% CPU in your screenshot, does this usually go even higher? As for WindowServer using a large amount of CPU, this article may provide some additional suggestions.

I notice it when the fan spins up. Normally, Roon uses ~5-15%. Once it starts climbing and I hear the fan I restart the client to quiet the fan/cpu use. I don’t wait to see how bad it will get but something is going off the rails.

From the article: Having said that, sometimes a bug in a piece of software can cause excessive WindowServer CPU usage. If you notice this pattern, and don’t think the application should be causing that big a spike in WindowServer CPU usage, consider contacting the developer. You might have found a problem they can fix.

I’ve found that simply minimizing Roon will cause the CPU use of both Roon and WindowServer to drop back to ‘normal’, single digit range.

It looks to me like something in the current client code is not optimized or correctly working with MacOS. Nothing else I use causes WindowServer to spike like Roon. Nor did I experience this problem with 1.6 on either High Sierra nor Catalina.

Analysis is long since complete, CPU usage of Roon and WindowServer just reached a point where my laptop was getting hot and the fan kicked on.

Still occurring with no apparent pattern other than the Roon client has been running for a day or 3. Minimizing the app helps but of course makes it less available to use quickly.

Any progress towards a solution?

Hi @Larry_Post,

Thanks for the additional information. We currently have an active investigation regarding high CPU usage reports and I have added your thread to our investigation ticket. I can’t quite specify a timeline of when the investigation will be complete, but this is something that we’re looking into with QA’s assistance. If we need any further information, we will be sure to let you know. Thank you!

Exactly the same issue here for a few weeks now.
Windows 10 server running core is very stable, but Windowserver and Roon processes on MacBook Pro(client) with Catalina is going wild

Same issue here. Mid-2014 MacBook Pro (2.5GHz i7, 16GB RAM) running Catalina 10.15.2. With the Roon client running, Windowserver CPU usage is off the charts and the laptop’s fans kick into high gear. I’ve taken to using the iOS client on my iPhone until the problem gets resolved.

As others have noted, minimizing the Roon client window seems to bring CPU usage back to normal.

Seems to be isolated to older Macs:
I have the same issue on my MBP 2015 model, but on a newer MBP 2019 model things are smooth.

Out of interest, is this happening on people with Mac models that have the dual AMD/Intel GPUs? May be related to how the graphics switching is taking place methinks…

I’m finding this on my ‘Late 2013’ MBP
Screenshot 2020-05-26 at 17.52.26

As soon as I close my Roon window, WindowServer goes back to sub-10% CPU usage from 30+%, though Roon itself is only in single figures. I’ve always found Roon’s UI to be both processor intensive and sluggish.

@Ben_Dilley Yeah it seems to be related to the dual AMD/Intel GPU graphics Macs with Roon’s UI.

@noris Can you pls get this on Eng’s radar to resolve and update us accordingly?

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