When I use Mathematica 11.1 to make a normal 3D Parametric Plot Mathematica's CPU usage instantly shoots up to 100% on one core as soon as the graphic is rendered. This does not only last until the evaluation has finished, but until I either close the notebook or remove the plot and reevaluate the notebook. Needless to say the entire application slows down, so it's not only the increased battery usage and CPU fan that's annoying.

My system:
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Intel i5-7200U
8GB of RAM
Mathematica 11.1

The code I used: s[a_, z_] := {Cos[a], Sin[a], z} ParametricPlot3D[s[a, z], {a, 0, 2 Pi}, {z, -5, 5}]

edit: The issue only seems to occur with any shape with two parameters. Plotting just the circumference of a circle works, but filling the circle triggers the high cpu usage.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't see this on Linux Mint 17.3, Intel Xeon, Mathematica 11.1. $\endgroup$
    – mikado
    Apr 21, 2017 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ I do not see this on "11.1.0 for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) (March 13, 2017)". In fact, the computation is almost instantaneous. $\endgroup$
    – bbgodfrey
    Apr 21, 2017 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ I run Manjaro 17 and it briefly shoots up to 100% and then instantly goes right back down. I have an i5 - 6400 8 GB of ram 11.1 $\endgroup$
    – bobbym
    Apr 21, 2017 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ Does this happen with a new notebook, and only the code you posted? There may be a Dynamic issue. $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    Apr 21, 2017 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes this does happen with both new and older notebooks. Similar graphic functions like VectorPlot3D work fine. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Apr 21, 2017 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


Linux Mint 18.1, NVidia GTX750. I find that the CPU does jump evaluating the parametric plot. However if I select 'Mesa' as the 3DRenderingEngine in the option inspector the CPU usage seems to drop back down.


You could try compiling for some performance improvements:

s = Compile[{{a, _Real}, {z, _Real}}, {Cos[a], Sin[a], z}];
ParametricPlot3D[s[a, z], {a, 0, 2 Pi}, {z, -5, 5}]

Incrementally responsive on my system, but I don't have the same resource issues as you


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