9:44pm up 2 days, 2 min, 1 user, load average: 0.14, 0.12, 0.09
90 processes: 82 sleeping, 1 running, 7 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.4% user, 1.1% system, 0.0% nice, 97.4% idle
CPU1 states: 0.5% user, 1.3% system, 0.0% nice, 97.1% idle
Mem: 1288720K av, 1056260K used, 232460K free, 0K shrd, 145644K buff
Swap: 522104K av, 0K used, 522104K free 469764K cached
PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
30997 ed 16 0 1100 1100 840 R 1.7 0.0 0:00 top
1120 root 5 -10 249M 174M 71508 S
The first CPU-related information is present on the very first line: the load average. The load average is a number that corresponds to the average number of runnable processes on the system. The load average is often listed as three sets of numbers (as seen here), which represent the load average for the past 1, 5, and 15 minutes, indicating that the system in this example was not very busy.
The next line, although not strictly related to CPU utilization, has an indirect relationship, in that it shows the number of runnable processes (here, only one -- remember this number, as it means something special in this example). The number of runnable processes is a good indicator of how CPU-bound a system might be.
Next are two lines that display the current utilization for each of the two CPUs in the system. The utilization statistics are broken down to show whether the CPU cycles expended were done so for user-level or system-level processing; also included is a statistic showing how much CPU time was expended by processes with altered scheduling priorities. Finally, there is an idle time statistic.
Moving down into the process-related section of the display, we find that the process using the most CPU power is top itself; in other words, the one runnable process on this otherwise-idle system was top taking a "picture" of itself.