Hunting down performance problem

I have a DELL Insipron 15 7000 2-in-1. I've been running manjaro and KDE for quite a while for my development machine.

Typically I have the following open:
-visual code working on web or react-native apps
-a few terminals
-google chrome with a maybe 6 tabs, debugging web pages
-android emulator

Previously, doing this has been working wonderfully fine.
I recently did a big update to a new kernel and a huge update to manjaro/arch.
Since then, my laptop has become a laggy unresponsive mess.

I tried formatting and that helped a little, but its gotten so bad I've had to remove the Android emulator and revert to using my phone which is tedious. Even then it has made little improvement.

I am wondering how I can isolate what the problem is?

I have tried leaving the KDE system monitor running, and CPU usage might sit arounf 50% with the odd spike to 80%. Memoy sits around 5gb usage of 8gb ram (plus I have 16gb of swap)
Network usage barely registers.

So everything looks fine there. How can I isolate the problem to resolve this unresponsiveness?

Today I've just downgraded kernel to see if that helps, i'll run that for a few days and see if there is any change.

Try switching back to your previously used kernel.

50% cpu usage seems quite high to me. What process is causing this?

Oh, and welcome to Manjaro.

More information would be a good start:

inxi -Fxxxza --no-host
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as long as it's not kernel 5.2 which is end of life. If it is, try 4.19 LTS instead.

I went back to 4.19 LTS on my machines because of what I believe are the same scheduling issues behind this core occupation issue the OP is experiencing now. My machines are now running at normal operating temperatures again when 'idle' and are much more responsive.

By the time 4.19 LTS is end of life the machines probably will be too. By that time they will both be 10 years old with daily usage so I'd be amazed if they last to be honest.

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