Intel Atom desktops don't like playing ball with the 'metadata' process of Dropbox v3. To alleviate the pain, but still allow the process to happen, I simply put limits on how much CPU Dropbox could hoover up.
sudo apt-get install cpulimit
(yes to everything)
cpulimit -e dropbox -l 20
Now, while I leave cpulimit running (I could background it), dropbox can only claim 20% of my machine's CPU's.
Hi Nigel! Thanks for letting us know about your fix. We've definitely seen this problem for a few people, so it's really useful to see how you solved it.
Just as some background info, after updating to the latest version, Dropbox will perform a one time process for the latest version of the Dropbox application, which is the heavy usage you saw. Its duration and resource utilization depend on the number of files that you have synced to your device.
This means that if you have a large number of files, you may see heightened resource usage from the application, even after normal file sync is completed. The process is designed to give priority to your normal Dropbox sync functionality, so the duration of this process might be extended during periods of heavy Dropbox usage. After this, the CPU usage should be back to normal.
Several hours of high CPU usage while indexing metadata seems kind of a waste of time. Suggestion: get rid of this feature. I'm sticking with 2.52 as long as possible so that I don't have to worry about deal with all this.