Total messages sent very high, 'in process' number goes down and up

long time user, first use after update to version 3.3.1 - condensing many hours of observation here

problem: what is normally a seamless 10-hour task has become an ordeal dragging on for days…

phplist is maxing out server cpu usage, which it never did before

active campaign sending the queue, list size 3600, ran normally for several hours… after which server froze account because bots had pegged cpu usage and mailing sent it over limit - queue resumed a few hours later after interruption was discovered and remedied

‘sent’ count then over 15000, seldom incrementing over numerous subsequent cycles

‘in process’ count going down and up again, slowly trending downward, empty numerous times only to rise again at the next processqueue cron job cycle (30 minutes)

have read these threads, noting similarities and differences:
appears to be sending to a huge list’ PhpList *appears* to be sending to a huge list instead of the selected lists? and
’stopped sending mail and keeps cycling through selected lists’ PhpList stopped sending email and keeps cycling through selected lists again and again (never-ending?) during sending of a campaign

siteground shared server, all server limits strictly observed (with some added headroom), processqueue cron job active, receiving email at every execution

stopped campaign overnight, next day showing higher total (knocking on 17000), resumed sending, following day total sent over 17000

diminishing returns from each cycle… big a load on server, very little progress

days 4: cpu usage down, total incrementing properly (though from an impossibly high number)… 11+1/2 hours to send the final 83 messages - longer than normally needed for the entire list of 3600

See Config.php Vs config_extended.php files