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Thread: Flash in OSX

  1. #1


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    Flash in OSX
    Has anyone else noticed that flash videos seem to use a truly excessive amount of CPU resources for playback?

    I just encountered this earlier today while trying to diagnose why my MBP, when sitting essentially idle, has such high CPU usage (relative to what I'm used to in Windows XP).

    I found that if a website has flash running on it, the CPU utilization is higher. That's not that big of a deal-I'd expect it. What I wasn't expecting is that playing the Beatles "Come Together" flash video on the Mac, full screen (or full height, at least; the aspect ratio is wrong for full screen playback) brings CPU usage up to 45-60% during playback, in Firefox, Camino and Safari, AND WindowServer also jumps up to around 30%

    I played the same video (located here: http://data.chicks-dig-unix.net/cometogether.swf ) on one of my PCs, and the CPU utilization in a maximized (1600x1200 to 1920x1200 on the MBP; but again, the video's aspect ratio is wrong for the widescreen so the actual size of the video should've been about the same) Firefox window never exceeded 20%.

    The two systems are fairly comparable from a CPU standpoint... the MBP has a 2.4GHz C2D on an 800MHz fsb, the desktop has a 2.4GHz C2D on a 1066MHz bus... the MBP has a newer chipset (the desktop runs the conroe on an i865-based board that I had to have shipped from Australia)... Is this just normal behavior for OSX or what?
    MCCCXXXVII
    Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
    MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
    G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA

  2. #2

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    30% on a 2.1Ghz iMac G5 using Safari. 1GB Ram. I do not use Firefox on OSX, just under Windows.

  3. #3


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    That's very interesting... the iMac is probably playing it at a lower resolution (given that the lcd won't do UXGA/WUXGA), and resolution seems to have a dramatic impact on CPU usage in flash playback on both OSes, but even so... that just strikes me as weird. I mean, the PPC970 is, iirc, basically comparable to the s939 Athlon 64, clock-for-clock... perhaps a bit faster. To have it loaded to 30% just to play a flash video seems odd to me. *shrug*
    MCCCXXXVII
    Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
    MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
    G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    1680x1050.

    Trying on am AMD 64 3200 Plus Laptop. Will get back to you.

  5. #5


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    Well, just for the heck of it I set the MBP for 1680x1050, loaded up Safari and opened the flash... right around 20%. I guess that would indicate that there's nothing out of the ordinary... it'd be nice to know what the deal is, though. *shrug*

    //edit: just installed the flash player from adobe on the MBP. No positive change... in fact, it got *higher* o.O
    MCCCXXXVII
    Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
    MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
    G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA

  6. #6

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Safari for Windows got between 38-42 % CPU. It moved around through the video.

    Firefox 2.0 latest version got between 42-48%.

    IE7 here did the best at between 36-40% CPU.

    This is an AMD 64 3200 Laptop (Turion 64) with 1GB RAM and ATI 200 Video. Windows XP Home.

    EDIT: I just tried it on my Core Duo Mini 1.66Ghz. Safari was a fairly constant 15 with a peak to maybe 17 a couple of times. Firefox was 30-45. Moved all over the place.

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