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installing OS X 10.6.2 and the latest Safari update resulted in a significant improve. Watching the HD video (see link above) I tried before, the CPU load found it's peak in max. 110% and at some points even dropped below 100%. After installing SnowLeopard, prior to the recent updates, the CPU usage peaked at 140% and even above.
Conclusion: whatever Apple improved with the recent updates, it really seemed to help my MBP (late 2007, 2.2 GHz, full 4 GB RAM, running on Airport) to solve this task easier than before.
Thanks to Apple!
Nevertheless, I still cannot deactivate my Airport connection, like I could do before i.o. to improve battery life. And still my MBP does not import pictures from my old digicam, a HP 507, like it did before without any problems. Eventually, iPhoto pops up, but it simply does not import my pictures.
Though, we are not fully done with this matter. At least, SnowLeopard's performance comes close to the prior "old" Leopard - I must admit, I expect it to do better. But I am confident that I did not spent the money in vain. I'll keep my fingers crossed my SL.
Everyone knows that Flash *****, so I would recommend that you download and install ClickToFlash. The developer calls it "your web browsing prophylactic.” ClickToFlash will give you the option to block all Flash content so you only have to click on a Flash item if you want to watch it. It will allow you to play YouTube videos in QuickTime, reduce CPU usage and use less system resources that Flash consumes.
I tend to visit lots of sites with flash content and just downloaded this plugin - thanks so much for recommending it - safari seems snappier even with a boat load of windows open (and reopened from last session).
Maybe I should cancel the i7 that is due to arrive tomorrow - heehee - no way! One of my biggest complaints has always been flash/safari and this just seems to be so much better now. Gonna have to send that guy a few $ to say thanks for writing the plugin.
On my MacBook, the exact same problem occurs: horribly choppy flash playback, CPU usage over 100%. This happens in Safari as well as Firefox. I've installed ClickToFlash for Safari, which is an improvement, but no solution, since the playback is still too slow. Re-installing Flash for Firefox did not change a thing. Neither did zapping PRAM, turning off AirPort or putting the system into and from sleep mode.
Playback for videos in VLC and QuickTime is fine, as long as the videos are DIVX or XVID compressed (or whatever the new codecs are) files . However, if I download a web movie from sites such as YouTube, Veoh and MegaVideo to a file and play it in QuickTime or VLC, the same choppy slowness occurs.
I'm really at a loss here... Could it be that my "old" 2006 MacBook is too slow to properly run Snow Leopard? If that's true, how come this problem occurs on brand new iMacs aswell? And how come the problem didn't rear its ugly head until more than a month after installing 10.6?
Frustratingly (ironically?) enough, my AppleCare plan expired just two weeks ago.
Any more thoughts, please?
Just as an FYI - I got the i7 iMac Thursday and after a 12 hour migration, it is lightening fast and just running like a peach
I've had 5 youtube videos running side by side along with ABC.com's flash video running a TV show and QuickTime running a 1080 .mov file - and tho there was some chop in the youtube videos in safari, the CPU was not pegged and I was very impressed.
so far, this is a dream machine
(ps - I have a total of 8gb RAM and 500gb free on the HD).
@Lucas - Have you tried installing the Flash player that is in Beta? Adobe Labs has released 10.1 here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/ People are reporting significant reductions in CPU usage from the Flash player. I only noticed a 10-20% reduction in usage, but it might be worth a try for you. Remember that this is only in Beta and from what I have read, it's difficult to uninstall and revert to an earlier version. TUAW has an article on how to uninstall it here in case you have problems: http://www.tuaw.com/2009/11/19/how-to-revert-to-the-stable-version-of-flash-play er
I hope something works for you. My MacBook Pro runs well for some reason.
I'm expecting my new iMac 27" with the i5 quad core and what I am reading is indeed interesting. Could it be enough for me to cancel it? I don't know yet. In my life with computers I've encountered this precise effect with video and sound in the past. Maybe it is software, but it may also not be the case.
At the moment I am writing from my MacBook (got it October last year, not the new version). It runs flash videos with sheer perfection. Not the slightest glitch. Now regarding this... sluggish effect that also follows other programs as well, here's what I've encountered so far with various situations:
Modern video playbacks ALWAYS place top priority on sound buffers and THEN the video ones. So, this glitch is NOT a graphics card issue. If it was, you would see a break in the image but NEVER in the audio. This would also be the case on a 100+% CPU usage. Only in this scenario you would see slower playback speeds and maybe some cuts (of several tenths of a second at least if CPU is overloaded). Still, you would normally see a freeze in image FIRST and THEN a break in the sound.
The "chainsaw" type playback performance has strictly to do with the direct communication protocols between the mainboard and the sound chip. Believe it or not I have encountered in the past the EXACT effect on a PC, using multiple video applications (and games as well). No software, no patch, no driver could ever fix it. The audio chip was embedded on the mainboard as well. The ONLY thing that fixed it was adding a new audio card and selecting it as active. Ever since EVERYTHING ran smoothly.
Some of you may say "PC is a PC, Mac is a Mac". You are right. But also think, many of the components now days are identical, Intel processors, ATI/NVidia graphics cards. All I know for certain is that I have encountered this problem and it has to do with the communication bandwidth between the Audio system and the mainboard. The effects are identical.
On the hopeful side, I'd really like for it to be solved on the software side. The best way to deal with it on that level though would be a BIOS level update. This is a core issue, not an OS as far as I can tell.
I hope I could help...
I am using Windows XP and have this problem as well. The problem started when I upgraded to Flash 10. Processor utilization creeps up to 100% and cripples everything until I close the web browser. This happens with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. If this is happening to Mac users too then it sounds like Flash problem, and Adobe needs to fix it. Forums all over the Internet are listing Flash related CPU hogging, ranging between Mac, PC, and Linux platforms. Problems seem to have started with the release of Flash 10. Either Adobe needs to fix it (and they have waited too long now IMO), or developers need to switch to some other platform besides Flash.
Sorry to hear you are using Windows...
Sorry, getting serious again. I downloaded and installed this "Click to Flash" thingy. Thank you very much for the suggestion! I really love it. Works great, without any need to preset it or something. And it, again, showed me HOW much CPU-consuming MySpace pages are. With this little program, you can choose to load flashes or just avoid all these commercials, popping up out of nowhere without you asking for it.
I honestly recommend any Mac user to try it.
I'm glad the ClickToFlash plugin is working for everyone! I came across it by reading the TUAW blog and they have the same despise for Flash so many others have. Adobe also released a prerelease version of their FlashPlayer currently in beta. It's supposed to reduce CPU usage by quite a bit although I have not really noticed any difference. Here is a link to the prerelease. Be warned that it is in beta so it may crash your browser. http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/
I can reproduce the flash problems pretty easily under Safari. Just open several tabs in Safari that include a flash image -- Google Finance stock charts seem to be excellent for this purpose. Quit Safari, then re-launch it and tell it to re-open all windows from the last session.
Whenever I get multiple flash sessions reloading concurrently, I see the webkit plugin zoom up to close to 800% of cpu (I'm thinking here that all 4 cores and their hyperthreads are dragged into this), and life in Safari grinds to a halt.
I can nuke the webkit plugin process via Activity Monitor, reload the tabs one at a time, and all is well.
In some initial testing to see if I could reproduce this with a non-WebKit browser (Firefox 3.5.5), it seemed to work fine -- until I tried to save the tabs and quit, at which point Firefox locked up. But I could refresh tabs concurrently with no problem under Firefox (and the Flash content loaded significantly quicker as well).
My thinking is that Flash is a POS, but it could be a webkit bug. Nothing new there. I have yet to find another piece of software that has trouble running on the i7, which is an incredibly fast machine.
This board seems to have dropped off. I am extremely tired of this Flash nonsense and need a cure! I have Click to Flash going which helps it subside but not a solution. I thought that the recent (1/22/10) software update was going to fix it since it mentioned a Flash security patch but still nothing. Running Snow Leopard and see high CPU EVERY TIME I play something with Flash. Have people just given up on this thread or have they seen fixes?
I know Flash is a serious memory hog but I don't have the same type of issues like this with my Windows machine.
Please send suggestions.