11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2010 10:46 AM by Thomas Brierley
rocklebee Level 1 (10 points)
Let me start this post by saying yes I know Flash has serious issues on a Mac. I am fully aware of both the technical and political side of the Adobe Flash vs. Apple saga.

That being said, I have had terrible Flash video performance since i upgraded to SL shortly after it came out. Much worse that using it in Leopard. I have 15" Macbook Pro (2,2) and had decent performance under Leopard. Now when i play flash video from the internet (from multiple browsers, from dedicated apps like Hulu Desktop) the video plays ok for a few minutes then just starts to choke the **** out, then returns at a ridiculously low frame rate, like 2fps. The processor gets hogged usually by a WebKit process, but sometimes it's just Safari or even a QT process.

I've also noticed decreased performance in some other pro video apps like FCP. I used to be able to capture HDV fine through Firewire, now it chokes so bad it's rendered my camera useless as a capture machine. But this is less noticeable than with Flash on the internet.

Anybody know what could be causing this? the rest of my system is healthy, by all TechTool/Disk Utility/ Disk Warrior standards, except my battery isn't healthy and needs replacing. However my lappie is plugged in 95% of the time.

any suggestions welcome.


MacBook Pr0 2.33 intel, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • baltwo Level 9 (62,215 points)
    I haven't a clue, but maybe a lack of RAM. I see no issues w/Safari 5.0.2, Flash Player, and 12 GB RAM on my 27" iMac.
  • CMCSK Level 6 (10,717 points)
    No issues either with FlashPlayer on any browser using a Macbook Pro with 4GB of ram.
  • etresoft Level 7 (27,838 points)
    How much free disk space do you have? How old is the hard disk. In relative terms, a year for a hard disk equals about 20 years for a human.
  • rocklebee Level 1 (10 points)
    I have 4GB RAM (though my model can only use 3GB). and there's plenty of disk space. I swapped out the factory one for a 500GB HDD about 18 months ago. It was new then.
  • etresoft Level 7 (27,838 points)
    There could be some low-level software you have installed that is interfering. You aren't doing anything like running VMWare or Parallels at the same time are you? There isn't anything about 10.6 that is going to make Flash slower. You can try creating a new account and see if it behaves the same way there. If so, you may need to reinstall the OS and applications to clean out any 3rd party software that perhaps wasn't uninstalled properly or is otherwise causing trouble.
  • Murat Lahur Level 3 (690 points)
    maybe you've missed the graphics update ??
  • rocklebee Level 1 (10 points)
    Hmm, well i do use Virtual Box from Oracle, but i never leave it running. I'll try using another account first. i could use a clean install i'm sure, but it's just having the time to do it.
  • etresoft Level 7 (27,838 points)
    rocklebee wrote:
    Hmm, well i do use Virtual Box from Oracle, but i never leave it running. I'll try using another account first. i could use a clean install i'm sure, but it's just having the time to do it.

    I don't use VirtualBox, but both Parallels and VMWare always have their own background processes running. I see no reason why VirtualBox would be any different. One of the early versions of VMWare would take 100% of your CPU even when it wasn't running.

    Run Activity Monitor and make sure it is set to show All processes, because the VirtualBox processes will not be yours. It if is just Safari taking up all the CPU, then it could be a problem with the Flash sites you are going to and/or your version of Flash. My wife watches TV over the internet with Flash and she usually has to reboot the machine afterwards.
  • tylerpoppe Level 1 (0 points)
    Exact same situation. Well except for the FCP. FCP still works like when I first got my MBP. I'm completely lost on this. I had to sign up for HTML beta for Youtube, just so I could make it past 10 minutes of video watching. Hulu - completely useless now. What's really weird for me is now even Silverlight runs terrible.

    The video and audio stutter, the video freezes, or goes to an unwatchable frame rate. I have been this way for the last year trying to find a solution. When I took it into Apple while I still had my warranty, they said the only thing they can think of is to do a clean install.

    *****. I'm screwed if I do a clean install because I didn't save my serials, so I'll lose most of my software or have to buy them again.

    Here's to hoping a different solution will come up...
  • rocklebee Level 1 (10 points)
    Thanks to all who have been responding to this thread. i realized that i wasn't explicit that i had the late 2006 MBP (MacBookPro2,2). I've ferreted out any virtualization software and a few other nefariously buried things. I've since done a clean install. And i'm still getting this kind of performance.

    A friend suggested that while SL is supposed to optimize processor performance that it could affect different processors differently (as in not as well).

    So i found my old Leopard HDD. The one that came with my computer that i replaced a few years ago. I booted it up from FW800. It had 10.5.6 on it and FCP 6.0.5. And a paltry amount of disk space left (which is why i upgraded it)

    and guess what?

    Flash video and HDV capture both ran like a champ.

    My only conclusion is that SL is not leveraging my older hardware the same way it is in new MBP, which is why you i5ers and i7ers arent experiencing the same issues.

    So i have a work around for my HDV capture and Flash video, though it seems a bit much to boot an entire new system just to watch Hulu.

    In the mean time I'm going to rebuild a new Leopard system on an externa 2.5" disk and once i'm satisfied that it's fully operational, i'll consider actually installing it in my MPB vs. just booting it from FW.

    Stinks that upgrading my computer made it worse. Oh well, glad to have gotten close to the bottom of this.

    ANyone have any suggestions for possible recourse with Apple? Not really expecting any, just thought i'd throw it out there. Email Steve Jobs?
  • Thomas Brierley Level 3 (535 points)
    This isn't the first time this has happened... i remember when i upgraded my old 12" PowerBook from point revision to the next... they made some changes to the quicktime codecs and suddenly from being able to play 720p h.264 at full frame rate it went to 1 fps...

    I don't know if they just intentionally try to brick peoples older hardware or just don't test on anything but their latest and greatest.