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Why does Firefox cause high CPU utilization when watching Flash videos?

asked 2012-03-12 17:15:01 -0500

Donut333 gravatar image

updated 2014-09-28 13:25:12 -0500

mether gravatar image

Hi, I recently switched from Ubuntu to Fedora and encounter a strange problem whenever I use flash. When I have just booted my system and start using flash inside Firefox (e.g. watching youtube videos) everything goes well, Firefox uses ~30% of the cpu according to top. But as I watch more different videos, the response time of my system dramatically increases and I can literally watch the cpu utilisation of firefox and the plugin container it uses rise by 10-15 % per video I watch (that is watching them one after another, not in parallel). If I have watched a certain amount of videos (usually 6 - 10), my system becomes completely unusable, hardly responding to any input.

Thats where the fun starts: If I now kill the processes of firefox and the plugin container, the high CPU utilisation gets "transferred" (I know that's not what's really happening, but I can't describe it any better) to any other program I am running at this moment (e.g. Audacity...), or the Xorg process if no other program is running. Then, after about 5 - 10 minutes, without prior warning, my computer just turns off. Restarting the Xserver doesn't help either. Trying to reproduce the error in Midori, i could watch youtube and other flash player based videos for hours on end without the problem arising.

This is a real big problem for me and I really don't know how to approach it. I would deeply appreciate any help with this topic. If you require further information about my system, please ask!

Here are some random facts about my computer:

Cpu: AMD Athlon X2 DualCore QL-64

Graphics card: Ati Radeon HD 3200

MemTotal: 2836720 kB

Swap: 5057532

$uname -r 3.2.9-2.fc16.i686

From the about:plugins page in Firefox: Shockwave Flash File: Version: Shockwave Flash 11.1 r102

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answered 2012-03-13 02:14:43 -0500

FranciscoD_ gravatar image

This is a combination of lack of support for the ATI graphics cards on Linux and Flash eating CPU. Unfortunately, both the ATI driver and Flash are out of Fedora's control and there isn't a lot we can do here really. :/

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answered 2012-03-14 11:39:35 -0500

Donut333 gravatar image

Well, thanks for the quick reply! I have heard of the "usual problems" with flash and ati drivers under linux, but this still leaves me with 2 questions.

  1. Why didn't these problems occur under Ubuntu with the same setup?
  2. And that's the point that really puzzles me, why doesn't killing the responsible processes reduce the cpu utilisation? Even if there is no solution to my problems, I would still be very interested why this happens, since I really can't think of any explanation.
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Asked: 2012-03-12 17:15:01 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 14 '12