Flash Player A Hog? Not Necessarily

Lately, some (okay, someone) have accused Flash of being a resource hog. And lots of others have jumped on the bandwagon, without actually having performed any real tests or gathered any real data. But Jan Ozer has been doing just that, and has posted all of the details online. Streaming Media has posted their summary as well.

3 responses to “Flash Player A Hog? Not Necessarily”

  1. Michael Long Avatar
    Michael Long

    Ozer posted results for video. My MBP typically idles at 5%-7% CPU utilization with various apps and browser windows open.
    This is with ClickToFlash enabled. Disabled CTF and allow the various and many Flash ads to run in most of the browser windows, and this jumps to 12% to 14% and occasionally peaks at 22% or so.
    That’s a 100% to a possible 200% jump in idle CPU utilization, and usually translates into a 45 minute reduction in battery life on average. And that’s on a 17" MBP’s rather large battery.
    And gaining access to H.264 in hardware isn’t going to help those numbers, as your average everyday Flash advertisement isn’t H.264 video.
    Not to mention the impact of downloading rather large media files over a 3G (or worse, an EDGE) connection.
    I’m sure there’s a place for Flash… somewhere. Just not on my phone. Or pad.

  2. Eric Knipp Avatar
    Eric Knipp

    We all knew that the "Flash is bad technology" argument from Apple was nonsense. Just like the claim that they will fully support HTML5 if it allows apps on the level of Flex or Silverlight (obviating native apps to a degree) is nonsense. The iPhone is a cash cow because of the app store and Apple would be foolish to give that up before the market forces it to. The best medicine for the iPhone’s Flash allergy is strong competition from open platforms. Incidentally I authored a Gartner First Take to that point some time ago (after you guys showed off the nifty, yet hackish Flash cross-compiler for iPhone). A quote:
    "…Apple probably won’t open the iPhone
    platform to Flash and risk challenging the App Store with free Web-based Flash applications."
    So, good luck with all that. No amount of evidence that Flash doesn’t suck will change Apple’s business model.

  3. John Dowdell Avatar
    John Dowdell

    Michael, that’s right, if you’re running multiple browser tabs and each has multiple SWFs, then each will try to execute at whatever framerate the designer set. Your CPU will work more.
    Fortunately, Player 10.1 will choke background processes. This is a little tricky, because it affects existing content… non-visible SWFs will generally get two frames per second, with exemptions for audio and video streaming. Tinic Uro has source info:
    (Same workload argument will hold against "HTML5" processing.)

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