Netflix on Chrome vs Safari

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mischka07, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2009
    Hi all,

    I noticed that when I watch Netflix via Chrome, the fan on my 7/11 MBA starts roaring and the body heats up drastically. However, when I watch Netflix over Safari, the fan remains more or less silent and the heat isn't as intense.

    I realize this may not be a MBA-related issue, but does anyone have an idea as to why there is such a performance difference between the two browsers?

  2. macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    Haven't tried Safari yet, but the last few times I've tried Netflix with Chrome, the fan goes full speed and the video starts lagging with the audio/video out of sync. I've searched around and many others with the MBA are having same issue. Disappointment.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2009
    Try it on Safari, post what happens.

    I have had fan issues since day one of use, I've also had the "slower-to-wake-than-my-2-year-old-ThinkPad" issue. From what I've read, these are both hardware flaws that cannot be corrected hence Apple has not released a fix.

    However, I wanted to know if this is proof that at least the fan issue is software related.
  4. macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    Watching movies on my macbook air practically uses no fan at all for me in 1080p. But, this is locally stored movies on my Mac.

    It may be a software issue due to the fact my fan turns on when I play the occasional Bloons Tower Defense 5 and when I make video calls via MSN. And also, I watch videos on youtube at 1080p and have no issues.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2005
    Netflix uses Microsoft's Silverlight plug-in, so you might have to check if you have the latest silverlight plug-in.

    Latest version is: Silverlight 5 (5.0.61118.0)
  6. macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2011
    I can def agree to this issue. Watching flash materials on chrome kicks in the fan quite frequently, whereas it's dead quiet using safari.

    but anything local, works seamlessly... must be chrome handling flash terribly. from what I remember, ff and safari both manage flash well on the air at least.
  7. macrumors member


    Jan 7, 2012
    Great Lakes
    Exact same issue here. I was actually shocked how quick it warmed up when I was watching The Walking Dead. Now I just use Safari for Netflix and haven't had problems.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Jul 23, 2011
    Google Chrome handles plugins differently. In fact, the whole browser may or may not have hacks and patches put together by the Chrome team to make it faster, but sometimes at the expense of heat and other factors.

    Safari, on the other hand, is specifically engineered by Apple to make sure it doesn't excessively cause your computer to roar and moan. It's to ensure that "up to 5 hours" or "up to 7 hours" of battery life line on their website.

    Generally, it's a rule of thumb that you use Chrome if you want speed, or Safari if you want battery life. Applies to every Mac. (does not necessarily apply to Windows, by the way)
  9. macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    So I tried Chrome, FF, and Safari and watched the same episode on netflix for five minutes. Following results occurred in order and within five minutes.

    Chrome: fan spins up, video lags, audio out of sync
    Safari: fan spins up, video lags, audio out of sync, in, then out again
    FF: fan spins up, video MILDLY lags, audio stayed in sycn

    Firefox was the best experience for viewing netflix on my Air.
    Chrome was unbearable.
    Safari was doable but frustrating.
    Using the latest version (non-beta) of all three browsers. Using a Macbook Air late 2010 model.

    Mike, I don't have the other issue of a serious lag when returning from standby. I've seen a lot of complaints about that on the 2011 model and that is the primary reason I've decided to hold onto my 2010 for now.
  10. macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Your statement about Chrome is very misguided and factually incorrect. If you're going to post "may or may not", why even post at all? That's like me telling you my car might or might not be white. Who does that help?

    Netflix uses Silverlight, the problems have very little (if anything) to do with the development talent on Apple or Google's browser teams.

    Where do you hear this stuff? It seems like some people post for the sake of hitting the submit button rather than contributing anything meaningful.


    It's an issue with the Silverlight plugin. Both are excellent, standard-compliant browsers.
  11. macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've always uses safari and have never had a problem.
  12. macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011

    Just use safari.

    I don't watch netflix on my mac, but I recently had a similar experience with flash - the CPU load and temperature seems to be lower when using Safari.

    You should have a look at activity monitor while playing the video. There should be a silverlight process and a number of processes related to either chrome or safari. Higher CPU % usually means more heat and more fan noise.

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