Why does Flash on Mac OS X suck so much?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by TSE, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. TSE
    macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I have a MacBook Pro with Mac OS X Leopard and Windows Vista Home Premium over Boot Camp. Today I had some of my little cousins come over, and they wanted to play some flash games on the internet like cartoonnetwork, addicting games, etc.

    When they started playing, all the games were noticeably slow. I kinda scratched my head and did the basics. I checked my hard drive space I have left, 40.8 GBs. I checked if both my RAM sticks were okay, yes they were. I did software update, nothing new. I finally restarted Mac OS X. Same thing. By this time, my cousins now gave up and started watching Spongebob.

    So, I finally kinda give up and restart my $2,000 MacBook Pro into Windows Vista. I go on the same websites, and behold, the flash games work like a charm with no slow downs or anything.

    After they leave, I look around the internet and notice that a lot of people say the same thing, Flash in Mac OS X sucks. So here is a question for you guys:

    How the hell is Apple trying to add flash support on their iPod Touches and iPhones when they cannot even get Flash to work halfway decent over Mac OS X on full sized computers?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2006
  3. macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    TSE, have you updated to the latest version of Flash? Going from v9 to v10 did wonders on my end. Flash used to cook my CPU, for example, and since the v10 updates performance has been excellent.
  4. macrumors demi-god


    Aug 11, 2003
    Flash isn't an Apple product.
    It's not Apple's fault that Adoble can't program.
  5. macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    unfortunately some websites don't work with flash 10 on the mac so i had to downgrade to v9 again.

    the OP isn't blaming apple, he wants to know WHY flash sucks on macs. I wonder myself because with 10% marketshare of macs adobe should make flash efficient and compatible. i don't know who hates macs over at adobe and doesn't assign good people to this project.
  6. Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    It sort of looks that way to me. He's asking why Apple cannot get flash to work decently in OS X, which implies that Apple has something to do with flash programming.

    Flash 10 is definitely a step in the right direction. I see much better performance on all my macs.
  7. macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Well, it is definitely a very good question seeing as Adobe started with Apple in the first place and it was Apple that brought Adobe to life from the start.
  8. macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2008
    If the folks at apple dont pressure adobe to get their act together I'll be booting exclusively to windows7 on my new intel mac. Flash is a big part of the internet weather Apple likes it or not and Apple and adobe should consider this a pretty big problem. 10 is an improvement, but its not nearly enough.

    I'm sure OP's young cousins went away thinking " man osx sucks. I cant even play flash games on it." score one, for Balmer :(
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    My nearly-new iMac (2.8GHz C2D "Extreme") would have exceeded supercomputer specs just a few years ago; it is still pretty darn close to state-of-the-art. It can play-back HD video and render 3D animations at amazing framerates without even a hiccup. It is an incredibly fast machine. Why, then, does displaying a few tiny four-colour Flash ads on my local newspaper's website bring it to its knees? Using up to 38% of my CPU? And yes, this is with the most recent Flash release.

    If anyone reading this works for Adobe, you should be ashamed of yourself, your co-workers, and especially your employer. If this is the best Adobe can do, it's pitiful. :apple:
  10. macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Flash seem to run fine on my PowerMac dual G5 2.7 but perhaps I am not pushing it as hard as you. BTW, I'm still using the same old 6800 GT graphics card. I tend to lean towards more than ample RAM.

    Have you checked all your processes that are running and looked for anything out of the ordinary?
  12. macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Because Adobe have been sucking a lot on the Mac for the past few years.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    Both Apple AND Adobe should be contacted, so they can reach something good...
  14. macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2008
    Its not all about a playback smoothness issue, its about the fact that it consumes so many cpu cycles and causing the processor to cook and fans to rev up. It is ridiculous that I cannot multitask if I have a flash movie running in osx on a dual core but a 1.8ghz single core mobile processor XP laptop would have no problem with this.
    Maybe snow leopard will address this and maybe it wont but if Apple wants to stay in the internet game ,it better be in the top 20 priority list of things to fix
  15. macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    Let's not over exaggerate the significance of the issue.

    The problems with Flash are most assuredly Adobe's. You can be sure that Apple has and is pressuring Adobe to work on Flash for both the Mac and iPhone lines.

  16. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2008
    Another problem I have with Adobe is that sometimes flash videos does not load at all, I just see that little loading icon over and over...:mad:

    Damn Adobe! :(
  17. macrumors G4

    Jul 17, 2002
    You need to learn some history.
  18. macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2008
    I understand its Adobes fault that Microsoft pays them to make flash sh*tty on anything that isn't a Microsoft OS, but do you really think it is trivial?
    If you look at what most users do with their computers they use it for internet and a lot of people go to Youtube=flash, Hulu=flash, Myspace=Flash (for music), free porn sites=using Flash a lot more these days:D, free online games=Flash, you get the idea. So no, I don't think I am exaggerating the significance of Flash performance.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Dec 13, 2007
    This is possibly the only thing I hate about OS X... I wish my macbook wouldn't sound like it's gonna take off just because of youtube or a flash game.
  20. macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    Yes. It is. Flash is useful for YouTube, etc, sure, but that's a comparatively small use case. The vast majority of media that people view/listen to is not accessed through a Flash player.
  21. macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2009
    Haha, i assume you're not in the UK then where BBC Iplayer accounts for something ridiculous like 5% of all internet traffic in the UK. That is not a small use, even taking into account average mac market share. Unfortunately I don't have the figures for mac use on iplayer....
  22. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    I wrote this in another thread as well, but i believe Apple now has the leverage to FORCE adobe to fix their garbage software. Adobe wants in on the iPhone, but Apple won't let them in with a player that was written so poorly. They will get them to write a new player from scratch that is the basis for both the iPhone as well as OS X playback.
  23. macrumors 601


    Aug 29, 2006
    Though Apple also wouldn't be too grieved if Flash shrivelled up and headed to the deadpool potentially.
  24. macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    Actually I do spend a good bit of each year in the UK.

    And yes, iPlayer does account for a large amount of UK traffic. Still, there are some key points to take into consideration:

    1) The UK is a comparatively small part of the online world.

    2) Not all iPlayer traffic is streaming. A very large portion of the bandwidth usage comes from users downloading (DRM'd) content via the Kontiki P2P network. Since this uses user's bandwidth to distribute the files even after the download has completed, it's a very significant portion of "iPlayer-related traffic".

    3) About one third of all iPlayer traffic comes from Virgin Media, who make iPlayer content available to their digital cable subscribers.

    Now to my knowledge there aren't any public figures on the proportion of content streamed via the Flash-based iPlayer client vs. the other delivery methods. My point was merely to point out that there is definitely a very large portion of that 5% that is in no way dependent on Flash.
  25. macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2006
    Woodland Hills
    I wish this helped me. I did this, I went to 10 beta, then 10 released, I went back to 9, then came back to 10 just to try and fix this problem. Nothing.

    I don't understand how flash worked before Leopard, and now that I'm on snow leopard watching Hulu for more then 10 minutes will make my computer come to a stop. I mean everything becomes unresponsive, almost like I put my computer the max and it can't process all the work it has to do.

    Cleaning out my flash cache used to work to at least make it to the end of the show, but that no longer works.

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