Firefox freezes, Beachbaal & 100%+CPU :o(

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by davekro, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. davekro, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    davekro macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #1
    I often have 20 or more tabs on three or more windows in Firefox. But with i7, 16Gb of Ram and a 512GB SSD, I don't understand why Firefox has started beach balling w/ Activ. Monitor showing well over 100% CPU for Firefox often. Rebooting FF and the Mini and freezing is still back soon. I did the Firefox Refresh and that did not help. I read a bit about creating a RAM disk, but not sure if that would help (or if my purchased used mini already has that set up)?

    - First shot is Activ. Mon.- Memory
    - Second is a shot of my cache memory normally running FF.
    - Third shot is my cache memory running FF in Safe Mode. ( In FF Safe Mode I think I have not frozen yet, but I do have somewhat less tabs open.)
    ( I don't know what most of the info means)

    As I was looking at the 'about:config' change options, I only changed the 'browser.sessionhistory.max_entries' from 50 to 30.

    'browser.cache.disk.enable' is (and was) set on default /True
    'browser.cache.memory.enable' is (and was) set on default /True

    I love the idea of using a dedicated RAM Disk if it will help this issue, especially if the contents would auto save to the OS's SSD at system shutdown.

    I don't want to blindly make changes I do not understand. Any insights or pointers would be greatly appreciated. :)
     

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  2. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #2
    Well, heck, I can hit 100% CPU with just a couple of tabs open, if I choose the right websites. Go to any advertising-heavy site (for example, many journalism sites fit the bill here), and the enormous amount of audio, video, and interactive blobs trying to catch your eyeballs will consume every bit of CPU your machine can give them. :)

    RAM & SSD won't make a bit of difference in this situation. But if you watch Activity Monitor as you add tabs, you can pretty easily tell which sites are eating CPU and which ones aren't.

    You could try a different browser (Safari or Chrome or such), as some browsers will work better or worse with different web-coding styles. But ultimately there's little you can do if the page you're viewing is overly ambitious about loading your machine down.

    We've left the days of "RAM disks" behind long ago. :) All modern operating systems will automatically use all available RAM as a cache for whatever long-term storage devices you are using. This helps when loading frequently-used applications or managing databases that have subsets that are frequently accessed, but unfortunately won't help at all if your CPU is pegged.
     
  3. grcar Suspended

    grcar

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #3
    Wow, that is a lot of tabs.

    I routinely turn off the flash player. Anything you want to run, you can right click and choose to run the plugin.

    More severe is to turn off javascript. Amazing how much of a web page depends on javascript garbage.

    Search for "turn off flash on firefox" etc for instructions.
     
  4. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #4
    Nah, I routinely get that many myself. :) Sometimes, depending on what I'm trying to look up, I'll end up with a lot more tabs than that. I just avoid the heavy websites when I'm doing that sort of work...
     
  5. grcar Suspended

    grcar

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #5
    Still wow. And agreed.
     
  6. davekro, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    davekro thread starter macrumors regular

    davekro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    No. Calif.
    #6
    JP,
    Thanks for the info. Glad I asked instead of trying to reconfig a RAM Disk! Obviously my tech savy is, well... NOT! ;)
    How about cleaning out the cache? Is that unrelated (like memory )? I did not do that because IIRC, that makes me have to renter passwords that either in my keychain (I try to limit that!) or populated from LastPass.
    Again, Thanks
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    Thanks grcar,
    I am clueless about what plug ins are or do, but I'll follow your idea and Google turning off Flashplayer.

    Would turning off Javascript really negatively affect the browsing experience. Again, I'm not real clear on what Javascript does. My weak understanding of flash, is that it controls things that jump or move (or maybe pop up?).

    EDIT: I turned Shockwavve Plugin to 'Ask to activate'. Do you know if all my current open tabs will have their Flash disabled, or only on tabs opened AFTER the change was made.
    Big thanks for this tip! ! I have hope now. :) (I'll leave Javascript enabled for now)
     
  7. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #7
    If we're talking the browser's cache, I prefer to keep that thing as large and as full as possible. :) What your browser does with a cache is to store the content from a website on your local machine. So, for example, stuff like that MacRumors image with the apple & question mark at the top left of this particular web page.

    All the graphics on this page will have their own timestamps (or other unique identifier); so, when you return to this page in the future, before your browser tries to download the image again, it will check the timestamp for the MacRumors image stored in the cache against the timestamp of the current image on the MacRumors site. If they match, your browser will just go ahead and use the local copy instead. This saves time and network resources.

    But yeah, the cache should be unrelated to heavy CPU usage.

    This depends 100% on the website itself. :) Javascript is just one among a whole host of utilities available for web-coders to do their work. It provides a lot of features for complex interactivity with the user, features that pure HTML may not provide. (Flash is another such programming language.)

    By turning support for Javascript off, you're basically disabling any code written by the author of the web page that depends on Javascript. Normally when this happens, you'll just see blank areas on the page (or the entire page will be left blank). Most browsers will put a little note in the blank spot telling you that you'll need to enable Javascript again to see that section of the page.

    On some sites, only the advertisements are using things like Javascript or Flash. So you can get away with both reducing your CPU usage (because the ads are not running) as well as making the page easier to read. :)

    I'm pretty sure that disabling Flash should disable it on all browser windows and tabs; I don't recall being able to control which tabs have it and which don't... I guess I should look it up. :)
     

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