Flash vs HTML5 Video on 2011 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by grahamnp, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I'm not sure if this is the right place since it's not exactly hardware related but here goes.

    I get 10-20% CPU utilisation watching flash videos on the 2720qm. On my older MBP, I got 50-70%, older processor and I all but I thought that was still abysmal. I was just as unimpressed with Flash as Apple wanted me to be.

    Today, I was watching the new iphone 4s ad and look at the CPU usage on Youtube vs Chrome + quicktime plugin. I tried Safari but it wouldn't even play the video, "missing plugin" apparently. No option to search for a plugin.

    If you're not interesting in clicking the attachment (fair enough), Apple's website gets 40-50% and Youtube gets <20%. I was watching the 720p version from Apple's official channel.

    I'm not trying to fuel any Adobe vs Apple debate here, I honestly don't care. I just found this difference interesting.

    Attached Files:

  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    That was I think never really the reason why Apple doesn't like Flash.
    That is just what they told their dumb followers.

    When this whole debate about Flash kills battery life started there wasn't much HTML5 around. And if you program a game in HTML5 that used to run in Flash you can expect that to perform worse at least until HTML5 drawings in the Browser you are running is as much optimized as Flash.
    Video should be easier but as in theory the browser could more directly access the system video API. Maybe OSX doesn't have a proper one. I will try the same thing in Windows and with the same video as it really is need. 720p can still mean one is a bigger file than the other.

    What they don't like about Flash is that it is from one Company and that they cannot change certain things about it. The problem with HTML5 is every Browser needs to implement it somehow and needs to use different hardware accelerations on different OS (if it should run fast). Basically we will end up with 5 slightly different implementations in 4 different OS and we have to hope that works out well. HTML5 is a really strict standard so it should look the same everywhere und less it is buggy somewhere but the performance will be all over the board for a while. Flash only needed one implementation per OS. Could use all kinds of APIs but you (Apple) could not just block certain things if you feel like it. You rely on Adobe to make a power optimized version where you might block some stuff or take short cuts at some points. Or if you want to implement some other restrictions for DRM or whatever you need Adobe. With HTML5 Apple can just go ahead change a few things at the HTML5 implementation, break with some standards but do what ever they like to do.

    Adobe has a big head start but in a couple years HTML5 implementations should get much better. On the other hand Adobe didn't really have much competition or need to make it perform as best as it can. One might ask why did it take so long to get hardware acceleration. If there were different Flash implementations competing it would probably be a much better product.

    Basically if something with Flash sucks it sucks and you cannot do anything about it. Like you cannot let it stay in full screen while working on a second monitor. This finally works in Windows but on OSX it still doesn't. Seems like a r yall simple fix.
    That is probably why Jobs called it a bag of hurt. Not so much the speed thing.
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I wanted to try it in Windows but that failed because I don't want to restart and trying a VM just doesn't work.

    I tried instead Chrome on OSX with the Battlefield 3 launch trailer in 720p on youtube.

    2010 MBP 15" 2.4Ghz
    Flash: 30%/30%/12% for the concerned processes
    HTML5: 60%/40%/10% for the concerned processes.

    Prooves at least on OSX that it is not due to different bitrate videos in your test.
    Full screen mode in the HTML5 Player is different and you can play the video in different speeds. I am guessing Chrome is still missing some acceleration here.

    Before somebody asks. youtube in HTML5 mode.
    open youtube.com/html5 and enter the trial (link at the bottom). If you are logged in it stays in HTML5 until you exit the trial again.
  4. Quinoky macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2011
    Groningen, Netherlands
    I get pretty much the opposite results. Watch a YouTube HD video in Flash, then go to youtube.com/html5, activate it and watch the same video in HTML5. I've always noticed much less CPU resources being utilized with the latter.
  5. grahamnp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I get what you're saying, I never really found out what Apple's "official" reason is but I know the fan always tout CPU usage and poor performance as a reason to side with Apple. I'm not saying either party is wrong but this example contradicts what they're saying and is also the opposite of what I used to experience. Just put it up cos I thought it was interesting.
  6. TheJing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2011
    Somewhere in Europe
    You can't use ANYTHING in fullscreen and use a second monitor in 10.7.


    I agree. I always watch in HTML5 now and my battery life is longer and my computer stays at 50-60C instead of 80C.
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Possibly because you use the Sandy Bridge GPU. Maybe they got a decent implementation for the Intel GPU but non or a poor one for Nvidia & AMD (at least on OSX).
    @grahamnp what GPU are you running on. Is it a 15" and can you try to bench with the Intel GPU.

    I think it is important to point it out. Because only if people care about it something will happen. In all those Browser reviews out in the wild they mostly still test stuff that is just about as irrelevant as it gets. They should test stuff like CPU usage in certain workloads, battery life impact ... and usability.
    If nobody ever notices what reason do they have to implement proper acceleration for HTML5 video accross many platforms.

    What is really missing still I think is some simple OpenGL video API. Afaik there is only die Windows DXVA or how it is called and I don't even know if there is something similar in OSX.
  8. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    HTML5 uses less processing power, causes less heat and is arguably more secure.

    I use Flash Frozen and keep it killed 99% of the time. If something pops up that needs it and I want to use it, I'll "unkill" it and let it run.

    It's great because it kills tons of garbage ads while conserving resources and battery.
  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    And god exists because I say so.
    Seriously if you don't have anything meaningful to add to the discussion keep it to yourself.
    If the flashing adds were programmed in HTML5 and you turn them off, you'd also be better off battery performance wise. Understand what you are saying and back it up with some information we might be missing.
  10. grahamnp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008

    Yes, it is a 15" and the original test was with the HD 3000. I just tried again with the 6750 active and the results are more or less the same.

    I haven't tried HTML5 on youtube for a while because I didn't like the way it handled scrubbing but I just tried it and CPU usage is approximately equal to if I had used flash. I also noticed that the quicktime plugin does not kick in so I think it must be something specific to the video on Apple.com

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