Great speeds with Flash on PowerPC G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by pubjoe, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. pubjoe, Jan 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

    pubjoe macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    I have been spending much of the day trying different combinations of OS X 10.4, 10.5, safari (and other browsers) and flash. The reason being that my Son has an imac G4 1.25ghz and I want it to be able to run "club penguin" well. I noticed that after the leopard 10.5.8 update, flash performance was incredibly good, but then after I applied the newer updates (including safari 5) it dropped back to it's usual crawl. I've spent a frustrating day trying everything (including re-installs) to find out what caused the change. Before I upgraded the machine to leopard, I also tried many different combinations of flash player/browser on tiger OS X 10.4.

    Using the homepage as a test, I was very surprised to find that flash on Safari 5 is by far the fastest. The difference is night and day against any other flash version that I've tried between 8.0 and the latest 10.1.

    The difference really is dramatic. Give it a try if you are having problems with flash and if you do, please post with your findings, as I'd like to know if sites other than club penguin are also improved.

    For the record, I tested this with a 17" iMac G4 - 1.25ghz - 1.5GB ram.

    So, here's some links to make things easier...

    - update safari to latest version using software update.
    - uninstall flash
    - download archived flash 10.0 and install flashplayer10r22_87_ub_mac.pkg
  2. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    I do remember getting great results with a BETA of Flash 10.0 at some point. I will try your method and see what gives.
  3. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    Please let me know what you find. I haven't tested every version and combination, buy I've tested A LOT.


    I've also found a dramatic speed boost for online flash games by downloading the .swf and inserting it into a standalone flashplayer (to be launched from finder).

    This, combined with v10.0.22.87, makes a massive difference. It basically makes previously unplayable games playable. Now my Son can play his favourite bubblebox games on his imac g4.

    I think I might start a new "How to play flash games on powerPC" thread with a roundup of all the tricks that people can find to make them work at the best possible speed.
  4. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    Hello there,

    I did install the Flash player version you mentioned and indeed got quite good results in line with what you wrote. I did that on an iBook G4, the very first iteration with a 800 MHz processor.

    The results for Flash games are good - indeed that version makes them playable.


    I have to say the results for Flash video are better with the latest Flash player version 10.1 (the last one ever to be supported for PPC sadly). The youtube videos in 240p played more smoothly than on 10.0.

    So I'd say if you'd focus on videos get the newest Flash version, if your focus lies on Flash games however, your solution, pubjoe, is spot on indeed!
  5. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007

    That's interesting. Not long ago I found flash 8 resulted in very smooth youtube videos on a 700mhz G4 mac. But it breaks just about every other flash site. I will try the latest version as you recommend.

    If you want good video performance but there are also a few flash games/apps that you really want, I suppose a good workaround would be to install flash 10.1 to your browser extensions and downoad the flash swf games to be imbedded into a v10.0.22.87 standalone player.
  6. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    This is a very interesting find you got here!

    I'm certainly going to try this out on the iBook when I get home. The family, excluding myself, primarily watches videos on it, so I may leave it alone - but depending on the game gain, I may just make the switch.

    Someone has to find these things out on their own - it's people like you that bother to take the time and help out. Thanks, and excellent job. :)
  7. skinniezinho macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2009
    Thanks for testing,as soon I have my powermac running I will do the tests too..
    Have you tried Tenfourfox?I've heard it plays nice with flash too...
  8. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    Thank you both. I hope you find it helpful.

    I think if flash video is more important to you but there are still a few games/apps you want to play, downloading the swf file and putting it in a standalone flash player is definitely the way to go. Running as standalone made an even greater speed improvement than changing the flash version did. I'll put up a full guide for this soon.

    Skinniezinho, I have not tried tenfourfox. Thank - I'll give it a try.
  9. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    I've also found that Flash 7 is extremely fast on G4's, but unfortunately most sites don't support it anymore. Such is PPC life...
  10. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    it means latest flash is a bloated, cpu and memory hungry POS.
  11. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    I second that. Tenfourfox is hella tight. :cool:
  12. Tamedo macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2011
    I salute you pubjoe, flash video is now working noticeably better in safari on my g4 powerbook 1.5 GHz 1GB RAM, for me better than, camino, tenfour and opera.

    The ultimate test for me was, its far better than any other browsers, not 100% but its certainly usable.

    You sir have made my day, i signed up just to send this reply!

    Kind regards

  13. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    Thanks a lot Tony. That's interesting that you are also finding the best results with Safari.

    Just thinking aloud here...

    Perhaps mabaker having worse results for video is due to him being unable to run Safari 5? Seing as (unless he has 'forced' an OS X 10.5 install) his 800mhz G4 only allows for OS X 10.4 to be installed, and therefore only allows upto Safari 4.

    Tenfour is optimised for 10.4 afterall and, having recently tried many versions, I have a feeling that Safari updates are quite beneficial for speed - even on powerPC macs.
  14. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
  15. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    I got 11fps using flash 10.1... PMG4 on my sig.
  16. MacHamster68, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    so i made a experiment as i never heard about club penguin , so its a nice childs game :) despite being a bit older , on my iMac g3 700mhz 768mb ram 16mb vram running osx tiger and tenfourfox installed flashplayer version 10,1,102,64

    and the result is : a tiny lag was expected when loading additional things due the fact the iMac G3 is not really a modern i7 gaming rig with a 2 terabyte sli graphics card setup
    ,but i play all facebook games too without real problems so far and no surprise club penguin was well playable without real lags too, movements of penguins are fluid , added chat takes a bit to load , doesnt need minutes only a couple sec so not a problem once loaded works fine

    so install tiger and tenfourfox and flash 10,1,102,64 and your kids will be happy too

    tenfourfox is great on all PPC Mac's a must have recommendation as it shows PPC and flash can work with the right browser ,these guys are greater then anybody at apple's safari development department , at least they deserve a nobel prize for rescue PPC mac's

    TenFourFox requires a G3 Power Macintosh, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or Mac OS X v10.5.8, 100MB of free disk space and 256MB of RAM. For video playback, we strongly recommend a 1.25GHz G4 or higher. Intel Macintoshes are not supported (and may be subjected to a lot of mockery).

    btw with this browser i can watch youtube @240p in the window on my iMac g3 (the one above) making it a computer again that can do everything a modern intel iMac can and it certainly looks better too , so its not the hardware that holds PPC back its Apple inc.and other ignorant folk who are showing us the middle digit since 2006
  17. pubjoe, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011

    pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    Okay, I've just had a bit of a Clive-ax. :eek:

    Thanks for that website mabaker (although I feel slightly brainwashed by the flashing images). I have carried out a few tests, and there are a few things worth mentioning about them...

    I noticed that giving an FPS value on it's own would not mean very much. Window size has a great effect on frame-rate due to the rendering area. Even things like the menu and tabs bar made a noticeable difference to the results. For fairness, and because people rarely view Flash at full screen, before I ran the below tests I Maximised the window at two different resolutions - The only reason being to easily adjust a smaller window size with consistence. I noticed that TenFourFox had the largest top menu and therefore the smallest page rendering area. So I carefully resized the other browsers vertically to make the viewable page the exact same pixel height as it is in TenFourFox. All browsers had an identical horizontal page width.

    I ran three tests for each browser and calculated the average FPS. In each test I closed all programs except for Finder, Textedit (to record the results) and the appropriate browser currently at test. I also let the animation play through a while each time before I clicked the "test" button - so that there was no hdd access or any other activity that could void the result. When I uninstalled/reinstalled to flash 10.1, I restarted the computer. I also tested the flash clip's performance when it was embedded in it's own flash player (using the appropriate FlashPlayer version to build the .app) - the results found here are especially interesting.

    All tests were ran in the last hour or so on an iMac G4, 1.25GHZ, 1.5 GB, running Leopard (version 10.5.8).

    full screen at 1440x900
    [B]Safari v5.0.3:[/B]               7.46  7.61  7.55   [B]7.54[/B]
    [B]TenFourFox G4e beta9:[/B]        6.86  6.87  6.92   [B]6.88[/B]
    [B]Camino v2.0.6:[/B]               7.35  7.16  7.10   [B]7.20[/B]
    [B]Standalone[/B] 10.31 10.34 10.21  [B]10.29[/B]
    full screen at 800x600
    [B]Safari v5.0.3:[/B]               8.37  8.31  8.28   [B]8.32[/B]
    [B]TenFourFox G4e beta9:[/B]        7.88  7.66  7.85   [B]7.80[/B]
    [B]Camino v2.0.6:[/B]               7.89  7.90  7.80   [B]7.86[/B]
    [B]Standalone[/B] 18.86 18.86 18.52  [B]18.75[/B]
    full screen at 1440x900
    [B]Safari v5.0.3:[/B]               9.12  9.26  9.23   [B]9.20[/B]
    [B]TenFourFox G4e beta9:[/B]        8.18  8.13  8.09   [B]8.13[/B]
    [B]Camino v2.0.6:[/B]               8.08  8.36  8.32   [B]8.25[/B]
    [B]Standalone[/B] 10.46 10.20 10.25  [B]10.30[/B]
    full screen at 800x600
    [B]Safari v5.0.3:[/B]               9.78  9.87  9.85   [B]9.83[/B]
    [B]TenFourFox G4e beta9:[/B]        8.55  8.59  8.74   [B]8.63[/B]
    [B]Camino v2.0.6:[/B]               9.00  8.92  8.96   [B]8.96[/B]
    [B]Standalone[/B] 18.57 18.66 18.57  [B]18.60[/B]
    Interesting results. The latest flash ( clearly had the edge. As did Safari 5.

    The test SWF animation benefits from Flash 10.1 by about 17%. To be honest, this needs looking into further. I didn't start this thread for nothing and the difference flash 10.0 made to some of my Son's favourite games is around 300% over the speed of flash 10.1! For this reason, after I ran these tests, I checked clubpenguin again to make sure I wasn't going mad and, using v10.1.102.64, it was a dreadful crawl ...So I went back to v10.0.22.87. :)

    Another interesting result is that standalone flash players 10.0 and 10.1 had practically identical results.
  18. MacHamster68, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    my above iMac achieved average with
    tenfourfox 4.26fps
    safari 3.42 fps
    doesn't sound a lot , but i promise you with a G3 700mhz and 16mb graphics card that is quiet a lot and near 1 fps more make a big difference too

    btw i did for fun the test on my core duo iMac in the sig
    21.23 fps in firefox , does that mean my iMac core duo is just 5 times faster witha 1.83 ghz core duo processor and a 128mb graphicscard and 2 gb ram ..what a progress:confused:
  19. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    Thanks for all the testing you guys have done. Thanks to this forum my G4's have new life again. :)
  20. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    That's a 20% increase. It's definitely worth sticking with TenFourFox. My inclusion of TenFourFox on my tests was a bit unfair. Seeing as I'm not running OS X Ten.Four, so I am not running the OS that it is optimised for.

    For anyone running 10.5 though, I haven't yet found any reason not to use Safari - even on a powerPC.


    That website was a pretty intensive test for old processors. I've been thinking about this and I wonder whether 10.1's better results are related to this intensity.

    When I noticed an improvement with Flash, it was most dramatic during 'smaller' flash animations and GUI usage. An example would be 'Cover Orange', a puzzle game on BubbleBox (my Son loves this game). At the beginning of a level, you point and click to place objects. On flash 10.1 this lags very badly, but on Flash 10.0 it is many times smoother. It completely transforms the game. When you've finished placing objects, a cloud passes through the screen dropping solid acid rain. During this moment, while you watch the physics based animation, things get a bit slower.

    I wonder if...

    - During the non-intensive GUI section, flash 10.0 is several hundred percent faster than Flash 10.1.
    - During the intensive section, flash 10.1 is ~17% faster than 10.0.

    Now considering the less intensive part is the important bit that you actually interact with, and it also makes up the majority of the game; in this case flash 10.0 is the obvious winner. Most 2D games are designed this way, which is why 10.0 is generally a good choice for Flash games.

    But in situations where constant intensive Flash animation is used. Flash 10.1 has the edge.

    ...Just my current theory.
  21. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    there are a couple things to consider too to get the whole picture
    1st which Mac hardware( processor , ram,graphics card )
    2nd which Mac OS
    3.which browser
    4th which flashplayer is used
    5th which software was used to create the flash game

    but fact is apple will not optimize safari any more for PPC mac's and neither will mozilla their firefox and as support for Tiger which is still the best OS for PPC Mac's will run soon out ,my guess is after release of lion
    so for the future we totally rely on some chaps creating apps like the tenfourfox browser in some sheds to keep our PPC Mac's going
  22. pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    I tried a couple of different flash benchmarks and 10.1 keeps beating 10.0. :confused:

    I suppose it just depends on the game. 10.0 must just have some magic inside for Club penguin and a few other sites, but 10.1 has the edge in more situations.

    There are a few things that I have learnt over all this though...

    - If you have a G4 and you can run 10.5, Safari 5 is the browser of choice for flash sites.
    - Where possible, downloading the SWF of your favourite game and putting it in a standalone gives a massive performance boost. Around double fps in most cases.
    - My G4 iMac can handle flash. :) ...With a bit of fiddling.
  23. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008

    pubjoe, are you a contributor to this thread on the official Adobe forums, as well? I've been observing it throughout recent times, especially before Flash 10.1 release and they really seemed to have improved things a lot.

    Additional question: Did you by any chance test Opera 9 (not 10!!!) with the game you mentioned earlier? In my experience Opera 9 handled Flash amazingly well and scored above Safari 4/5 in the benchmark I mentioned earlier (GUImark). On my late Powerbook 800 youtube played nicely in Opera (it was with some fLash 10.0 betas I believe) but struggled in Safari until the RC of the Flash player in its 10.1st iteration.

    Sadly Adobe decided to ditch the PPC support as of 10.2. :(
  24. pubjoe, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

    pubjoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    No, I've never seen that thread before. And no, I didn't test Opera. It sounds like it's worth a try next time I tinker with it.

    Thanks for all the advice and information you've provided mabaker.

    By the way, what's your opinion of the club penguin paradox? Do you know of any circumstances where 10.1 actually performed worse than 10.0? Could Club Penguin be using a function in it's code that is known to cause problems? ...Problems that for whatever reason were absent in 10.0.
  25. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    I think that the answer to the Penguin Paradox lies somewhere in the thread I linked you to, pubjoe. Don't quote me on that but I think it had to do with some old Mac OS X's 2D-Graphics acceleration framework that Flash player used up till version 10.0, or its beta which of course was faster back in the day than its new Tiger'/Leopard counterpart.

    I presented them with my findings and received some technical answers that I am not sure I understood. Yet I have to tell you these show just how much of a messy state the Flash player on the Mac has always been, and still top this day is (even on Intel).

Share This Page