Netflix (and other video sources) makes my CPU run at around 150%

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Lady Poindexter, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Lady Poindexter, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

    Lady Poindexter macrumors newbie

    Lady Poindexter

    Joined:
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    #1
    Any time i run Netflix, my CPU jumps up to 150% +- 20%. Needless to say, this pretty much brings everything on my computer to a halt.

    I seriously need help with this problem! This has been going on for like a year now. I have spent countless hours pouring through help topics and various forums' discussions trying to diy this but i have yet to find anyone talking of a similar problem. (Although to be fair, this may be due to poor research skills, but i have still spent way too much effing time trying to fix this.)



    Here are a cavalcade of fun facts that may or may not be relevant:
    • This has not always been a problem. I had a good year+ of trouble-free netflix viewing on both Firefox & Safari. The problem started about a year ago with Firefox, then a few months later with Safari. Until 3-ish months ago only Netflix had the problem, but now other online videos do too (but netflix is still the worst).

    • Just being on the netflix site, without Instant Watch open, makes the cpu usage jump to about 90% and it is _super_super_ slow. Any action i take is followed by a good 20+ seconds of thinking and maybe the Mac spinny wheel thing as the browser temporarily freezes up.

    • If i quit every other program and _only_ have netflix running, then i can watch it with minimal jumping, but only then. The cpu usage is still in the triple digits, though.

    • Since then, i've uninstalled + re-installed Firefox, Safari, & Silverlight. I also installed a new OS.

    • I got rid of most of my plugins and extentions in both browsers except for NoScript and Flashblock (and maybe evernote). I try to keep my cache, history, and cookies clear.

    • I have done a bunch of other stuff, too, but unfortunately i have forgotten what a lot of it is since this stupid problem has been going on for so long. This unfortunately also includes a couple of crucial names in my netflix customer service interaction. :\

    • During its 1st year of life, it spent 5 months getting fixed by apple (hard drive replaced, logic board replaced, some other thing replaced (the i/o board?)). Also, the battery broke right away. Since then, though, it has not had any 'major internal issues' that i can recall.

    • i have heroically avoided throwing my computer off a cliff in frustration.


    I called Netflix Customer(Technical?) Service and they had never heard of this problem and didn't really know what to do about it (they did still try to help). The guy suggested one thing, which helped a bit, but he said that that was probably not the real problem though and that it sounded like ______ (a processor or player?) might be running twice or trying to run twice or something but he didnt know what to do about it. Whatever ______ was, it was not silverlight or a plugin or something easy like that. I really wish i could remember what it was and if i do find where i wrote the name down i'll update this.

    If you have any solutions/ideas/suggestions/questions, please let me know!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    What kind of computer do you have, and what are the specs?

    It's normal for a Mac's CPU to ramp up while watching Netflix. This can cause system performanc issues.
     
  3. Lady Poindexter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Lady Poindexter

    Joined:
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    #3
    I have a mid/late 2007 17" MacBookPro:

    Model Identifier: MacBookPro3,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 4 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 800 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: MBP31.0070.B07
    SMC Version (system): 1.18f5
    System Version: Mac OS X 10.5.8 (9L31a)
    Kernel Version: Darwin 9.8.0



    Of course Netflix will ramp up processing, but it shouldn't be doing it to the exclusion of every other program. It takes up so much of the cpu that it often cannot even run properly itself (ie super jumpy picture and sound). That the netflix homepage, queue page etc, make cpu jump to 90% and make both my browsers hang for 20/30 seconds each time i click on anything (e.g. deleting something from my queue) is not normal either. That is at least according to other people i know who have netflix and netflix customer service itself.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
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    #4
    That's a pretty old machine with not very much RAM. It wouldn't surprise me if Netflix runs poorly. Are you using Snow Leopard (10.6) or a different operating system?
     
  5. Lady Poindexter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Lady Poindexter

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    #5
    OS 10.5.8 (9L31a) (ie Leopard). I know it is not some brand-spanking new computer, but it seems as though if the problem was that obvious the netflix people would have said 'hey dummy, your computer is too slow' or there would be some sort of 'your computer will have major problems if it is 4 years old' in their faq section. It runs non-streaming movies just fine and i can have a movie playing and run photoshop + firefox at the same time without the level of slow-down a single-tab of netflix causes. And anyways, my roommate with an older/crappier mac has netflix running fine.
     
  6. Quad5Ny, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

    Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #6
    The problem is you don't have GPU video decode acceleration and most Netflix videos are now higher (HD) resolution and bitrate.

    Snow Leopard added hardware decode acceleration around 10.6.3 but even if you upgrade I don't think it supports the Nvidia 8600.

    What you can do is change the screen resolution to something lower while watching Netflix videos (1280x800 or even 768x480) and force all video to play in SD only. Changing these two things should result in much lower CPU usage.
    .
     
  7. Lady Poindexter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Lady Poindexter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
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    #7

    Thanks, i will give that a shot.. Any idea why the queue pages and every other netflix page slows my computer down so much and hangs my browsers? That happens without instant watch being open/having been open. That should not be a resolution problem.
     
  8. Lady Poindexter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Lady Poindexter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #8
    I should add that i have not always had this problem. It started last year. For the first year+ i had no problems with Netflix on Safari _or_ Firefox. Until 6-ish months ago i had no problem with netflix+safari and until 3-ish months ago i had no problems with non-netflix video. This is why i have assumed it was a software thing and not just a 'your computer is old' thing. Does this information change anything? Do you think it could be a software thing or is it just that my lemon of a computer is becoming more decrepit?
     
  9. Quad5Ny, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

    Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #9
    I still believe the most likely problem is Netflix upgrading to higher quality videos (it's hard to troubleshoot over the Internet). That or Netflix has crappy website designers and/or a new version of Silverlight is adding to the lag.

    As for the Netflix queue, what happens if you remove Silverlight, does it still lag?

    Also when you installed a new OS, did you install it over the old one or did you do a "Clean" Install?

    Computer hardware doesn't get slower as it ages. But I would consider upgrading to Snow Leopard, putting a new (faster) hard drive in along with 4GB of RAM. It will make your computer feel much faster. And if you do it yourself it should cost under $120 (iFixit.com has plenty of guides).
     
  10. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #10
    Nevermind ..... Didn't read read of posts first.
     

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