Downloading using full CPU

Wayne Sadler's Avatar

Wayne Sadler

05 Oct, 2019 11:09 AM

On my Powerbooks, downloading a file in TFF usually uses between 95-100% CPU - why would this be?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 05 Oct, 2019 03:31 PM

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    Do you have an example URL, or is it any file from any source? If the latter, I can't reproduce that here.

  2. 2 Posted by Wayne Sadler on 05 Oct, 2019 04:17 PM

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    It's from any url - been around as long as I can remember - not a problem per se but just wandered whether it was a bug. I can only confirm it happens on my iBooks and Powerbooks - not desktop with OSX at hand to check there.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 05 Oct, 2019 04:43 PM

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    Anything about the GPU on those devices? OS? My iBook G4 doesn't do that (10.4.11).

    There is dock and progress bar animation, too, but it doesn't do anything special for those. Does hiding the dock make any difference? Do you have the Download window open (and don't know it)?

    If the issue goes back to TenFourFox 4 or 5, those can be profiled relatively easily by Shark if you know how (you need Xcode 2.5 or higher installed). Current versions make Shark crash or hang since it has issues with the size of libxul.

  4. 4 Posted by Wayne Sadler on 05 Oct, 2019 05:11 PM

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    It's the same on iBook 12" 1.33 (Radeon 9550), Powerbook 12" 1.33 (GeForce 5200) and Powerbook 15" 1.67 (Radeon 9700) - Dock is always on autohide and hiding the progress bar button doesn't make a difference. Downloads window is never open.
    It's not an issue...just wondered about it.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 06 Oct, 2019 06:15 AM

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    I also see considerably higher processor load (but not 100%) while downloading large files on all my G3 and G4 notebooks (10.4 and 10.5). This isn't restricted to TenFourFox, though, it also happens with Webkit/Safari and when downloading purchased music or podcasts on iTunes.

  6. 6 Posted by Diane Warburton on 06 Oct, 2019 01:01 PM

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    Same problem here. TFF uses up all memory as well when looking at a youtube video, then the fans start blasting at full power while the temperature goes up to 80°C! Download the same video and then view it in QuickTime works fine. I have the issue on a G4 867 and on a 233 Intel core Duo with TenSixFox as well. Tbh it doesn't surprise me as FireFox has been known to be more Ram and processor hungry for years.
    I've tried all sorts of 'solutions' to prevent the mac from cooking itself but nothing helps except downloading it first. I can actually download in a higher resolution too and play it from the disk without any overheating, which to me means it's not the processor or video card causing the issue

  7. 7 Posted by Wayne Sadler on 06 Oct, 2019 01:44 PM

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    I've actually never noticed in Webkit before but just tried it and that goes to about 50-55% CPU too - so I guess it's an acceptable variation? Still seems odd that a seemingly pedestrian task is so intensive - is it error checking as the download progresses causing it (if that is a thing) ?

    Diane, the TFF playing Youtube is a separate issue and the problem lies in how Youtube presents video now - TFF uses the most modern method to play the WebM video - which understandably far outstrips the ability of old G4s.
    For Youtube playback there are numerous options, some that even work on humble G3s - if you search on the MacRumors PPC section, you'll find a method to your liking.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 06 Oct, 2019 03:15 PM

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    Yes, let's keep this to specifically issues around CPU utilization with downloads. The movie playback issue is unfortunately well understood.

  9. 9 Posted by Diane Warburton on 24 Oct, 2019 05:33 PM

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    Sorry for intruding, I'm not a software expert but just a user. The title reads Downloading using full CPU, I assumed the video was being downloaded as I watch it? Within seconds the fans go on full blast and MenuMeters shows 100% CPU, when I look at the same video via an antique version of Safari the CPU doesn't go any higher than 45-50% and the temperature runs 20-25 degrees C lower (ie 55-60°C over 80°C. I just assumed it was the same issue. Like I said I'm not technical, I have no idea what Webkit is and as soon as discussions go in-depth you've lost me. For me the Mac was always a simple machine where you don't have to tweak to make it work, reliable too as my G4 is a daily driver.

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 24 Oct, 2019 11:19 PM

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    The video is being downloaded, yes, but it is also being decoded and composited to the screen at the same time, and for certain video formats or bitrates that can be the majority of CPU usage. Since there are more moving parts there I'd prefer to keep this to strictly downloading.

    Downloading files just dumps them to disk without any decoding; that shouldn't require the full attention of the machine.

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