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YouTube video, MX downloader & 100% CPU


MikeSafe
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In case it's a settings related issue with Maxthon, you can just download/extract/run the portable version of Maxthon. It won't have any of your settings (unless you sign in, which you shouldn't for testing purposes). That way you can be certain it's not something you changed within Maxthon. Still doesn't rule MX out, but I think we're at the point where it's pretty evident it isn't the cause.

RE: the flash issue. As you found out, MX installs it's own flash and also can be removed by renaming the file. If you installed another version of Flash you need to ensure it's the correct one. IE has it's own one, as does Chrome. I had this very issue when I recently re-installed Windows. You need to install the NPAPI (for firefox) version (not sure if the wording is the same for older versions). If it installs correctly and is the right one, and the file in the Maxthon folder is renamed/deleted then MX will use the installed NPAPI version on the system.

RE: the temp files, I don't think that's an issue, apparently the "C:\$ConvertToNonresident" is an NTFS thing that occurs internally when doing some file copy operations. MX might cause some extra copy operations due to the way the temp files are accessed/stored, but as you saw earlier, copying files doesn't add that much load to the system.

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You need to install the NPAPI (for firefox) version (not sure if the wording is the same for older versions). If it installs correctly and is the right one, and the file in the Maxthon folder is renamed/deleted then MX will use the installed NPAPI version on the system.

Oh great! I can see this is going to be fun; trying to find an archive with the requisite files needed!

The download that matches the exact version number of my working install is missing a Windows installer (Mac only), hence I had to download a couple of newer zip files before finding something I could use... which obviously isn't NPAPI!

Thanks 7twenty, I will look into it later.

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Before you get too far along with that, test with a local file using maxthon's native playback, just drag a file onto Maxthon. This should isolate anything related to network hardware/drivers being the issue, if that works with normal CPU usage then the problem isn't with mx or it's playback capabilities. It also leads us back to it being a hardware or driver issue almost certainly related to networking. Or flash being the culprit. At least that's the idea.

EDIT: it can't be hardware related as your other install works fine, so driver issue is where we're at I think.

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Thanks 7twenty. Do you mean drag a movie file onto Maxthon before installing Flash?

I managed to install Flash last night anyway (2 versions up from the working install), with slightly better performance witnessed (around 10%), but still above satisfactory at around 50-60% load.

I also downloaded a movie using MX Downloader to the HDD and can confirm that ZA dominated CPU usage kicking it to around 70-80%; MX Downloader was only about 15% of that IIRC.

I haven't had chance to try the portable version yet.

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Do you mean drag a movie file onto Maxthon before installing Flash?Yes, MX will open and play within the browser. There won't be any network access as it's a local file, and unless there is a HDD issue or MX has a major issue with CPU usage playing files it should definitively show that it's network related, possibly something to do with ZA.

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Alreety alrighty, welcome to today's exciting digest.

So I dragged a movie onto Maxthon, both before and after upgrading to the latest version, and saw little improvement over playing a YT movie from cache. However, over a period of around 2-3mins, the CPU steadily climbed to 90-100%.

I didn't uninstall Flash for this exercise, but then Maxthon utilised HTML5 to play in this way anyway. What I can't remember this morning, though, is whether the CPU climbing phenomenon happened before upgrading Maxthon (too many experiments over the last week or so is mushing me noggin), but it is now anyway.

I also updated ZoneAlarm and downloaded a movie using MX Downloader.

With ZA uninstalled: ~35%

With upgraded ZA: ~39%

I thought that was an improvement, but that was from notes taken at the time. Later, when downloading other stuff, I noticed that the higher the download speed, the higher the CPU usage; nudging once again into the 60s at times. MX Downloader accounted for around 14-20% IIRC - so ZA is seemingly being aggressive with Downloader.

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I just tested MX4 on a Windows 8.1 tablet with a dual core 1.33Ghz Atom processor, when running a video as described above CPU usage was between 20-30%, though it did max out at certain times, but I think that was due to me switching apps a lot. The default metro player played them 5-10%. MX is clearly not as optimised as other players or it's a HWA issue.

Even on my desktop system Maxthon uses 5-10% more than Chrome which hovers ~5%, and that's an i5 3.3Ghz.

Are you sure the CPU is running at full speed and not being artificially restricted somehow, or being throttled down due to heat issues? Use HWMonitor to check your temps and CPU-Z to check CPU speeds.

On your F:\ drive install, did you try downloading with MX and check it's cpu usage?

I think going back and doing this test might be best:

2. Go to Device Manager, disable all devices that aren't required (so anything apart from display, graphics card, main HDD, keyboard, mouse etc) Disable everything else (right-click, disable) restart and do the copy tests again. If the problem doesn't happen after disabling everything, then we know it's a device/driver issue. From then you enable one device at a time and test. Keep doing this until it starts happening again.

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MX is clearly not as optimised as other players or it's a HWA issue.

I definitely believe it's not as optimised as IE(8), by about 10%; which I now know runs a different version of Flash. Firefox is probably about equal to MX4, though, if not marginally worse - at least on my XP system; and they both utilise the same version of Flash (PPAPI).

Even on my desktop system Maxthon uses 5-10% more than Chrome which hovers ~5%

Is that using Flash? I've noticed that MX4 uses the same ffmpegsumo.dll as Chrome for playing HTML5.

Are you sure the CPU is running at full speed and not being artificially restricted somehow, or being throttled down due to heat issues? Use HWMonitor to check your temps and CPU-Z to check CPU speeds.

Thanks for that. I've asked myself the same question so I'll play with those and report back.

On your F:\ drive install, did you try downloading with MX and check it's cpu usage?

Can't remember. Will try.

I think going back and doing this test might be best:

2. Go to Device Manager, disable all devices that aren't required (so anything apart from display, graphics card, main HDD, keyboard, mouse etc) Disable everything else (right-click, disable) restart and do the copy tests again. If the problem doesn't happen after disabling everything, then we know it's a device/driver issue. From then you enable one device at a time and test. Keep doing this until it starts happening again..

Hmph, yeah I know. I'm trying to avoid that 'cos, apart from being time-consuming, I've never done it before and I don't know how aggressive to be in disabling stuff - there's a lot of stuff.

I bought a new monitor (1080p) yesterday (nothing to do with this) and last night I viewed YT vids recreationally in 720p (ie, not faffing about testing and changing and rebooting etc) and it's clear that, overall, there's little improvement to where things stood at the beginning. Playing 720p in fullscreen, even when playing from cache, still pushes the CPU into the 90-100% range.

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Is that using Flash?Yes, I always use flash unless forced to use HTML5. MX popout video is too handy.

Hmph, yeah I know. I'm trying to avoid that 'cos, apart from being time-consuming, I've never done it before and I don't know how aggressive to be in disabling stuff - there's a lot of stuff.I made a quick reference for you to use. Anything marked orange you can disable without issue (apart from the last one), every section also has a comment. There's some sections where you probably could try disabling more, but probably not worth it especially if you're a little hesitant. But if you're unsure on what it does or if it's connected to something else (like the mouse) don't disable it. Hopefully that'll be enough to get an answer.

v7r4pg.png

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Oh brilliant, thanks 7twenty; that's a massive help :D

Here are some screenshots of the CPU-Z and HWMonitor in action. Whilst I might stab a guess, I don't really know what is supposed to be normal. I'll post a second grab in the next post.

This grab shows the state of affairs when NOT playing video. You can see from the circled area that the CPU reads ~1999, and the multiplier x10. Whilst this does not represent a constant reading (it periodically dips to a reading close to the next screenshot), it spends more time here in this state.

(Ignore the low-res of images)

post-30674227-14315122313164_thumb.gif

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2nd screenshot showing state of affairs playing video (720p).

Again, whilst the CPU reading (circled) in this grab isn't constant, it spends more time down here than in the first grab.

Also note in HWMonitor (in both grabs), the MIN value in the following row:

-Intel Pentium E2180

-- Core #0

... which reads -41 C

I watched this fluctuate periodically in the VALUE column from ~52 C to -41 C. It stopped after a while.

post-30674227-14315122315077_thumb.gif

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A couple of other observations made last night.

Maxthon in F:\ drive

I booted into F:\ as you asked and downloaded MX4 as an exercise (I didn't install). I recorded 4% CPU usage.

I should add that I don't have a firewall on this install.

VLC standalone

I want to make an additional observation regarding VLC standalone which I didn't pay attention to in my initial comments; and that is resolution. In those comments I tested relatively low-resolution vids (probably around 480p).

I played a couple of HD vids the other night. They were both Flash with one at 720p and the other close, but not quite, 1080p.

The CPU on 720p was ~70-90% (but played without stutter); the CPU on 1080p was high 90s to 100% and stuttered badly.

In contrast to last night when I watched a downloaded .MKV movie (H.264) in 720p and it used ~20%

Which would point to a Flash thing. Although let's not forget, just to confuse matters more, I've rolled-back Flash to a 2012 version when the problem didn't exist!

I know.

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The CPU on 720p was ~70-90% (but played without stutter); the CPU on 1080p was high 90s to 100% and stuttered badly.

In contrast to last night when I watched a downloaded .MKV movie (H.264) in 720p and it used ~20%A lot will depend on the codec it's encoded with. Some of the older ones aren't as efficient in the encoding process so are therefore easier to decode leading to lower CPU usage. Also many of the older codecs have at least some degree of HW acceleration via CPU/GPU. The newer codecs are even better at creating better looking and smaller files, but in turn make the CPU/GPU work harder. Some of the newer codecs may not have full HW acceleration, almost certainly not on older hardware. That would be why some are showing very low/very high. If you want to truly test different resolutions you need to ensure that they're all encoded in the same format.

... which reads -41 CThat's a little odd. I'm not sure if it will cause issues though, could just be an anomalie. The 83C on the other hand is a little concerning. From what i've been reading the max temp for that particular chip is approx 75-80C (i'm guessing there's some leeway), but you're right up there. If for what ever reason the CPU is overheating it could be throttling itself back to ensure it doesn't fry itself, which in turn leads to a slower CPU which leads to higher usage meaning stutter etc. Doesn't lead us to the cause, but I think the high CPU temp/usage is definitely a concern. It might just be a case of the heatsink needing to be reseated, or something else entirely.

Will be interesting to see what you come up with (if anything) after doing the hardware disabling tests.

At the end of the day it could just be that the system just isn't able to handle certain new codecs very well. I'll have a search and see if I can dig up any info & comparisons.

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You've prompted me to inspect all fans inside the case. To my horror, I discovered two of the legs that hold the fan and heatsink (on top of the CPU) to the mobo had snapped.

Worse still, the glue fixing the heatsink to the CPU had failed, so only two legs were essentially holding the entire fan and heatsink in place! :'(

So looks like I'm shopping for glue and a fan. Grrreat!

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OK, we're back in the game.

Installed new cooler yesterday and the temperatures are massively down. I left HWMonitor on for about 5 hours and the max temp recorded was 39 C, but it spent most time around 33 C.

So what about the big test, I hear you scream. And I say, whoa, easy. You're deafening me here.

It's appreciably better. No doubt. I actually managed to watch videos, fullscreen, in 720p without stutter.

But... in general, stutter still occurs whilst downloading. And even when it's downloaded into cache and playing without stutter, CPU is still anywhere between 60-80% with the odd spike reaching upto 100%.

I have still yet to test in IE and FF, mind, but I think we've overcome the major choke point.

So thanks for holding my hand throughout this journey my friend; I actually quite enjoyed it and learned some stuff, too. I would probably never have gotten here without your guidance and patience.

I will conduct further tests and see if I can upgrade Flash to the latest again. If there is significant improvements or degradation I'll report back but in the meantime, I think I need to be satisfied with the results and return to normal life again. :D

Thanks again.

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