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Owners of new iMacs reporting Flash playback problems

updated 11:10 pm EDT, Thu October 29, 2009

Choppy videos, maximum CPU load

Several owners of the new iMacs have reported problems when attempting to play Flash videos, according to several posts on Apple's Support pages. Forum poster Subcide first noticed the issue with a 27-inch iMac and the latest Flash player. YouTube playback appeared "really jerky" with distorted sound, while the Activity Monitor indicated the CPU usage was spiking to 105 percent every few seconds.

Several users have allegedly fixed the problem by rebooting the computer or going through a sleep and wake cycle, although the attempts have only provided a temporary solution. Other attempts to reinstall or restore Snow Leopard have also proven unsuccessful.

Forum poster HomerT claims that receiving a replacement 27-inch iMac has fixed the problems. An explanation for the underlying problems remains unclear, although some users speculate it could be related to overheating issues.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I just installed Windows 7 Ultimate N on

    a Parallels 4.0 virtual machine using my MacBook Pro 2.33 C2D running OSX Tiger. I ran some Youtube HD clips and they ran a smooth as silk in Explorer 8, barely using up 22% processor resources. Windows sure knows how to handle Flash and if it's left up to Microsoft, Flash will live on forever.

  1. ASFx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poor flash performance on a mac

    There's nothing abnormal about this. Flash has performed horribly on macs for as far back as I can remember. A simple search on google shows people complaining about bad flash performance on their macs for years.

    Im on an 8 core 2.8Ghz mac pro w/ 16gb ram right now and flash performance sucks as expected. Same with my early 2008 imac. Adobe's flash product is just horrible in general and needs serious optimizing.

  1. Tofino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    would you like fries with that?

    yup. sounds like flash on the mac alright. that's bloatware for second class citizens of adobe world - now so power hungry it'll fry your mac!

    and you want THAT on the iPhone? no thank you...

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's new(s) in this?

    People - it's Flash! It Sucks! Get over it...

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash not on Windows

    The Linux version of Flash is also poor. It's not Microsoft that helps Flash work better on Windows, more that Adobe obviously focus their efforts in optimising Flash on the 90%+ platform, and also where there are plenty of developers with low-level skills.

    That's cost them when it's come to mobile phones (and see the comments from ARM today on how much effort they've spent helping Adobe optimise Flash for mobile.

    (This should, in turn, help OS X and Linux, because Adobe have also taken this as an opportunity to move to unify the codebase between mobile & desktop versions).

    It does sound to me like the problem may be around graphics drivers (if it's using hardware accelerated video), or perhaps (if it's only affecting larger screens, and given the high CPU usage) in the effort of scaling up video onto a higher resolution window size.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poor Flash Performance?

    How could that be?

    Ever since i installed ClickToFlash, my web browsing has been faster, much more pleasant and productive.

    Basically, it presents Flash content as a grey frame with a Flash button. It's up to you whether or not to load and view it. It's amazing how quickly pages load when Flash becomes an option rather than jammed in your face.

    Find it here:

  1. pysan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I will second the beauty of ClickToFlash. Sure beats having to put up w/ all that stuff. Only have to see it on the sites I absolutely want to. I also might add that I am a bit shocked by areas of sites that are flash that I would have never suspected were.

    For once being a strong Flash proponent, I have now swung to the other side of the fence and can't wait for Flash to die asap... It just has been abused and used for stuff (ie video) that is not what it was originally developed or used for.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google and its online properties

    Pretty much ALL of Google's online offerings (G-mail, Maps, Calendar, Documents, Finance, etc. - except YouTube, of course) are completely FLASH-free. Google successfully and effectively does this with AJAX-type technologies.

    There are very few situations where Flash can provide solutions which AJAX cannot. I am pretty sure, 97% of the world's Flash content could simply be re-coded into a non-Flash version without losing ANY functionality whatsoever. And I'm not even including advertising...

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Google

    Shhhhhhhhh. Don't spread that around. Soon the advertisers will learn this (or learn to use something else like mp4 files) and then it won't be so easy to block their ads, esp. on the iPhone.

  1. umyeah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Google

    Have you actually used all those google apps you mentioned? In google finance all the charts on the main quote pages are done in flash. In google maps the street view is also done in flash.

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