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Acceptable cpu usage for a new application

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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
I am building an application and through testing I have found the following :

My Computers spec - Dell Inspiron 6400 with 2gb ram and dual core 2.1 processor

My computer tells me that 31,000 is being used in mem usage. There are 2 types of screens in this app, ones with Flash video playing and those without. For the screens without the CPU usage is either 00 or 05 but on flash screens it can get upto 30.

Is this acceptable for most users ! I see firefox with 2 tabs takes about 80,000 but 00 on the cpu. Im not sure why the flash video pages are demanding 30 percent cpu power
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rendering the video costs some cpu asset. are you using vista or XP? vista is much more consuming and could be causing some of this as well


No sorry, i did not mention i am using XP. I was just worried that the app would slow someones computer down to the point that they would actually notice it.
I believe I read that there is a bug with the Flash Player plugin for Firefox.  When the window closes the plugin does not tell Firefox to release the memory.  A memory leak as it were.



thats interesting. My application requires a PC as it uses the Internet explorer core, therefore i can get my users to download the IE flash version.

Is there somewhere i can download this IE version. I know you can download flash from Adobe, so is it as simple as downloading the .exe through the internet explorer browser rather than the firefox browser !
I am sure you can download the IE version, but getting it to register and be used with Firefox is a different animal entirely.  I have never done any extension programming for Firefox but I am fairly sure the architecture for the FF browser is significantly different.  I know for certain that the data typing is different in Firefox, so...

You can hardcode some memory clean up into your application, but I think that is as close as you can get to fixing the Flash bug.

Just my two cents.


What about flash 8 player, is this a bug only with 9.

Also, I would like to return to the question in hand.

Are the numbers I have quoted and acceptable level !  
I would call them acceptable, yes.  It is all environmental, depending on what applications your users are using aside from your application.  Acceptable is generally defined by the person who requests the product in the first place.

But short of having a good design document, I think your numbers are pretty good.  I would say in this day and age running short of 100000 is good.  Memory is cheap.

Keep in mind that Firefox is very dangerous as users tend to open several tabs and Firefox 3, by default, saves all of them when you close the browser.  I have had users with hundreds of tabs open asking me why their PCs are slow.

Just keep that in mind in your coding.


And what about the CPU usage, that concerns me a bit
30 is not terrible, again it depends on what else your users are doing.  A spike to 30 with a small flash animation is pretty common, a consistent 30 with a larger window (Say... 800 x 600) might be more common.  I wouldn't worry over it too much personally.

Without specific requirements in place, you just have to look at how much your average user is consuming CPU cycle time at any given minute and figure out if 30 percent additional during the time they are using your application is going to cause performance problems for them.


I would say the average user would have an application like MS Word or one internet browser window open as well as this app. (as well as all the background stuff)
I am running a quad core 2.4 right now with sql server running, as well as Outlook, a browser with seven tabs, Visual Studio 2008, Remote desktop and task manager open and all of this spikes to about 4 percent of CPU usage.


The difference between dual core and quad core is likely negligible in your case, as is the difference in CPU speed.  While we aren't comparing apples to apples with your environment and mine (I am running Windows Vista), I think the results are encouraging enough to proceed at 30%.

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