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Why does certain web pages cause my cpu % to increase?

Posted on 2009-12-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
I use yahoo classic email and the sign in page causes my cpu usage to go from 0 - 10 to 50% and stay there. The only way to get the CPU usage back down is to close the page.
Another page that does the same thing is listed below.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090724092208AAoyfbl

yahoo.com and then go to mail.
Does not happen every time I go to email but quite often.

I am running IE6 currently, should I upgrade to IE8?

My laptop is a PCG-FRV26 Sony Vaio Pent 4 2.80ghz and 512mb ram. I am concerned that IE8 will slow down my computer even more.

Internet Explorer seems to be the most processor intensive program I run.
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Question by:Dragon0x40
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19 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26114334
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Accepted Solution

by:
Callandor earned 400 total points
ID: 26114361
Try it with a different browser like FireFox - if it doesn't happen, then there is an ActiveX control on that webpage that is using cpu.  IE8 comes with its own set of problems.
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Expert Comment

by:a1aait
ID: 26115047
Sounds like some client-side script is running, perhaps to deliver multimedia ads, or hopefully not, deliver malware.  Pages with flash or other video can eat up CPU cycles.
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26115525
thanks callandor and a1aait,

I will try installing and running Firefox.

Should I accept the defaults on the Firefox install?

I am trying to get a browser that won't make my laptop run slowly.

Also have been considering upgrading the Ram to 1gb and/or a higher rpm hard drive; would either of these help with the cpu%?
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26115562
This is what the yahoo classic mail page does to my cpu. This time it came back down by itself after 20 or 30 secs.
yahoo-mail-cpu.JPG
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26115579
>This is what the yahoo classic mail page does to my cpu. This time it came back down by itself after 20 or 30 secs.

Ok probably more like 80 secs as I think each line on the graph is 5 secs.
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26115978
Installed Firefox and I think it uses less resources that IE6 but I think the biggest problem is flash.

Any way to optimize how Flash runs? Make Flash use less cpu, resize the video size, etc..

Would more memory (RAM) help Flash use less CPU cycles?
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Assisted Solution

by:a1aait
a1aait earned 400 total points
ID: 26116507
More RAM helps the system run better in general, but I'm not sure you will see fewer CPU cycles.  RAM is the cheapest way to get better performance from your system if it is otherwise optimized (unless you have RAMBUSS memory $$$).  Even if it doesn't help with this issue, you will probably appreciate the overall improvement in system performance with more RAM.  I consider 512 MB to be the absolute minimum for Windows XP.  Better to have 1 or 2 GB, if your system supports it.

Flash is kind of a hog.  For instance, I have a PC at home which I use to watch TV with a tuner card, play DVDs, watch Netflix, etc.  It works great with smooth full screen video for everything but Hulu.com, which uses Flash to display videos.  Hulu is very jerky at full screen for me.  I've been told its a problem with Flash, which makes sense, because Netflix uses different technology and runs very well at full screen.  (Hulu used to work great, not sure what happened.)  Its not clear to me if Flash itself is a problem, or if Hulu's implementation or its media files are to blame for the poor performance.

I guess this question should be asked:   Does the excessive CPU load prevent you from doing something else?  If not, I don't really see the CPU load as a problem.  I do understand your curiosity, though.
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26117699
The problem is that when I load antivirus such as avg and then run these flash web pages my computer is not responsive.
I sometimes can not open another program or close a browser window because the processor is at 100%.
Is there any way to reduce how much cpu flash uses?
I have noticed that two browser windows open use more cpu than one browser window with two tabs open.
If I can't get this laptop to be a little more responsive then it is not fun to use.
I hate getting the flashlite when I open my computer for 5 minutes or waiting for a couple of minutes just to open Internet Explorer.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 26118902
I agree with a1aait - I would suggest more RAM to prevent swapping to disk.  It looks like you only have 512MB, and the initial cpu activity may be the swapping, unless you have a website malware scanner in your browser.  If you do, deactivate that toolbar.
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26121094
When I open the webpage with Firefox it does not use as many cpu cycles.

So maybe this page has an IE ActiveX problem like Callandor wrote.
Firefox.JPG
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Assisted Solution

by:mr_E
mr_E earned 1200 total points
ID: 26121154
The CPU usage when web surfing is increased by several things:

* javascript running on the page (yahoo likes to use it)
* Ads with animations (.gif, flash, etc)
* and of course the antivirus monitors the content.
* Java applets & Activex Addons

If you get and use FireFox I suggest to install some addons to remove the ads, like:

Adblock Plus - remove ads
NoScript - to allow or disallow the javascript on certain sites.

With this addons your web surfing will be more pleasant.

Is disappointing that certain sites abuse of this kind of features, they can't live with just one ad banner they want more.

Regards.
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26121197
thanks Mr E,

Is there a way to disable and enable flash in IE or Firefox?

Any way to change the size, quality etc. of Flash in order to reduce cpu usage?
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Assisted Solution

by:mr_E
mr_E earned 1200 total points
ID: 26125349
I use this other add-on Flashblock in Firefox:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433

This add-on put an icon in the place of the flash so you can decide to play, enable for the whole site or just let it there without touch.

I have at home a very low bandwidth speed with this and the other addon I can tell you that I surf the web very well and fast, sometimes when I just want only read I use Opera, this browser can be configured to surf without animations, images, sound, and every multimedia feature and just get the real (how it's said) stuff.

And you can right click on the flash to select-change some options if the flash is already downloaded and running, see the image:

flash-rigth-click.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 26125959
.... and I use this free toolbar button utility to toggle Flash on and off in IE7 when the advertising banners become obtrusive:

http://flash.melameth.com/
http://flash.melameth.com/togflash.html
http://flash.melameth.com/togflash.msi

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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26126397
thanks Mr E and BillDL,

I am very excited about using these utilities to control flash.

Will try and report back.
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 26126835
Hi Dragon0x40

You mentioned that you are running IE6 in XP and asked if you should upgrade to IE8.  My personal opinion is that upgrading to IE7 is a good idea, but there are a lot of problems with IE8.  The IE7 layout is quite different to IE6 and takes a bit of getting used to.  I found that upgrading to IE7 was trouble free FOR ME except for one issue.  It does something strange to existing and new shortcuts to web pages on your Start Menu and leaves them with the icon for files that don't have a program association.  Some programs add shortcuts to their online help pages, etc. to the Start Menu along with the shortcut to the program.  These will show that "unassociaetd" icon if you upgrade to IE7.

If you do decide to upgrade to IE7, then the layout will be a little unfamiliar.  It doesn't show the normal text menu automatically or at the top, and only has a tiny Toolbar at the right.
http://wb7tjd.org/IE7/
There are quick and easy registry tweaks that allow you to place the normal menu at the top and hide the search bar.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/place-ie7-menu-bar-back-on-top/

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/remove-the-built-in-search-bar-on-ie-7/

"Tabbed" browsing, just like Mozilla firefox and Opera had for a long while before IE7, is good once you get used to it, but you need to configure it to work the way you want.

http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2007/03/30/ie7-tabbed-browsing.aspx

The "Toggle Flash" is just a one-click way of doing what can easily be done using the Internet Explorer 7 menu options:
Tools > Manage Add-Ons > Enable or Disable Add-ons.
Choose "Add-Ons Currently Loaded in Internet Explorer" and look for "Shockwave Flash Object".  Click on it, select "Disable", and click OK.

If it doesn't show in the "Add-Ons Currently Loaded in Internet Explorer" list, then that is because you have not yet visited any pages that require Flash since powering up, so instead choose the "Add-Ons that run without requiring permission" and you can disable it there.

Having the Toggle Flash button handy just means you can click on it, wait a moment, then refresh the page, and Flash will be disabled until you choose to enable it again.  You will know when it has been disabled, because it will show as "Disabled" in the above "Manage Add-Ons" dialog, and you will also see an icon in the Status Bar when Flash tries to load.  It just means that you will get a blank space where the Flash Object should be displayed, which can seem like a nuisance, but at least it doesn't have to load it when you don't need or want it.

One thing you may have read about in your online searches is adding the URLs of known sites that serve advertising content to the HOSTS file, which is:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\HOSTS
in Windows XP.  It is all explained here:
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

I suggest that you ** DO NOT ** use the above ready made HOSTS file in Windows XP.  The editor of the above page says this:
"In most cases a large HOSTS file (over 135 kb) tends to slow down the machine."
Well, their HOSTS file is 612KB and it DOES slow Internet Explorer (IE7) down considerably on Windows XP.

Bill
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Assisted Solution

by:mr_E
mr_E earned 1200 total points
ID: 26128162
You have a decent laptop, but with little RAM, try to add more RAM. I don't know if you Windows is with SP2 or SP3.

If you have XP SP2 on your Laptop, updating to newer version of Internet Explorer maybe will force it to install to SP3 and the performance have chances to degrade.

Maybe you will not have this issue on your laptop, I never see this happens on systems with 512RAM or more (just with less RAM).

So, before update windows (Internet Explorer) try to defragment your hard disk and have plenty of free hard disk space, and stop the security software running (antivirus, etc.) because they will slow the update process, and try to stop all your applications before.

Regards
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Author Comment

by:Dragon0x40
ID: 26177646
I tried to install togflash for IE but I need to upgrade to IE7 first but I don't think I will upgrade right now.

I also installed adblock plus and flash block for Firefox and they seems to work fine so far.

Will order another 512 mb of ram.
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