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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Flash, Chrome & an Atom CPU all walk into a pub

Tried to watch something on 4OD catchup via my HTPC (Zotac ION ATOM 1.6) last week.  Dreadful., choppy and stuttering, in the end I gave up.

Today I decided to debug and see if I could fix it.

Firstly browsing in general also seemed slow.  Hit a well known bandwidth testing site and it was reporting 70-80ms latency.  Odd as no other device in the house showed the same problem, all in the 27-35ms range.

Spent a ton of time looking into this starting with networking\drivers being the source of the problem as it, even started packet tracing!   CLI pings all seemed fine, file download comparisons, all fine.  Finally, and I mean after a day of screwing around and almost a total rebuild, I cleared the cache on Chrome.  Bingo, latency fixed.  WTF! ..

Chrome and pepperflash were throwing the bandwidth test out, and guess what 4OD, flash site .. I think I have found the issue.

Seems like any flash site on Chrome pushes the CPU, on the ATOM its just too much, 90-100% .. Same on my desktop but its a way faster CPU so copes.  Never really appreciated what a great job flashblock does for me.

Switched to Firefox & Adobe Flash and all is well again .. for now