Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

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Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 12:41 pm

I've recently done a complete new system build. Other than a minor performance issue with Flash clips, the system seems to be performing to my expectations. Two examples of Flash games that I've noticed the problem are: Jungle Jewels on Facebook (when it goes to change between the 'how to play' guide and the actual game, the 'container' of that information slides up and down the screen quickly - on my new system it judders a bit. Also, when completing a row/column of three jewels, the animation isn't smooth - I'm pretty sure it was smoother on my old, about 6-year-old system), and Tetris Friends in Marathon mode - the animations there are really basic, like when a row disappears and the bit of info pops up saying how many rows you just cleared, it's not as smooth as it used to be.

System spec:
AMD Athlon II X4 630
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO USB3
4GB DDR3-1600 Kingston HyperX RAM
Gigabyte Radeon HD 5770 1GB
Windows 7 HP 64
Seagate 7200.12 500GB
Samsung DVDRW SATA
Corsair VX450W PSU
Firefox 3.6x (latest version and flash player is up-to-date too)

I've tried setting Windows to the 'high performance' power profile to ensure that the processor is going at full speed for the duration of the game, but that hasn't made any difference. The clock speed definitely increases to the maximum that this processor is tagged to do (2.8GHz), I've been checking on it using CPU-Z.

The only other point I can think of is whether the graphics card clocking itself down when idle might have something to do with it, but I don't know how to get it to clock up to its maximum speed.

Thoughts? CPU usage is minimal (say 10% peak?) when running the Flash clips.
mikeymike
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 12:59 pm

Do you have the latest version of the ATI Catalyst drivers installed?
Also, you might consider installing the latest Flash 10.1 build (http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html) and see if it helps (note that uninstaller is available on the same page in case it does not work for you)
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 1:12 pm

catalyst, yup. Flash, I haven't tried the pre-release, I'll give it a shot, thanks.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 3:22 pm

No performance difference. Also, that pre-release plug-in did weird things in Tetris Friends - Marathon mode (acting as if I was pressing the drop block key all the time).
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 3:37 pm

Was the other system also running Windows 7?
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 4:20 pm

Nope, XP SP3.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 4:35 pm

mikeymike wrote:Nope, XP SP3.

Sounds like we're comparing apples and oranges then. The problem could very well be a Windows 7 compatibility issue in the version of the Flash plugin you're using.

Edit: Or any one of a number of other differences, e.g. different browser code, system services getting in the way, etc... Since the system otherwise appears to be working normally, I'd put my money on it being a software issue of some sort...
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Fri May 07, 2010 1:41 pm

axeman wrote:Try turning off Aero.


This might work, also check if running flash triggers the HD 5770's full speed. I have HD5850 and it would be at 157 MHZ GPU, when at 2D speed, so check if Flash is triggering the 3D mode or not, and also if it's triggering the full speed of HD 5770.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 08, 2010 3:06 am

switching off desktop composition did it... I don't believe it :o I mean yes, obviously desktop composition is supposed to take load off the CPU and let the GPU handle it, but surely not at the significant expense of GPU performance...

The GPU isn't being pushed to full speed during Flash games or anything 2D as far as I can see. I don't know how to get it to run at full speed just to see what might happen to Flash performance. These games barely register on the activity indicator in the catalyst control centre. Occasionally 1%, a jump to 6% once or twice, generally zero.

I've played around with the advanced eye candy settings, trying with desktop composition but without translucency etc, but the only one that seems to have any noticeable difference to Flash game performance is desktop composition. Win7 aero looks awful without translucency IMO, so I'm trying the Windows classic theme for a while. I've yet to figure out how to get traditional right-click menus back on taskbar buttons, rather than the jump list style. I might just disable desktop composition when I want to play Flash games, but then I get the feeling that overall system performance has got to be affected if a simple Flash game is. Having said that, Flash isn't known for its system resource efficiency.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 08, 2010 7:38 am

As with anything that is new, you have to give it time to mature.

Btw that's a nice system you made there. :)
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 08, 2010 8:38 am

Flash doesn't need to mature, it needs to die.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 08, 2010 9:18 am

Statica wrote:As with anything that is new, you have to give it time to mature.


What, more than the ten years (or so) it has had already? Or do you mean Windows 7? I would have thought that the UI for Win7 was just an evolution from the Vista UI - bugfixes, enhancements, etc. Another possibility is that it's the ATI driver.

Btw that's a nice system you made there. :)


Thanks :) It's the first fully new system I've built since about 1998 - everything before this one and since then was a partial upgrade.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 am

just brew it! wrote:Flash doesn't need to mature, it needs to die.


LMFAO

Well said, I couldn't agree more.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 08, 2010 9:17 pm

Yep i meant Win7 and some of the new components they introduced.

I agree on the flash, it should just die already. lol
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 08, 2010 9:25 pm

Disabling Aero shouldn't be required. There's some other deeper issue that's producing your symptoms.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sun May 09, 2010 2:06 am

I would like to do a survey of a load of Vista/7 users and see if there is any pattern.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sun May 09, 2010 3:56 am

I'm still running XP, so i can't help you there. But i doubt that your PC build is somehow not performing up to scratch. Most likely a software issue, maybe drivers, maybe flash (!) and the fact that Win7 is a relatively new platform.

But you know that HTML5 is the new hotness on the block trying to displace flash in the hopefully near future yay! :) Seriously, how inefficient must flash be to cripple any system, even the newest ones, to a crawl especially if running several tabs with flash content. Sloppy coding.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 12:16 am

mikeymike wrote:I would like to do a survey of a load of Vista/7 users and see if there is any pattern.


No problem running Flash with Aero Glass enabled. I have a dual-core Opteron at 3.2GHz and 8800GTS SLI.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 2:50 am

Just to get another data point, you might try it in IE8. (The ActiveX plug-in that Flash uses on IE is different from the plug-in it uses with other browsers)
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 4:57 am

I was suggesting he try IE just for testing purposes. He's a FireFox user and folks are particular about their browser choices (and here at TR typically well-informed about the availability and features of the alternatives), and FF users are often dependent on extensions that are unavailable for the others, so I wouldn't presume to suggest he make a permanent change in his choice of browsers -- to IE, or Chrome, or anything else. It certainly should be possible for him to get Flash working adequately in Firefox on this hardware (no matter how inefficient or in need of euthanasia Flash might be.)
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 7:07 am

I tried IE8 and Opera (freshly downloaded), no difference.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 7:08 am

jackbomb wrote:
mikeymike wrote:I would like to do a survey of a load of Vista/7 users and see if there is any pattern.


No problem running Flash with Aero Glass enabled. I have a dual-core Opteron at 3.2GHz and 8800GTS SLI.


What would be best is for me to make a video of what I noticed, then to ask people to try with desktop composition enabled and disabled, to see if they notice the difference. Otherwise it might not be a jitter that other people notice or are bothered about.

Can anyone recommend a piece of software that can do this?
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 9:46 am

It's a software issue some where in your chain. Windows 7 + Aero + Flash is just fine on both of my computers. One with an HD5770 and the other with an Intel X3100 IGP, both handle 720P and 1080P Flash video just fine. I'd recommend reinstalling your video driver or even trying an older one if that doesn't help.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 9:51 am

Could it be those Flash games just too badly written? We may need people to test those specific games just be on the same comparison.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 4:37 pm

I tried going from Catalyst 10.4 to 10.3. No difference in problem, and WinSAT scores dropped from 7.4 to 6.0 :)

I've chosen not to install the ATI accelerated drag and drop transcoding, which didn't help, but I wonder what it is supposed to be exactly.

Any suggestions what public Flash games/clips we could try? Retro games are no good because of the lack of smooth gameplay. Jungle Jewels is by far the most obvious one to notice the jitter with. It's not a serious amount of jitter, but it is definitely noticeable in a before/after comparison, and made me initially think "that's not as good as I expected it to look". There are few animations in Tetris Friends, so it's not a great one to use.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Wed May 12, 2010 11:55 am

I looked on the Gigabyte site and it's recommending its own driver package, which is based on the 10.2 catalyst drivers. Considering how the WinSAT scores dropped from 10.4 to 10.3, I'm a bit nervous of going further back. Thoughts?

I realise I should probably just bite the bullet and try them :) Any ideas for other potential causes for this problem? Games are running wonderfully smoothly (though the occasional bit of slight jitter in HL2 EP2 with 2xAA 2xAF 1280x1024), like Quake 4, Dawn of War 1, etc. I don't play around with modern graphics cards that often though so I don't know exactly what to expect.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Fri May 14, 2010 6:01 am

The Flash games load before the game starts, and my plug-ins are up-to-date. Same problem in multiple web browsers. Also, the problem goes if I disable desktop composition.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sat May 22, 2010 11:37 pm

Just joined to post that I have the same problem. Flash in general seems fine, but a particular flash game I play once in a while seems like the framerate is running at half (or at a reduced) frame rate. The game I'm speaking of is Age of War: http://www.maxgames.com/play/age-of-war.html
Disabling Desktop Composition (or using Windows 7 Basic) fixes it for me, too.

My specs:
Win 7 Ultimate 32-Bit
2GB Ram
X2 3800+ @ 2.5Ghz
EVGA 9800 GT with the latest video drivers
Firefox (happens with IE8 as well)

I've cleaned up msconfig (like I always do) so there's no services that are slowing my system down or anything.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sun May 23, 2010 2:09 am

Btw, switching to the basic theme is the same as switching off desktop composition.

Does your graphics card clock down when idle btw? Having said that, I would expect Jungle Jewels to run perfectly well on modern integrated graphics, in normal circumstances.
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Re: Flash clips not running as smooth as expected

Postposted on Sun May 23, 2010 2:39 am

Yeah, I knew that. Was just saying.

Dunno if it clocks down when on idle.

All I know is this flash game ran perfectly fine when I had XP installed on this very same computer and it can't possibly be a ram, CPU or video card problem -- which narrows it down to either an Adobe Flash or WIndows 7 problem, seeing how that we both have different video cards (ATI and Nvidia).

It's not like this flash game runs slow to the point where it's unplayable, but you can definitely tell the frame rate is lower than with Desktop Composition off. And again, flash video plays fine for me... it's just this particular flash game for me (Age of War).
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