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Default Mini9, Firefox, Heat & Battery life - 04-17-2009, 07:38 PM

This is just an FYI on something I found out, there seem to be a couple of comments on the forum about heat and such, my experiences are below, your mileage may vary.

OSX 10.5.6, 2GB RAM, DellEFI 1.1

My mini9 is mainly used for browsing, music, tv & movies (VLC), the odd game of World of Goo and such. In terms of browsing I use firefox and typically I have about 20 tabs open (23 at the moment), I never power my machine down, just close the lid, open the lid, plug in when needed, its a perfect combo for me, instant on whenever there is some time or the need.

What I noticed was that firefox was always at around 80%+ CPU load constantly, I have iStat installed in the status bar and it was looking like the machine was pretty much fully loaded all the time, even when the browser wasn't in focus and as such the Mini9 would get way too hot, having done some googling on the subject it seemed that flash might be the culprit and so I installed flashblock (and adblockplus) and the change in both temperature, battery life and CPU loading has been significant with the CPU load now in the low 20% range, the whole machine runs so much cooler and it feels like I'm getting a lot more battery life. Whats odd is that I dont have any obviously flash intensive sites open.

So if you do a lot of browsing I can really recommend to install the flashblock plugin,

Regards

Kate
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Default Re: Mini9, Firefox, Heat & Battery life - 04-17-2009, 07:48 PM

Kate, thanks for the heads up on flashblock, I hadn't heard of it.
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Default Re: Mini9, Firefox, Heat & Battery life - 04-17-2009, 11:23 PM

If you, like me, prefer Safari to Firefox, there's a Safari alternative called ClickToFlash, available from http://github.com/rentzsch/clicktoflash/tree/master . It places an inactive item in the place of flash animations, which you can click to activate. It also has the option of whitelisting certain sites of your choosing such as the BBC iPlayer, and/or loading H.264 videos in Quicktime instead of Flash on YouTube. It reduces heat, increases speed, and extends battery life noticeably. Dead good.

Also recommended for Safari is the Glims plugin, which offers almost everything that the commercial Saft plugin offers (and a few it doesn't), but free and with more control. Have a look at the site to see what this offers, since it's a long list: http://www.machangout.com .


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Default 11-23-2009, 10:00 PM

Hey Kate, maybe you should research Dell Mini's and learn their limits before acting as if this is an odd occurrence. Those Mini's are equipped with single core Intel Atom processors which aren't very powerful to begin with. Dell Mini's are bottom of the barrel budget netbooks which are made for very "light" web browsing. Browsing with Firefox, which is known for high CPU usage and memory leaks, with 20+ tabs open isn't a very good idea on a Dell Mini to begin with. When Firefox 4 is released it shouldn't be as bad since it's getting revamped and each tab will be it's own separate process AFAIK.

80% CPU usage with that many tabs open and whatever other processes are running in the background on a Dell Mini seems about right to me.

Remember: It's only a single core Intel Atom processor.
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Default 11-24-2009, 01:29 PM

I'd also suggest adding speedstepping if you don't have it. Makes a big difference in heat. Look for info here on VoodooPowerMini to install it or just on what speedstep is for more info.


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Default 11-24-2009, 03:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoplinger1 View Post
I'd also suggest adding speedstepping if you don't have it. Makes a big difference in heat. Look for info here on VoodooPowerMini to install it or just on what speedstep is for more info.
Speedstep will be useless in a Mini. All Speedstep does is lowers the processor clock speed when idling or doing very light tasks, which isn't much help on a processor that maxes out @ only 1.6 GHz. Using Firefox with over 20 tabs at once is hardly considered a light task, in which case Speedstep will be nonexistent -- her clock speeds will just rise back up to 1.6 GHz to balance out the load.

The fact of the matter is that a single core Atom processor just doesn't handle the workload of Firefox and 20+ tabs very well -- especially if it's loaded with apps.

The only way the problem is going to go away is by decreasing the processor workload. In other words, stop using so many tabs. The processor can't handle it.
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Default 11-24-2009, 08:41 PM

If you say so. Right now I have 12 tabs in Firefox and am running at 42% CPU. So I'm not convinced speedstepping wouldn't help, but then I believe in it and won't do a hackintosh in any laptop until there's a stable way to speedstep it. Just my opinion, YMMV.


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Default 11-26-2009, 02:57 AM

Flashblock isnt really necessary. If you want to block flash without installing extra plugins/extensions, simply goto Tools -> Add-ons, click on Plugins and disable Shockwave flashplayer.

I disable Flash on my Mini9 because it just too cpu intensive.


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Default 11-26-2009, 03:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayR View Post
Hey Kate, maybe you should research Dell Mini's and learn their limits before acting as if this is an odd occurrence. Those Mini's are equipped with single core Intel Atom processors which aren't very powerful to begin with. Dell Mini's are bottom of the barrel budget netbooks which are made for very "light" web browsing. Browsing with Firefox, which is known for high CPU usage and memory leaks, with 20+ tabs open isn't a very good idea on a Dell Mini to begin with. When Firefox 4 is released it shouldn't be as bad since it's getting revamped and each tab will be it's own separate process AFAIK.

80% CPU usage with that many tabs open and whatever other processes are running in the background on a Dell Mini seems about right to me.

Remember: It's only a single core Intel Atom processor.
Hey JayR, maybe your first post shouldn't be to 7 month old thread.

And really, is there any reason to be so condescending?


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Default 11-30-2009, 05:08 AM

as suggested above, if you are running safari, install click to flash,,, disables the flash on a page and just click to enable it if you do want to see anything. works great. better than disabling it all together imo. i do hate flash though but is a necessary evil sometimes.

I also agree that speedstep is a great idea to have installed on these netbooks (it's not useless) You won't always be running all out, atleast my mini doesn't (depends on your usage I guess). There is a util that shows your clock speed (too lazy to look it up and my mini isn't nearby) so you can visually see what your processor is running at. If you can run cooler and extend your battery a bit why not? might just prolong the life of your machine a bit.

+1 underwhelmed
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