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Windows 7: Firefox CPU Usage Spikes

17 Jan 2012   #11
reddleman

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I have a similar problem to stevieray. The spike, which happens about every 5-10 seconds, slowly builds the longer Firefox is kept open. I can "solve" the problem by restarting Firefox when it gets too bad, but it always comes back.

I don't have any of the same extensions as stevieray did. We share the following plugins:

  • Google Earth
  • Google Update
  • Java Deployment Toolkit
  • Shockwave Flash
  • Silverlight Plugin

Apologies for posting to an old thread, but this thread is in the top Google results. It also has "solved" in the title even though it's not. I'm sure others are coming here just like I did, so hopefully this additional information helps them.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jan 2012   #12
metalmania31

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

I assume everything is updated with both Firefox and the plugins? Have you tried running it with add-ons disabled? You can do this in the Help menu with the option to "Restart with add-ons disabled".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #13
reddleman

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I'm disabling the plugins we shared to see if that solves it. But immediately after restarting it's always fine. It takes time for the problem to build up, so I won't know whether disabling these plugins worked for awhile.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jan 2012   #14
jloc

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Is 'plugin-container.exe' running?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #15
stevieray

windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Hey reddleman. I've got some good news, and I've got some bad.

The good news is this spike went away a few weeks later, as mysteriously as it arrived...
The bad news is I never did figure out what was causing it.

It just suddenly appeared... and just as suddenly stopped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2012   #16
reddleman

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Well, so far I've avoided the regular spiking behavior seen before. CPU usage still inexplicably spikes occasionally, but Firefox is generally pretty steady around 10-15%. Also, before it was getting into a pattern where it was reliably spiking every ten seconds, and now even when it spikes, it only does so temporarily and then goes back to normal.

I've re-enabled the Shockwave Flash plugin cause it's just impossible to keep it off, but I've kept the others disabled. I read on another forum someone who had a similar problem and solved it by disabling then re-enabling Flash. So I'm not sure if it seems to be solved for me because I've disabled the plugin responsible, or if it was Flash and all it needed was disabling and re-enabling.

I suspect it also has to do with the tabs I keep open. There's a number of tabs like my email, Facebook, Tumblr and Seesmic (a Twitter client) that I keep open in the background since I'm going to be checking them periodically anyway. But they refresh themselves in the background apparently and the longer they're open the more CPU they use.

Seesmic in particular seems to hog the CPU when it's been open a long time. I found that simply reloading the Seesmic page was enough to shave 10% off my CPU usage at times. With Tumblr and Facebook, I can save even more CPU usage by keeping those tabs on pages on those sites that don't automatically refresh. Which is kind of a no-brainer when I phrase it like that.

I should also say that while figuring this out, I made pretty heavy use of a program called Process Explorer, which is basically a heavy-duty Task Manager that lets you see a lot better what's going on in a process. I won't post a link in case that's against the rules, but it definitely helped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #17
metalmania31

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

You know this where I run different browsers so that the cpu and memory are spread out and not being used solely by the one browser. I found this helps. For example I use chrome to stream video or audio radio shows and then surf the net on FF. I found this helped me out tremendously. Cause Chrome does a better job in my experience for media streams, while I still can't live without all my custom settings for FF so I surf the forums, news, etc using that instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #18
reddleman

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I do the same thing. Firefox always seems to stutter with streaming video no matter what the CPU usage is, but Firefox is also so much better in other areas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Firefox CPU Usage Spikes




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