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These graphs show the GPU usage patterns of the Flash Player plugin for Firefox and Chrome, respectively. The test involved playing a 30-second HD Facebook video.

As the graphs show, Firefox uses over 40% GPU during playback. After playback, (sitting paused), it drops to idle or near-idle.

Chrome uses much less GPU, as shown in the second graph. The 2nd play was obtained by using the Play Again button. Even though it is slightly higher than the first play, both times through use significantly less GPU resources than Firefox.

Both browsers have the latest installation/version of Flash player, and are running on Windows 7 x64 with Windows Aero enabled. The GPU is an Intel integrated card. Rebooting changes nothing.

Why the discrepancy?


Firefox Firefox


Chrome Chrome

No memory graphs, but Chrome's total usage (with nothing else running) was approximately 1/2 of Firefox's total usage.

share|improve this question
The newest versions of Firefox support native hardware video acceleration. I have no idea if Chrome does this, but I'd guess it doesn't - it explains the difference nicely. You could just try disabling that in Firefox to see what it does, though. That said - what on earth is your question here? I don't actually see a question. Do you just want to know "Why is this"? – Shinrai Dec 27 '11 at 22:31
It's impossible to make comparisons with just the GPU graph. You gotta look at the CPU and memory graphs also. – surfasb Dec 27 '11 at 23:50
@surfasb - Added CPU graphs and note about memory usage. – Unsigned Dec 28 '11 at 15:57
I'm at lost. Now I'm curious about my machine. . . – surfasb Dec 30 '11 at 5:12

The designers of the software assume that the whole GPU is theirs. They use every bit of GPU that's available to do the best job of decompression, artifact removal, interpolation and smoothing, and so on.

You could just as well wonder why Chrome is wasting so much of your GPU power. In fact, I'll bet Chrome is doing a lot of work with your CPU that Firefox does with the GPU.

share|improve this answer
I have added the screencaps of the CPU as well. Firefox does not show any noticeable drop in CPU usage. Certainly does not seem enough to justify hogging the GPU. – Unsigned Dec 28 '11 at 15:59

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