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I have random problems with flash videos for a while now. After playing a while they have a very low framerate and consume maximum CPU. This happens on youtube, vimeo and with most other flash based video content. Its on chrome and Firefox and happens more frequently when in fullscreen.

If it happens, my whole computer is slow, windows building up very slow and I can barely move my mouse and other tasks like skype.exe also use maximum CPU. After some time I am able to kill the flash task or chrome and it works again. But its super annoying and I have no idea what could be the cause... Any ideas? could it be a virus? or a bad BIOS? graphics driver?

Hardware is a Vaio VPC-Z1 with i7 quad core 2,8 GHz, nVidia GT330m 1GB, 8 GB RAM and SSD disks... so it should really be no problem to play flash videos, even in full HD.

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Is your computer getting very hot at those moments? The performance of your CPU can be slowed down when it's getting too hot. (You can measure this using a tool like Speedfan) – Nick van Tilborg Apr 2 '13 at 14:23
@NickvanTilborg thats a good idea, speedfan revealed that when its going towards 80°C the low framerate occurs... – thalm Apr 8 '13 at 10:34
So that is the main problem. Now you can look what is the reason of getting to hot. It can be a software problem, like @Radoo's answer, but maybe your fan is full of dust. It is good to clean your fan once in a while. – Nick van Tilborg Apr 8 '13 at 11:13

Your laptop might not dissipate heat fast enough, so your system is throttling the CPU and GPU, giving you a direct performance hit.

Another root cause could be some bad version of Flash player. Upgrade to the latest version. Test if you have the same issue using HTML5 and not Flash on Youtube:

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that is a good idea! will investigate in that direction... – thalm Apr 8 '13 at 10:32

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