Random YouTube videos almost cause system halt with lag in Chromium on Debian 9.8 i686. Drivers and web browser seem up to date.

Most YouTube videos, for example this video plays with no issues whatsoever, nice and smooth, with at most 720p resolution.

Some videos others videos like this one and this one almost crash the browser, and on one occasion simultaneously caused the chromium process to consume 70% CPU usage and stop responding.

Unimaginable lag.

I can't see any rhyme or reason to these issues, and they make YouTube close to un-usable.

The hardware could be considered underpowered, but a lot of HD video plays fine.

I have tried other browsers, Iceweasel plays them but plays all videos slowly, Midori, Xombrero, and Minitube don’t play at all.

  • what CPU model do you have? – Keltari May 3 at 17:24
  • Keltari, this computer has an Intel Core Duo T2300 – ArraysStartAt1 May 3 at 17:33
  • That's a very old processor that may simply be incapable of processing the Youtube content efficiently. – music2myear May 10 at 17:41

The ultimate reason your computer lags while playing certain YouTube videos is quite simple: Your computer is very old.

Your CPU and associated hardware and was released 13 years ago. It simply doesnt have the processing power to handle 1080p video, which the videos you listed are recorded in.

I do not use Chromium, but Chrome has an option to enable hardware acceleration, which might help. I would think Chrome would have a similar option. Adding more RAM and/or a SSD may also help. However, neither of these is a guarantee. Or you can simply opt for viewing videos in a lower resolution, which these videos did not have.

  • I have tried disabling hardware acceleration before, which does make those pages load properly but everything has extreme screen tearing. Most videos can play at 720p, and the examples of "bad" videos don't seem to struggle from being too high resolution, and do not improve in 144p. – ArraysStartAt1 May 3 at 17:55
  • a bit of background; I'm trying to breathe new life into this relatively old "mini pc" i have alongside my main computer for my parents to use – ArraysStartAt1 May 3 at 17:56
  • @ArraysStartAt1 Other than trying more RAM and a SSD, as I mentioned in the answer, there isnt much more you can "breathe" into it. You could try a lightweight Linux distro, but I doubt that will help much, but its possible. Hardware has its limits and you have pretty much reached it. – Keltari May 3 at 21:09
  • what are your thoughts on the first comment – ArraysStartAt1 May 4 at 7:50
  • 1
    @ArraysStartAt1 Debian really isnt lightweight, although lighter than many mainstream distros. Google "lightweight linux distros" to see better choices. – Keltari May 4 at 19:27

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