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Starred by 33 users

Issue metadata

Status: Archived
Closed: Apr 2015
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Mac
Pri: 2
Type: Bug

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Issue 399960: Video playback, CSS transitions, and other GPU operations drastically heat up 13" Retina Macbook Pros

Reported by, Aug 3 2014

Issue description

UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_9_4) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/36.0.1985.125 Safari/537.36

Steps to reproduce the problem:
1. Use a 2013, 13" rMBP. 15" have discrete video cards and do not apply to this specific problem.
2. Open up a Youtube video, i.e.
3. Watch for about a minute, then notice the MBP becomes very hot and the fans spin loudly. This becomes incrementally worse until the video is stopped.

Option #2

1. Open up a Google+ Story, such as
2. Flip through the photos back and forth for a minute or so, triggering the CSS transitions
3. Notice the fans spin up loudly and the laptop become hot

What is the expected behavior?
Chrome and Youtube should not make the laptop become very hot or spin up fans significantly.

In Safari and FF, the laptop becomes slightly warm, but otherwise does not trigger the fans while watching Youtube videos. In Chrome, Youtube videos will consistently heat up the laptop, blast the fans, and drain the battery.

What went wrong?
Macbook became hot, fans spun quickly, battery life dropped drastically compared to other browsers.

Did this work before? N/A 

Chrome version: 36.0.1985.125  Channel: stable
OS Version: OS X 10.9.4
Flash Version: Shockwave Flash 14.0 r0

This does not happen on the 15" rMBP, or the 13" Macbook Air. On the two machines I've tested it on, Youtube or any GPU intensive site will consistently trigger this massive heatup.

I've noticed this behavior since I first purchased the machine 3 months ago, but wanted to see if any fixes came down the pipeline. Since I couldn't find anything describing this exact problem and the other Macbook 100% thread (link below) seems to be filling up with unrelated issues, I opted to start this specific issue.

Comment 1 by, Aug 3 2014

Labels: Performance

Comment 2 by, Aug 5 2014

Labels: Cr-Internals-GPU

Comment 3 by, Aug 11 2014

Labels: Needs-Feedback
No Luck, I am unable to reproduce the issue on Retina and Chrome Version: 36.0.1985.125.

Can you provide mini dump when this issue happens again?

Instructions can be seen here:

Comment 4 by, Aug 11 2014

Did you test it specifically on the 2013, 13" Retina? This is the only model I've been able to reproduce this issue on.

I'm working on getting the crash dump right now

Comment 5 by, Aug 11 2014

Crash dump from running this simple CSS3 animation:

After about 60 seconds, the fans of the 13" rMBP start spinning up loudly and the laptop becomes noticeably hot over the next few minutes.

Also attached is a task manager screenshot. Curious if the GPU process CPU level is commonly that high.
129 KB Download
Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.05.38 PM.png
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Comment 6 by, Aug 19 2014

Can you provide process samples when this happens?

Comment 7 by, Aug 19 2014

Here's the dumps for Chrome and the Helper, both of which had high CPU while running the css3.html page.
Sample of Google Chrome Helper.txt
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Sample of Google Chrome.txt
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Comment 8 by, Oct 23 2014

ccameron, can you check if the samples from comment 7 look familiar to you?

Comment 9 by, Oct 23 2014

That looks like the code to draw frames using the IOSurface path.

Is there any chance that vsync is disabled (--disable-gpu-vsync)? If that happens, we animate as fast as possible and drain the battery.

Comment 10 by, Oct 23 2014

Do we have any of these machines in-house? Seems like so much would be answered easily if we had access to the same hardware.

Comment 11 by, Oct 23 2014

Here's my chrome://gpu, if that's useful at all. I have not explicitly disabled vsync as far as I know, and I can reproduce the issue on other chrome profiles and even other OS installs.

I did figure out something interesting, though: The issue is greatly mitigated when the screen is changed from "More space" to "Best for retina". Safari does not seem to mind the "more space" option, but it seems like chrome's high dpi scaling might be making the GPU operation too expensive.
32.1 KB View Download

Comment 12 by, Oct 23 2014

Yeah, a local repro would help here.

Comment 13 by, Oct 29 2014

Only to show another exemple. I'm with the ''more space'' screen on my 13'' Macbook pro retina. My computer goes crazy when I play HD videos on google chrome. Compare with safari the energy average usage.
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.48.28 AM.png
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Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.48.01 AM.png
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Comment 14 by, Oct 29 2014

Try taking a screenshot of Google Chrome's task manager (former-wrench menu -> more tools -> task manager).

The "Google Chrome Helper" title just goes to all processes except the browser (including plugins, page renderers, the GPU process, etc). If you get a screenshot that shows which of those is eating the CPU, we'll know where to start looking.

Comment 15 by, Oct 29 2014

Wondering if this might be related to the Flash-battery-eating-terribleness that we've been seeing.

Comment 16 by, Oct 29 2014

I can confirm the same symptoms happen with Flash games/videos, but I do
not know if the problem is the same or not.

Comment 17 by, Oct 29 2014

Setup: 2012 rMBP 13", 10.8.5
Display option: "More space".
Playing a flash video ( takes ~53% cpu for Chrome ppapi Flash process, ~46% cpu for Safari Flash Plugin. Playing the video fullscreen consumes ~150-150% cpu for both Chrome & Safari Flash.
Machine gets very hot.

Setup: 2013 rMBP 15", 10.10 GM3
Display option: "More space".
Playing a flash video ( takes ~40% cpu for Chrome ppapi Flash process, ~33% cpu for Safari Flash Plugin. Playing the video fullscreen consumes ~120% cpu for Safari Flash, ~133% cpu for Chrome Flash.
Machine gets very hot.

Initial thoughts:
Chrome comes bundled with ppapi Flash, Safari does not. When I first navigated to on my 2013 rMBP, Safari played html5 video, which only consumed 5-10% of the cpu. Youtube probably has a similar fallback. ppapi flash seems slightly worse than normal Flash (7%), but not hugely so. I do see ~150% machine consumption when playing a fullscreen flash video. 

jaxbot: If you install the flash plugin, and then open the same video in Chrome/Safari, do you see different activity monitor usage? The process for Safari should read: Flash Player (Safari internet plug-in).

Comment 18 by, Nov 2 2014

For me, Chrome uses around 140% on twitch and Safari uses 50% on the same stream. In either case, both machines get hot.
(10.10 on Late 2013 rMBP 13")

I'm more concerned with the issue with native CSS3 animations than Flash. I expect the machine to have a hard time with flash, but when the computer gets hot from the Hangouts bouncing dots animation, it just feels wrong. :S

Comment 19 by Deleted ...@, Dec 16 2014

Same here. 10.10 on Late 2013 Retina Macbook Pro 13"

I can also reproduce this on 41.0.2250.0 canary (64-bit).

Comment 20 by, Dec 23 2014

Labels: TE-NeedsTriageFromMTV
We have "10.9.5 Mid 2012 Retina Macbook Pro 15" " in house. Couldn't reproduce the issue with chrome 41.0.2257.0 canary on the said configuration.

Adding 'TE-NeedsTriageFromMTV' to give a try if the specific(#4) Macbook configuration is available.

Comment 21 by, Dec 23 2014

I can confirm locally that this issue only occurs on the 2013 13" MBP, not
the Air or the 15". From what I understand, the video chipset in the 13" is
fairly weak and thus is sensitive to video overload. This combined with the
amount of pixels on the screen makes a bad combo for any unoptimized
rendering. If I were to guess, the issue doesn't occur in Safari because it
has native support for the DPI retina scaling, whereas Chromium may be
trying to render the objects at 4x their size, or have multiple scaling
operations. Don't know for sure, just know the issue is still relevant for
me on this hardware.

Comment 22 by, Jan 5 2015

Labels: M-41
Status: Confirmed
Looks like we should get this on our radar for investigation/fix in M41.

Comment 23 by, Jan 5 2015

Status: Available

Comment 24 by, Jan 5 2015

Labels: -Pri-2 Pri-1

Comment 25 by, Jan 6 2015

Labels: -TE-NeedsTriageFromMTV

Comment 26 by, Jan 15 2015

Labels: -M-41 M-42 MovedFrom-41
Status: Untriaged
Moving all non essential bugs to the next Milestone.

Comment 27 by, Jan 31 2015

Please fix this. Playing any video (youtube, facebook, etc) will heat up my 2014 retina macbook pro and spin the fan up to max. This happens on all videos, especially if the video is in high definition.

If you need me to provide data, just tell me how to gather it and I'll be happy to. This issue *must* be fixed asap, it makes me want to use safari again.

Comment 28 by, Feb 2 2015

GPU decoding of video for html5 and flash has been enabled on M42 canary, can folks give that build a try and see if it helps at all? It would be a useful data point.

Comment 29 by, Feb 2 2015

@pinkerton: Just downloaded Chrome Canary version 42 directly from the website and installed it. Watched a 1080p video on youtube and my computer quickly reached 90C and fans spinning at full blast. In comparison, Safari keeps the computer reasonable cool and completely quiet.

Comment 30 by, Feb 2 2015

Status: Assigned
Dan, are you the right person to look into this?

@firas.dib: Can you provide the URL of the video you used to test this? That'll give us something specific to go on. Thanks for helping!

Comment 31 by, Feb 2 2015

@pinkerton: Sure, I used -- make sure you select 1080p @ 60 frames! It should be the same for any video.

Any time!

Comment 32 by, Feb 2 2015

Hey, adding in another data point.

The video listed above by #31 has the same effect on my machine.
Version 42.0.2292.0 canary (64-bit)
OSX Yosemite

HOWEVER, pages with CSS transitions do *not* cause Chrome to overheat my computer anymore.

For example, this page:

In M40 and all prior I can remember, this page causes the symptoms #31 and #1 describe. In M42, everything is smooth, no heat issues, no fan. So something definitely did improve, thanks pinkerton!

Comment 33 by, Feb 10 2015

Status: WontFix
Closing as WontFix, as CPU usage during VP9 playback on a Mac is not a bug (assuming the above report is correct that CSS transitions are fixed).

Safari avoids this problem by not supporting VP9, and so YouTube sends H.264, for which Mac OS X supports hardware decode. (And while YouTube may be able to predict this, there is not yet a web platform specification for exposing hardware acceleration details to players.)

Comment 34 by, Feb 10 2015


Comment 35 by, Feb 10 2015

On OSX 10.10.3, Chrome 42:
Watching a fullscreen video on consumes 110% CPU

Same OS, Safari, same video:
60% CPU.

As far as I know, twitch videos are h264 encoded. Can you investigate?

Comment 36 by, Feb 10 2015

See  issue 389215  for Twitch. Twitch is not compatible with Flash video acceleration when using PPAPI.

Comment 37 by, Feb 10 2015

Status: Assigned
If VP9 is suboptimal on mac, and we're not going to fix it (?), can we get YT to send H264 instead?

Comment 38 by, Feb 10 2015

I guess that settles it. Out with Chrome and in with Firefox (which by the way, does not have this problem).

Comment 39 by, Feb 10 2015

#37: I think that would be the option that yields the best user experience on Macbooks. h.264 is supported by the OS and a license is already provided when the user buys the system. VP9 isn't supported by the hardware and leads to bad battery life and a hot, loud machine. It works, but it's a suboptimal user experience to just serving the h.264 version of the video.

Comment 40 by, Feb 11 2015

I'm seeing similar problems on my desktop. I've got a good graphics card, but youtube HD videos and twitch videos are eating up 30-40% of my i7's cpu per video.

Comment 41 by, Feb 11 2015

FYI, I'm on a windows 8 desktop with a nvidia 970 and this is happening.

Comment 42 by, Feb 19 2015


Comment 43 by Deleted ...@, Feb 22 2015

This has also started to happen with Win 8.1 x64 + Chrome Beta when using infiite animation loops in CSS3.

Comment 44 by, Mar 3 2015

Labels: -Pri-1 -M-42 M-43 MovedFrom-42 Pri-2
[AUTO] This issue is Pri-1 but has already been moved once, therefore lowering to Pri-2 and moving to next milesone.

Comment 45 by, Mar 26 2015

This has recently begun (within the past month or so) on both youtube and twitch, as well as if I merely leave chrome open for a duration. It caused me to check my fans, thinking they were blocked.  This is a late 2013 Retina 15-inch MBP.

Comment 46 by, Mar 27 2015

I feel that this bug is starting to touch too many issues to be useful.

WRT twitch:  issue 389215  shows the issue -- Twitch implemented a hardware-accelerated video path which isn't supported on Chrome.
WRT non-hardware decode performance: there is work ongoing decrease the depth of the video decode pipeline and the number of copies that happen (design docs, but no bug #s yet, that I know of)
WRT CSS animation: I'm seeing generally lower CPU usage numbers than the attached screenshots, and the numbers are about the same as Safari (the distribution is a bit different though). Still worth keeping an eye on.

Comment 47 by, Apr 14 2015

Labels: -M-43 MovedFrom-43
[AUTO] This issue has already been moved once and is lower than Priority 1,therefore removing mstone.

Comment 48 by, Apr 16 2015

Labels: M-44
ccameron: should we close down this bug and start a new one? Is there a specific issue this is still tracking?

Comment 49 by, Apr 20 2015

Status: Archived
I'd close this down and start newer, more targeted ones.

Comment 50 by Deleted ...@, May 15 2015

Hey Guys! Sorry for updating the archived topic. I also experience the same issue (late 2013 macbook pro 13", chrome, youtube video in HD and basically all the other videos). 
I am very much interested in the update. Could you please add links to the new discussions formed basing on this one here? Thanks.

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