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flash overheats macbook

New Here ,
Jun 15, 2018 Jun 15, 2018

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I got my MacBook Pro 13inch 2017 two weeks ago, and I downloaded flash player because I need to use it, as well as other family members. however, after ten minutes of being on the website which requires flash player to run, my Mac begins to overheat, making the keys very  hot to touch. my cpu was over 100 at one point.

I have downloaded the latest version of the software, and contacted apple to see if its a problem with them, but they said to ask adobe so here I am.

does anybody have any advice of how I can resolve this, so that I can use websites which require flash player without my Mac overheating? thank you

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Adobe Employee , Jun 18, 2018 Jun 18, 2018
Flash is a language runtime, similar to Java, where we process compiled bytecode written by developers, and we do the low-level work of allocating memory and drawing pixels to the screen.Flash Player doesn't have anything to do with thermal management on the laptop, but people (including me) typically don't like when the fans come on.The fact that the fans are on doesn't mean that the laptop is overheating.  It's just using enough power that it requires the fans to run. The case is aluminum beca...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 15, 2018 Jun 15, 2018

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It's normal and common for Flash to make the computer run at full power. That's the main reason it was banned from iPhones.

But running at full power is a normal thing for a Mac, and while it may worm up it should not get hotter than Apple's maximum. Which they don't tell us. However, the Mac can run safely (for itself) up to 70 celcius. If it's uncomfortably hot ask Apple if that's normal - and don't put it on your lap if you were considering that: they stopped calling them laptops because they get too hot for laps.

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New Here ,
Jun 15, 2018 Jun 15, 2018

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so if I have it on a desk and use the websites that need flash, it won't damage the Mac?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 15, 2018 Jun 15, 2018

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Not unless the Mac is faulty. Computers are made to run flat out, full time, if needed.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 18, 2018 Jun 18, 2018

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Flash is a language runtime, similar to Java, where we process compiled bytecode written by developers, and we do the low-level work of allocating memory and drawing pixels to the screen.

Flash Player doesn't have anything to do with thermal management on the laptop, but people (including me) typically don't like when the fans come on.

The fact that the fans are on doesn't mean that the laptop is overheating.  It's just using enough power that it requires the fans to run. The case is aluminum because it passively conducts heat out into the surrounding air.  Having the laptop on a soft surface that blocks the fans or limits the case's ability to conduct heat away from the internal components will definitely impact the laptop's ability to cool itself.  It also doesn't hurt to blow the dust bunnies out of the fans with some compressed air once in a while.  That said, cooling issues don't have anything to do with Flash, beyond the fact that it's using available compute resources, and they're throwing off some heat as part of their normal operation.

The hardware in modern laptops typically has a low-power/low-thermal-output mode, which helps to conserve battery life at the expense of performance.  If the laptop is mostly idle, you can often get away with passive cooling, which means that you're not using batteries to spin fans, and the CPUs are using the least possible amount of power.  This in turn gets you quiet operation and long battery life.  If the content on the page requires a lot of computation, then those components will go into full-power mode, which starts the active cooling regimen, and uses more battery power for both operation and cooling.

The amount of CPU cycles consumed by Flash Player are directly related to the code that the content provider has written, and the sheer number of flash-related things they've stuck on the page.  If a website is performing poorly, your options generally fall into the categories of "complain to the content provider", "vote with your feet and find the content elsewhere", and "experiment with other browsers and/or ad-blockers".

Typically what's going on when you're browsing a website or news article and all the fans come on, is that the content provider has embedded a bunch of ads and tracking scripts on to their page.  In a world where content is free, ads pay the bills, and there's this whole complex ecosystem where the content provider has to prove to the advertiser that their ads were shown, and the advertiser has to pay the content provider and they want to know how their ads are performing, how people are using the website, etc. Much of the work in browsers lately around power management is really about blocking ads and tracking software, which are generally the real culprits in the situation.

It's not abnormal to see sites stuff dozens of ads and tracking scripts on to a single page, and in some instances, we'll see "ad stuffing", where there are dozens and dozens of ads on a page, but many aren't visible because they've drawn other stuff on top of them.  When advertisers are paying per "impression", people can abuse the system to get more revenue that way.  To combat it, the advertiser will then need some other tracking script to validate that their ad is visible, and you just end up with all this bloat on the page.


Long story short, the content provider is best positioned to troubleshoot and fix this.  We provide a free performance profiling tool called Adobe Scout that will let them identify slow code in their content and optimize it.  In 99.99% of instances, this is all that's really required.  In the event that the content provider truly identifies a language-level issue that needs our attention, they'll have a detailed root-cause analysis at that point, and we'd be happy to have an engineering-level discussion with them.

Thanks!

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Advisor ,
Jun 18, 2018 Jun 18, 2018

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Jeromiec is absolutely right, the overheat is entirely related to how the websitee content code has been written and optimized, it's not related to the runtime engine itself. For example, with my 10 years old laptop when I test my flash actionscript applications, let's say watch a simple video or stream a webcam the CPU is twice less than the Youtube player made in HTML5/javascript.

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