Forum Forums General Software Browsers

  • This topic has 16 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated May 5-7:20 pm by calciumsodium.
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    I wanted to share a recent finding that I experienced regarding browsers in antiX. I quick background and then the test. I recently installed google chrome in antiX and wanted to see how it would perform in antiX. I use google chrome and microsoft edge on my Windows computers both at home and at work. I was watching several youtube videos about fishing, and I noticed that it was streaming very fast. I had been using firefox predominantly in antiX previously. So I was thinking about how I could test to see if there was a difference. I downloaded the lastest version of firefox, firefox-esr, chrome, chromium, and edge:

    firefox 88.0
    firefox-esr 78.9.0
    google-chrome-stable 90.0.4430.93-1
    chromium 89.0.4389.114-1
    microsoft-edge-dev 92.0.873.1-1

    I would watch the same youtube fishing video on each of these browsers and compare CPU %:

    With no other major programs running, I would individually launch each of these browsers only and then load the youtube fishing video. Now, upon loading a youtube video, cpu load is initially high. Then cpu load would drop and then stabilize. Visually, I can tell that cpu load is stabilizing because of the cpu load icon at the lower right of the screen in the task bar line directly to the left of the time. When that CPU load trace line is horizontal and even, I would quickly click Show Desktop and record the CPU % level in conky. This is what I found for that video:

    browser CPU %

    firefox 47
    firefox-esr 51
    google-chrome-stable 20
    chromium 30
    microsoft-edge-dev 28

    Interestingly, this trend is similar when I was watching other videos as well. My finding suggests that the chromium based browsers (chrome, chromium, edge) perform better than the firefox based browsers with streaming videos. But of the chromium based browsers, chrome performs the best.

    This test was performed on an old Toshiba Satellite C55-B5300 laptop using antiX-bullseye-a2-full-64-bit OS. The specs for this cpu is:
    Model name: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU N2840 @ 2.16GHz
    Stepping: 8
    CPU MHz: 1934.387
    CPU max MHz: 2582.3000
    CPU min MHz: 499.8000
    BogoMIPS: 4333.33
    Virtualization: VT-x
    L1d cache: 48 KiB
    L1i cache: 64 KiB
    L2 cache: 1 MiB

    Too bad chrome and edge are not available on 32-bit versions. I would really like to test their performance on my antiX 32-bit systems.

    Therefore, I have been using the chromium-based browsers for more of the cpu intensive web browsing.

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by anticapitalista. Reason: shrunk video

    I think this is related to hardware decoding or hardware acceleration (I think more to the first). I also experienced this on a low powered PC, where firefox and MPV played 1080p videos badly, and VLC and chromium played them without stuttering. My conclusion is that they must use some hardware decoding instead of software decoding, but i wasn’t able to find the option to enable this on firefox and MPV to be able to “fix” them.


    The results are not that much surprising.
    YouTube, owned by Google, is optimised for their browser, hence chromium-based ones perform better.
    Would you care to try examine performance:
    1) On another platform – not YouTube – with videos (may be already done as hinted by your text “when I was watching other videos as well.”)?
    2) Change user-agent (via an add-on) for A) FF -> Chrome and B) Chrome -> FF?
    3) Turn off HW acceleration in Chrom* (Settings -> System)
    4) Tinker with FF Preferences -> Performance; when I un-tick the “Use recommended performance settings”, option with HW acceleration with adjustable “Content process limit” appears.


    I also experienced this on a low powered PC, where firefox and MPV played 1080p videos badly, and VLC and chromium played them without stuttering

    I’ve noticed the same exact thing with Firefox and I agree with sybok’s assumption that Google optimized YouTube to run better on their closed source browser- I see no other reason for YT running faster on Chrome than on Chromium (except that it may have some hardware acceleration problems).
    On very low resources system, MPV always but always performed better for me than VLC- but I did have to search on-line on how to alter MPV default settings – and make a smart usage of the frame skipping options, etc.
    My single core Atom (but 64bits) netbook can play 1080p mkv video files in an 100% watchable way- I only notice some stuttering when a big chunk of the screen changes around, but it does not affect the enjoyment of the video.



    Streaming can be difficult on older systems, especially single core 32-bit. I suggest trying to download and playback rather than stream. I use SMTube or yt-download, etc.

    Of course your machine is more capable and can use 64-bit and as you have found out Chrome may work best for you on YouTube. You could also try changing the setting to a lower resolution, instead of 1080p you could use 720p or 540p, or even 480p. (or gods forbid 360p!)

    Anyway, I find that 64-bit is easier manage than 32-bit in this area.



    @sybok suggested that I change the hardware acceleration on Firefox to see if there was any change in CPU %.

    Using the same youtube fishing video:

    when the CPU load leveled off, the CPU % was still at about 47%.

    With regards to the content process limit option, it did not change much.

    CPU % content process limit
    47% 8
    45% 6
    43% 4

    So basically not much change when varying these parameters in firefox.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by anticapitalista. Reason: shrunk video

    @sybok suggested I do the test on another platform.

    So I tried a bushcraft video in vimeo:

    Initially, this video produced more choppy cpu load % compared to the previous youtube video, but did eventually leveled off. That is when I measured the CPU %.

    browser CPU %

    firefox 50
    firefox-esr 47
    google-chrome-stable 29
    chromium 37
    microsoft-edge-dev 38

    The pattern reproduces. Google chrome still performed best of these browsers. Again, the chromium based browsers performed better.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by anticapitalista. Reason: shrunk video

    Hi, thank you for making the other tests as well.
    It seems to imply that the web content is better suited to chrom* or the other way around.


    I watched the same fishing video with mpv:

    I got 14%-15% cpu usage.

    The same video on Brave browser used 19%-20% cpu.

    Looks to me like copying the youtube url and watching it in mpv video player is the best in terms of cpu. Brave was similar to what the OP reported on Chrome.


    Good idea. Thanks @andyprough.

    Brave is a chromium-type browser. Thanks.


    Hi, there is a topic by @catalinux concerning, among others, watching youtube videos with smaller/minimal memory footprint.
    It suggested e.g. and other alternatives.

    If interested in sound only, it helps to switch to another tab so that the video rendering is not needed.

    External viewer (VLC, mpv etc.) is yet another option.

    BTW, VLC enables watching videos in ASCII art (though probably not lightweight). 🙂

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by sybok. Reason: Fix misinterpretation of text by forum "transformation/interpretation"

    I wonder if Google did some shenanigans to optimize YouTube for low-end Chromebooks or something, this is legitimately impressive stuff here.


    Thanks for the advice on hooktube. That dropped the CPU usage a lot. The only downside is the lack of suggested videos on the right hand side in hooktube. You win some, you lose some.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by calciumsodium.

    The only downside is the lack of suggested videos on the right hand side in hooktube
    When I last visited, yandex pages had animated video thumbnails, as well as “related” (aka “recommended?”) right in the search results page. Possibly even an embedded mini player in the page (360p? 480p?)


    Ok, here are some tips for viewing youtube videos:
    1- use streamlight, that comes, out of the box in antiX, to open youtube videos, instead of using your browser to play them
    2- use mpv. This is really simple: open a terminal > type “mpv ” > drag the adress of the youtube video to the terminal and press enter
    If you want to change the screen resolution, follow the instructions provided here
    When the video is playing, press Ctrl + f . Wait a few moments and all available video formats pop up. Use up and down keys to select the mode you want, and press enter. The video then plays in the format you want
    3- use – it provides “suggested videos”, and works from inside your browser, does not require Javascript to be enabled…


    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by PPC.
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