Flash Player Performance on OS X : Looking for Examples

We are looking for examples of Flash movies that perform measurably worse on OS X than on Windows. If you have an example, please send it to wish-flash@macromedia.com with the following information:

  • Simple fla demonstrating the issue.
  • Steps to reproduce the issue.
  • How performance is being measured.
  • System specs on mac machine, as well as windows machine (if it was tested on both).

The more that you can isolate where the performance is being degregated, the more likely we will be able to isolate and address it.

61 Responses to Flash Player Performance on OS X : Looking for Examples

  1. phil says:

    glad you care about the performance on OS X. it’s about time. this has been a problem since verion 4…i really hope this is going to fall on fertile ground!it would also be quite nice to fix the IDE’s numerous bugs, like the aweful debugger, or the huge performance issues when (e.g.) exporting FLAs with components (combobox, scrollpane, scrollbar…). neither the IDE nor the player should be slower on mac than on a comparable pc.

  2. ericd says:

    I think this is great! i have numerous flas to submit to showcase the slowness. setInterval-controlled stuff usually runs close to the same, but most everything else is slower. even the authoring environment is a lot slower…

  3. Joseph Magnani says:

    Thank You Macromedia! =) Please do anything you can!I’ve noticed creating new empty movieclips is pretty slow. Also have to agree that the Macromedia components build pitifully compared to my PC. But any general framerate/blitting speed up would be much appreciated! can you tap some altivec love?

  4. Dan says:

    Cool. email sent. Check out http://www.bikinmotion.co.uk. The flash navigation element vanishes in IE on any Mac OS, but not in any other browsers on any platform. Any ideas? I’m about to give up and replace the flash with something else.

  5. Dan O'Brien says:

    umm. the email address you gave don’t work! I just got it returned.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “degregated”?? like the poor English language on the interweb?;)

  7. jack says:

    Any updates on Macomedia’s point of view on these OS X issues?

  8. mickael says:

    there is just one simple thing to do :take a given flash movie based on a bit of actionscripted animation ( for exsample including the nice spinning objekts around programmatically swf by collin moock from moock.org code depot) and fire up a mac with osX running the player in any given browser, and beside that you run an equivalent or even midrange PC…. hit the enter button to load the movie simultaniously and off we go …everybody would see the difference…the funny thing is that on osX the frame rate gets a bit better, when the content is savely cached by the browser and you rewind the movie and watch it again… during download aktivities in the back it’s a mere catastrophy … the mac player will be about 10 frames slower than the PC player…saying this, a good thing to test is streaming audio during movie playback : that knocks down the frame rate perfectly …for better controls it might be nice to integrate mr moock’s framerate calculator …greetings

  9. “degregated”??hehe, funny word…

  10. buscadores says:

    Non english speakers don’t speak well. Sorry for this

  11. Markp.com says:

    My game runs amazingly slow on all macs no matter what spec, check it out at http://idb.markp.com its a racing game like Grand theft auto.There is a newer version which runs slightly better on Macs but its still miles away from the speed of the Windows version.Mark

  12. Peter says:

    I’ve got a simple solution for disappearing flash movies in IE5 on the mac. Put a movieclip in the background. For ex. a line running from top to bottom and a line running from left to right. As long as the player has to write ‘new’ data on the screen it will display o.k. A slow example can be seen at http://www.pingels.nl

  13. buscadores says:

    thanks for the info

  14. M S says:

    Can anybody help? I’m doing a Flash MX site but everytime I try loading it (from my server) to a PC I get a black screen, it only works on Mac.. Any ideas? please answer to winesaplot@aol.com subject line: Flash.. Thanx a lot!

  15. I dont understand, is this feedback being looked at? Just put some money into fixing this problem, please. Call steve jobs up or something. Flash’s crappy mac performance makes pc’s look better, and I’m all for that, but for the sake of my job as a developer, Flash needs to be universal. so far it’s not!

  16. mike chambers says:

    >I dont understand, is this feedback being looked at?Yes. see:http://www.markme.com/mxna/search.cfm?searchTerm=player+xmike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  17. Gioia says:

    thanx very much for the site. I’ve solved a very big problem!

  18. tetas says:

    Very interesting site!!

  19. shilmar says:


  20. Thanx for the information! 🙂

  21. dwym says:

    felicitaciones, muy interesante!

  22. That’s a great work!!!

  23. Congratulations from Spain!!!

  24. puertas says:

    Thanx for the information!

  25. traceroute says:

    Nice summary… thanks for posting it.

  26. dave says:

    Real Madrid soccer tickets

  27. wez says:

    Hey:http://www.2advanced.com and all of their portefolio is just mad slow on macs!as well as the worst one ever:http://www.macromedia.com/exchange/ (i cant use it actually, takes waaaaay too long, if it works at all. The search function NEVER works. By far the worst performance I´ve seen on a serious corporate site running flash)The authoring enviromnment and the player is not even worth talking about. incredibly slow, and it crashes all the time… Upgrading to 2004 just made things worseActually:I have a p3 166mmx notebook thats running .swf´s at the same speed as my osx 10.2.3 g4 887mhz 1gb ram machine!!!…whats with that!Sorry to say, but very soon, these issues will force most serious flash developers to migrate to pc´s. Plus, it feels really illoyal to us mac fans that macromedia seems to not care about this at all. Even the flash authoring environment is starting to look like win xp (f.ex. the extremly crappy looking hourglass symbol when opening stuff) Except it doesn´t incorporate the most craved features like .fla tabs, and even worse, there are no shortcuts for switching between fla´s/windows?frustrated dude 🙂

  28. Leigh-Anne says:

    When I tested my animation in the browser in both platforms, I found that my animation is much faster and smoother on the laptop than on my Mac even though my movies have preloading and streaming (for music) capability. It gets worse when my movies play some small sized external SWF files.I wish Macromedia group fix this problem. I’m comfortable with working on Mac and Flash application is in my Mac HD. I don’t have the app. for PC. It’s very tedious to go back and fourth with different platform’s browsers.So, please FIX the problem!Thank you!L-A

  29. Leigh-Anne says:

    When I tested my animation in the browser in both platforms, I found that my animation is much faster and smoother on the laptop than on my Mac even though my movies have preloading and streaming (for music) capability. It gets worse when my movies play some small sized external SWF files. See examples… http://gfoot.inteloquence.com/GAecard/holidays2004.html and http://graphicsafoot.com/clients/Vexure_Ecard_final_2004/holidays2004.htmlI wish Macromedia group fix this problem. I’m comfortable with working on Mac and Flash application is in my Mac HD. I don’t have the app. for PC. It’s very tedious to go back and fourth with different platform’s browsers.So, please FIX the problem!Thank you!L-A

  30. es says:

    a new g4 laptoppaid extra $ for the bigger video card and for a gig of ramjust spent another $400 or so on macromedia products.and you know what? this is just embarrassing.it makes flash production so absolutely aggravatingand flash viewing equally excruciatingmy 300mhz pc can do better than my new g4 on flashget in gear, macromedia.

  31. jef says:

    More of my work is coming from Flash and I’m going to have to buy a PC laptop which is too sad. Trying to develop Flash on a mac is painful and impossible for larger projects. Please help.

  32. Marc says:

    Frustrating… we are hoping there is a resolution of the speed issue on the horizon, as we would like to deploy mac minis behind plasmas in the retail environment and run flash content on them – not a hope at the moment as they are running dog slow. Driving factor is that a mac mini on a wireless network is cheaper and much better output than the distributing VGA ove long distances, including over CAT 5.

  33. Jimmy says:

    PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!! Macromedia, what is happening with the performance of flash on a mac? This is a huge problem and cant believe it has not already been sorted out. With hundreds of thousands of sites using flash and the ever increasing number of macs been sold these days you would think macromedia would address the matter. Seems macromedia does not give a dam about the mac community. I do all my development work on my PC laptop and refuse to switch to my mac untill the issue is resolved… I know alot of you designers/developers out there know what I am talking about.Lets hope a dual G5 powerbook with 2 gigs of ram running osx tiger soves the problem…Frustrated, Irritated, impatient… forgive me..Jimmy

  34. Keith Halpin says:

    It’s been over 2 years since the original post. WTF! Where is the fix?

  35. pako says:

    Macromedia should be embarrassed selling The Mac version of Flash MX 2004. I wouldn’t even consider and suggest any web developer to switch to mac. its is too unbearable. Macromedia please find a solution!!

  36. martin says:

    insanity! i was shocked to discover this performance lag! i use both PC and Mac (like a lot of people).i never noticed flash animation running so *crappily* on my mac until i started converting my site into flash. BAH! it runs at a pitiful and choppy frame rate, yet the CPU is running 30%and it’s hardly a complex flash documentrecently another friend saw his site on my computer and was astounded that it runs so slowly…unacceptable. i await the open SVG format to gain popularity and be integrated in firefox.i will try running it on some other macs, but i may have to simply abandon flash.furthermore, researching this issue on the web has found consistent reports dating back YEARS with no solutions? wha?and yes, MX2004 looks and runs plain ugly on OS X.

  37. The Flash player alone seems to run fine but it is when you play the flash movie through a browser like Safari or FireFox it completly chokes.

  38. Ralf says:

    Running latest OS X here on a new iMac, and no problems with framerate as long as playback is NOT in a browser. (Flash MX)Even with a complex game including 700 x 500 background scrolling I get around 100 fps (just for testing this issue, of course).The original framerate of the game is 30 fps and it runs smoothly when you double-click the .swf or run a projector. However, Safari will NEVER go beyond 25 fps, no matter what settings you do in the Flash movie.That’s a bug in the plug-in, I guess?

  39. wolf2k5 says:

    The Flash player performance issue on the Mac platform is a long-standing and very annoying issue, please fix it.Thanks.

  40. daRoost says:

    Running OS 10.3.9 on a Dual 2GHz G5. I’m not having any sluggish playback, but I do get a plugin Freeze wich requires me to Force Quit the browser (any browser). Mostly on websites of Flash 8 exemples.But if I try on a G4, then I get really slow playback on some sites when I don’t get any with my G5 -> http://www.aria-nightclub.com/aria3.html or http://www.daroost.ca/beta/I think I know wich code make them run slow : The background image resize to Stage.width and Stage.height.It’s really frustrating because I will need to rething my strategy. I don’t want pple to think that I made a bad design !

  41. Drezz says:

    Ugh. I’m running a Quiksilver PowerPC G4 733mhz with OSX 10.2.8, and working in FlashMX2004 is like taking a trip to the dentist for several simultaneous root canals.This morning, while my fla was building an swf (fla was 2Mb for an swf that is 240k) I had enough time to make coffee, do a bit of art direction, chat about last night’s Monday Night Football, share anecdotes about high school biology class dissections, and pour a cup of joe before the swf was finally built.Gimme a break. That’s ridiculous.I’ve noticed the biggest lags occur wen I’m trying to create a text box (upwards of 30 seconds JUST to get the I-bar cursor to even appear), opening the Actions panel(about 20 secs or so), and just selecting a frame on the timeline (10 sec wait.)I’ve never had problems like this before. I realize that I need more RAM, but this is just too much. I had an old PII 400Mhz that ran Flash 5 and it performed better than this.Looking forward to a “groundbreaking” fix.

  42. Why not start a name-collection and send it to the big man over at MM? So that they will take care of this extremely annoying problem once and for all?Every technical issue can be solved, it just needs more money put into it..

  43. Robb Bennett says:

    Hi all,I’ve been surfing all day to find a solution for how SLOW Flash 8 loads on a G4 PowerBook. When I said loads slow I don’t mean the initial loading of the application but more so when I go from SEPY back to Flash. I get the dreaded spinning pinwheel for over 15 seconds. This is extremly frustrating to me so I’ve shut down the NEW Mac and went back to my PC. I’m really surprised that Macromedia hasn’t done anything to support this. I know I’m not the only person in the world this has happened to.I’m running 1.67 GHz and 1GB RAM with Flash 8 Pro.Please help!p.s. this is my 1st week on a Mac and I LOVED it until this started happening. PC’s might not look as good but they sure run great.

  44. Benny says:

    Hey same here, just got a Powerbook 1.33 ghz, 1 gb ram for a few weeks, and Flash 8 run terribly slow here. The windows redraw, time slider, drawing etc. On my PC which is comparable in speed, runs very fast.I’m wondering if the Flash 8 IDE is as slow on a ‘new’ G5?

  45. Richard Soares says:

    Basically its a Mac video hardware issues for slooow Flash 8 rendering. read on…You probably have seen that Mac performance is ‘slightly’ better one some machines, especially under Safari. I should give you a hint why that is. If your Mac is Quartz Extreme capable (that does NOT mean we use Quartz, it just means the hardware requirements are met!), try to profile Safari with some Flash content by using the OpenGL profiler which is part of the Apple Developer Tools. Add to that some profiling with Shark on a G4 or higher and the answer should be clear 🙂 This also explains the odd scrolling behavior some of you have noticed in Safari. We are trying to resolve that with Apple in the future, but for now we feel the benefits outweighed that odd behavior. But if you feel strongly about that issue or otherwise see any other weird behavior in Safari please let us know as soon as possible. The reason FireFox and Opera do not work with this enhancement is because of this bug we filed: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=298961“So, in essence it means that the Flash Player will use OpenGL on OS X 10.2 or newer to display its content if the machine meets the requirements. This is the direct result of working with some Apple engineers which were really helpful in getting us to be confident with these changes. In addition almost every core rendering routine now has an AltiVec implementation, you should see that when profiling using Shark. We spend a lot of time on this in this release.The bad news is that essentially all G3 based Macs will not see these improvements, some older G4 based Mac which are using ATI Rage 128 cards are also limited in that they and will not support the OpenGL rendering mode. This is because these cards do not support the GL_TEXTURE_RECTANGLE_EXT extension.I hope this helps.

  46. Anonymous says:

    The flash 9 debug player is trash on the mac. I’m so tired of every page locking up. Seriously.