CPU & GPU Utilizaiton Very High on YouTube

I’m on the i7-1165G7, and I’m currently using it as a desktop. It’s connected to my main 27" display running at 144Hz (DisplayPort), and a second 60Hz monitor in portrait mode via HDMI, running at 60Hz. The laptop screen is on as well. I only mention that in case it contributes to the issue at hand. I’m at less than 1% utilization on the CPU & GPU when all the screens are on with a few windows open.

Firefox is my browser of choice, and I notice when I open youtube and play a video, the CPU jumps up to about 40% utilization at about 4GHz, and the intel graphics ramp up to about 70%. The fan starts spinning very loudly as well. However, and this is what I don’t understand, if I go fullscreen with a video, both the CPU and GPU go back down to single digit utilization. Similar behavior can be seen on websites like Twitch and other video streaming sites.

I’m just wondering if there’s a reason why this is so taxing on the CPU. The only comparison I can make is watching an HD video on my phone or tablet barely seems to be putting out any heat, so why the issue here? Would it be a problem with Firefox, or is there something else I can do to mitigate the chip heating up so quickly?

Any help would be great!

Did you try another browser?
I’ve been a Firefox user forever, but you do need at least see if it occurs outside of Firefox in order to start troubleshooting

Do you have hardware accelerators enabled in Firefox? And have you updated your graphics drivers?

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So I’ve tried this in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Brave, and while Firefox tends to get the fan spinning the fastest, it still gets pretty noisy in all of the others as well. The performance on the CPU and GPU looks like it’s jumping all over the place in this scenario. I went into device manager to see if I could update the graphics driver, but it says it’s up to date.

If this is common behavior on my chip, then I won’t make a fuss about it. I just find it odd that the CPU is getting taxed this hard over youtube.

It is entirely possible that 144hz screen is throwing things off for you. Try reducing the rate to 60hz to match the other monitors in this setup and then see if the same behavior continues. Also what are the resolutions on those screens? This could also contribute to the issue. Finally as others have commented, do you have hardware acceleration enabled in the browser? Knowing the OS would also help.

Thanks for the reply.

I’m on Windows 11. My main monitor was actually only at 120Hz, but I dropped it to 60 to match the laptop screen and the vertical screen. I still get the same loud fan while using Firefox. It wasn’t this way at first when I was testing this out, but the fan is noticeably quieter while using Brave browser, and the CPU utilization is largely staying in the single digits while in 60Hz mode. If I switch it to 100Hz, the CPU ramps up to anywhere between 15-30% utilization at around 4GHz, and the GPU is sitting around 34% utilization. The fan isn’t too noisy here, but noticeable.

Just to reiterate, this issue is when I have a non-fullscreen video playing. The machine is pretty silent in fullscreen mode, which is confusing for me, but I am admittedly not an expert on what is most taxing on a CPU.

Of all the browsers I’ve tried, it looks like Brave is coming out on top in the efficiency department.

I can’t recommend Brave too many privacy issues there, but if that is not an issue for you then go right on ahead.

Regardless this issue is fascinating, have you tried running firefox with no extensions?

I think the full screen having less cpu and gpu usage may be related to the way vsync is working on your system. i.e. the system is not “confused” as to which monitor it is catering to. This is particularly troublesome on Windows because scaling often results in windows that actually cross over monitors even by a pixel, and boom you could be having a case where outside of full screen it is actually trying to run it on two screens. Are you perchance using 150% scaling or similar. Any odd behavior sizing when you more multiple windows across screens?

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I bet it’s your resolution. I have the same issue with my Framework 11th gen when connected to my 4k external monitor.

Refresh rate probably matters less because I would assume if the source video is 60fps, the underlying drivers/compositors/whatever aren’t actually repainting the video frames twice as fast when you’re at 120hz. But if you’re running at 4k resolution, you’re asking your computer to draw 2.5x more stuff every frame (2256*1504 = 3393024 vs 3840x2160=8294400).

This true however if there are underlying issues with the compositor settings the hz setting of the montior may affect video playback. When troubleshooting a problem make no assumptions.

If I had to guess it’s youtube’s stupid “cinematic lighting” feature. Go to the player settings and turn it off and maybe that improves the situation. It seems to cause extra cpu load for me even on the builtin screen.

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I’ll give this a shot! The 27" is a 1440p monitor, so I’ll see if dropping it down to 1080p does anything noticeable.

I had zero clue that was something you could toggle off. So happy I know this now!

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@Brant_Adams, something isn’t right with the experience you’re getting.

Here’s my setup:

  • i7-1185g7
  • HDMI expansion card
  • HDMI cable 3ft
  • MSI 1440p 144Hz monitor
  • Windows 10, Firefox 117.0.1
  • Played this video at 4k60

Average CPU utilization was between 12-15%

Something is eating up those CPU cycles on your system in the browser process. Can you test with Firefox in Private mode, with no plugin enabled?

Make sure you have the latest Intel Graphics driver from here (the one from Framework’s driver bundle package is waaaaay outdated):

i.e. I’m assuming the difference in HDMI vs DP expansion card does not cause an increase in CPU utilization.

The other thing to try is to get a 4k60 video file to play locally without a browser…something like VLC should do. See if the CPU behaves any differently.

Thanks for the advice. And just to clarify, I’m running DP from the Framework adapter to the 27" monitor, and HDMI via the adapter to a 24" monitor in portrait mode.

I did everything you described. Installed the new drivers, restarted the computer, opened Firefox in private mode and turned off extensions. I’m currently playing a 1080p video in small screen mode, ambient mode off, and the CPU is hovering between 30-40%, and clocked around 4GHz. The monitor is at 1440p, 120Hz. Ambient mode is definitely a problem too. If I turn that on, the utilization jumps up to 50% on the high end and settles around 40, at about 4.20GHz. The GPU is hovering around 15% utilization. I changed the resolution down to 1080p (which looks terrible on this monitor), and there is virtually no difference in the CPU utilization. The fan is doing quite a lot of work.

Dropping the refresh rate in 1080p mode to 60 brings the utilization down to around 12-15% at around 3.5GHz. GPU is in the single digits.1440p at 60Hz ramps up to about 20% utilization at 4GHz.

I ran a 4K60 video in VLC, and the machine was virtually silent. Single digit utilization around the board.

Brave browser shows drastically different results at 1440p 144Hz. 1080p video, ambient mode off, and everything is single digits at respectable clock speeds. Fan is silent. I actually thought I had it in 60Hz mode still, but we’re definitely running 1440p, 144Hz.

Firefox is definitely taxing the CPU in some way, and I’m not super clear as to why. I actually think I’m having a similar issue with my work computer, but that thing’s a piece of garbage, so that’s a completely different can of worms.

I ran a 4K60 video in VLC, and the machine was virtually silent. Single digit utilization around the board.

If that 4K60 video is using standard H.264, then you’re likely getting maximum hardware offload of the decoding process in VLC.

Youtube uses VP9 IIUC, so we’re making an apples/oranges comparison here.

There are Firefox knobs and dials you can mess with. This old Reddit thread is probably obsolete, but there’s an interesting mention of a media.hardware-video-decoding.force-enabled option you could toggle in about:config. Would also be curious what the output of HARDWARE_VIDEO_DECODING is in about:support.

But otherwise, given that you’ve identified that your Framework laptop can decode 4k60 videos just fine without breaking a sweat, you might be better off continuing this investigation in Firefox support forums somewhere :smiley:

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Yeah, from a ‘comparison’ standpoint, it’s apples / oranges. But from an issue isolation standpoint, it’s somewhat needed.

With video decoding out the way (in a general sense), we can say the hardware is likely fine, drivers seem ok. That brings us to the Youtube / wifi / browser data chain…somewhere along there lies the issue.

What was the video you were trying to play from Youtube? Can you show us what the Stats for Nerds is saying?

Can you create a new user profile in Windows, and then run Firefox / Chrome / Edge from there to see if you experience the same issue? (trying to isolate user / profiles related settings related to the user instance)