PCGamer.com website increased CPU usage

Jan 13, 2020
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I have recently noticed that the PCGamer website is a huge cpu hog when using Firefox. At first I thought it was an issue with Firefox or some of my addons in Firefox but testing with a clean Firefox profile with no addons is still causing the issue. And it's only the PCGamer website which behaves like this. If I close the tab, or move to another tab with a different website, than the cpu usage goes back down to normal.
 

SHaines

Community Manager
Staff member
Nov 25, 2019
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I have recently noticed that the PCGamer website is a huge cpu hog when using Firefox. At first I thought it was an issue with Firefox or some of my addons in Firefox but testing with a clean Firefox profile with no addons is still causing the issue. And it's only the PCGamer website which behaves like this. If I close the tab, or move to another tab with a different website, than the cpu usage goes back down to normal.
Hey there, thanks for calling this out. To be sure we have all the info we need to dig into this, can you provide a bit more detail for us?
  • Which other web browsers have you tested?
  • What is the browser version you're using for Chrome? What version of any other browsers have you tested as well? The exact build will help us eliminate some possible factors.
  • Is this happening strictly on your Windows PC, or is there any issues viewing from your mobile device?
  • In what general region of the world do you live? Different ads are sent to different regions, so if it only happens in one region, it may be an ad issue that we can resolve fairly swiftly.
  • What is the average CPU spike when this happens?
If anyone else happens to experience this same issue, please reply to this thread as well. The more reports we have, the better informed we are, and the more quickly we can pinpoint the root cause.

Thanks all.
 
Jan 13, 2020
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  • I tested only Firefox 76.0.1 (which has the issue) and Chrome 81.0.4044.138 (which does not present the issue, though Chrome has higher CPU usage than Firefox to begin with)
  • This happens on Windows PC (ver 1909 build 18363.778)
  • region EU, Romania
  • CPU normally between 2% and 5%, when PCGamer tab is open and focused jumps to 25% to 35%, my CPU fans actually spin up, that's why I noticed, otherwise I would have been on my merry way because performance is not affected, the site runs fine.
I am using Firefox's "Enhanced Tracking Protection" but it does the same with it on or off. Same with Adblock on or off, makes no difference.

Also, I uploaded a short clip to video to show the CPU usage when switching back and forth between PCGamer tab and another tab.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTvCtwteEmk
 
Last edited:

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
Jan 29, 2020
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nerdomancer.pl
Something is indeed up, checked myself and yeah the usage goes up. Red area is the PCG site being loaded and browsed for a bit.

Firefox 76.0.1, Windows 7, Poland.

Checked in Opera and CPU's usage doesn't go up like in example above (I know it's very short period of time).
 
Jan 13, 2020
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Playing back a 4K video on youtube barely nudges the CPU usage (though most likely the video card is doing the heavy lifting in that case) but still...
 
Jan 13, 2020
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Man, I just checked and every website I went to was normal around 5% or so stable, but go to PCGamer.com and it just up into the low 20s and stays there. It's not just Firefox though, its worse with Chrome (but I only installed Chrome to try Stadia, I otherwise won't have it installed).

Good catch.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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No problem here using not-Chromed-yet Edge. I'm in the (doomed :cry: ) PC Gamer Club, though. Might be an advertisement causing the problem.
 
May 16, 2020
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Hi.
I have also noticed the same increase in CPU use. Don't know when this started but it's pretty bad now.
I started a Bug report with Firefox, maybe some of the info I posted there can help: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1637277

I uploaded some profiles amongst other things, when I was experiencing the problem.

Also I tried using an adblocker (oops ...) to see if the ads were the problem, but that did'nt do anything.
I also tried disabeling all my add-ons on firefox, and a clean install. Non of which helped.

Edit: Oh, I also tried reverting to Firefox 75, instead of 76.01, but the problem still persists.
 
Last edited:
Jan 14, 2020
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Yep, ends at the end of this month. A real shame, IMHO, but that's another topic.
That is a shame yes. I kept umming and ahhing over whether to sign up. I'd get close, and then they'd post another trolly clickbait article and I'd decide not to bother. Given this news, I guess I wasn't the only one.
 

Colif

Moderator
Jan 2, 2020
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Firefox, tab with nothing on it - 1% CPU usage
PC Gamer front page - 50% CPU usage. and fans start to ramp up.

@SHaines same behaviour happens on Tom's Hardware front page too. I just never visit front pages and I use Chrome, so never noticed. CPU usage spikes on the front pages.

Appears its all the front pages as Anort confirms its happening on What Hifi & Tom's Guide. (Just advertising other websites)
 
Last edited:
Jan 13, 2020
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I can confirm it's also happening on Toms Hardware and notice that it's the same type of website, just like Toms Guide. So I've been looking around and a couple more: gamesradar.com, T3.com. All these sites are the same style so I guess it's firefox + this specific style of website which causes the issue.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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The no-advertisement benefit of PCGamer Club seems to have ended two weeks early and advertisements are all over the place now. CPU usage went up a bit, showing at about 15% for me. Gotta animate all those things and run scripts that will keep loading more, I guess. It's still not really that bad, though.
 
May 16, 2020
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I was reading This page today, when I realized that my CPU did'nt go bananas. My fans, which usually ramp up every time I am on PCGamer quieted down.
I don't know why, but something must be different with this page vs all the others.
When looking at the page, my CPU goes to a brief 2-4% and then back in the zero point somethings, which is normal. Strange ...

One difference is that it does'nt have the auto play video.
 
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Jan 13, 2020
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I was reading This page today, when I realized that my CPU did'nt go bananas. My fans, which usually ramp up every time I am on PCGamer quieted down.
I don't know why, but something must be different with this page vs all the others.
When looking at the page, my CPU goes to a brief 2-4% and then back in the zero point somethings, which is normal. Strange ...

One difference is that it does'nt have the auto play video.
I'm still getting the large CPU usage when on both the main page and on the link Avalon provided.
I tested that page and indeed, CPU usage is normal on that specific page. Weird.
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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I was reading This page today, when I realized that my CPU did'nt go bananas. My fans, which usually ramp up every time I am on PCGamer quieted down.
I don't know why, but something must be different with this page vs all the others.
When looking at the page, my CPU goes to a brief 2-4% and then back in the zero point somethings, which is normal. Strange ...

One difference is that it does'nt have the auto play video.
I got around to testing this link on my laptop, but for me it does keep my CPU between 25% and 30%.
 

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