Display issues with BIG SUR , with Zoom and Chrome


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Ever since ‘upgrading’ to Big Sur, I’m having huge issues running multiple displays, especially when trying to run any video and Zoom sessions.

Prior to Big Sur I could have multiple browser open with many tabs and it all worked fine. As a Google for Work user, my main browser is CHROME & I usually have 10-20 tabs open on my main Chrome screen. I usually also have SAFARI open with some other stuff showing on another.
My Mac slows to a crawl regularly, and especially if I try watching YouTube and or start a ZOOM session.

I am upto date on all software, I have tried reinstalling Chrome and ZOOM but nothing seem to resolve this.

Now if I have to run a Zoom session, I have to disconnect both external monitors and just use my MACBOOK screen.

I’ve noticed with Mac’s activity monitor that the cpu comes under heavy load with KERNEL_Tsk, WindowServer and Google Chrome Helper (render) usually at the top of the list….

I’ve tried disconnecting each of the external screens in turn and whilst this has a small effect, sooner or later it all slows to a crawl….

I’ve wondered if my macbook was overheating so have tried using a cold block to cool, but dont think this has much effect.
The CPU core temps seem to be around 62deg with occasional peaks at 82Deg. The battery seems to be around 31-35 Deg

Deeply frustrating and am look for a fix…..Suggestions…?

Am wondering if reverting back to CATALINA may resolve..or will this open a whole new can of worms....
It all smells of Apple bricking older models to encourage buying new...!

i'm using:
Big Sur 11.2.1
Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro14,3
Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2.9 GHz

CHROME
Version 88.0.4324.192 (Official Build) (x86_64)
ZOOM:
Version: 5.5.2 (12513.0205)
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Thanks for all of the hardware/software information - that will help troubleshoot. It definitely isn't Apple bricking older models, as I use a 2015 MBA (Big Sur) and 2016 MBP (Catalina) as my main work machines, connected to external displays, without issue.

There were some recent reports of high fan RPM, slowness, and short battery life when running Big Sur and Chrome. Recent updates to both have cured this issue for all of those users I have worked with.

Also being in educational IT, there are some things to be mindful of when using Google Meet/Zoom in a hybrid/remote setting:
-Keep software up to date
-Clear browser data in Chrome regularly, and restart your Mac at least once a day
-Keep the open tabs and applications to a minimum when video conferencing
-Ensure you have enough free space on your drive
-Disable any real-time antivirus if you can
-Disable third-party Chrome Extensions, especially those designed for Google Meet, as we have seen all kinds of issues with various things when those are installed/enabled
-Sharing (YouTube) video over a video conference (Meet/Zoom) stream is extremely taxing and only works intermittently at best
-Participant Internet speed and general load on the Internet and Google/Zoom services can impact the quality of the video conference

As we are a Google District and do not use Zoom, I cannot comment on any issues with it.

Try some of this and see if that helps.

C
 
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Thanks Cory, all good suggestions but I've tried pretty much all of this....

The issue only started after the switch to Big Sur, everything worked really well/fast prior to that....so either something fundamental has changed on the OS or a coincidental hardware issue....

I still get problems with Zoom, if i even have just 1 external screen plugged in, even when I've shut down all other applications. If I unplug all external screens and just run on the 15" MBPro, then it works...but I miss the extra screen space to have other stuff displayed...

I read somewhere that kernel_task load issue might reduce by switching power from left to right side port....so am trying that today. Initial im pressions is that it seems to be under less load, but not really hammeringthe apps yet.... will see how that goes over next 24/48 hrs....

Cheers
Andrew
 

Cory Cooper

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Hi,

Yes, I have heard of of the kernel_task load issue when charging and connecting an external display on the left hand-side ports on the 2017 models.

Definitely let us know how it goes...I am very interested to see if that resolves the issue. The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) with TouchBar that I use a lot has a note about the ports:

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) supports Thunderbolt 3 at full performance using the two left-hand ports. The two right-hand ports deliver Thunderbolt 3 functionality, but have reduced PCI Express bandwidth.

C
 
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Many others having similar related problems...
Big thread on Apple community support HERE
seems that applecare and upper Tier support unable to resolve, so let's hope it gets escalated to find a solution.
A LOT of unhappy BIG SUR users out there....
Meantime I've just got toy manage Zoom meeting/webinar via macbook pro 15" screen which is a real pain.....!
 
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Cory Cooper

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OK, thanks for the additional information.

Glad it was identified...if that many people are having the same issue and it has been escalated within Apple Support, I am sure they will release a fix at some point.

Be well.

C
 
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