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Slower CPU Query?

Creek test
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Just wondering if there is any such thing? 


I was just testing in a VM, purposefully overloading it - just to see what happens - and the formerly smooth animation presents as expected? Frame skips, visual glitches, etc. 


I'm guessing the browser's rendering engine has to know that it's being overtaxed - otherwise, instead of the frame skipping, it would just present the animation in stuttered slow motion? 


Just seems that it would be preferable to control that? ie If overtaxed, then... ? Possibly even serve an alternate page altogether for the slower devices - kill the opacity tricks, or whatever it is you gurus might advise should likely be omitted for the slower devices? 


I'd most definitely rather quickly simplify a more complex animation, serve up the simplified version - than have the slower processor just try its best to glitch its way through? 


And not in any "responsive" fashion, with various levels for different CPUs. Just, if the CPU can't handle it - then here's the extremely simplified version. Or possibly the user is on a powerful device, but they just happen to have tons of background processes hogging the CPU? Then they also get the simplified version? 

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Nah, I don't think it's feasible because you cannot know moment-to-moment what other load the CPU might be under from other sources. For example, let's say when your page loads you hammer the CPU with some test and then you measure how long it takes for the purpose of categorizing the device (fast or slow). Multiple problems with this approach:

  1. When a page first loads, there are a ton of CPU-heavy tasks like loading, parsing, painting, initializing libraries, etc. You can't just assume that if there's any struggle, it must be a slow machine
  2. There could be other tasks that the device is handling in the background, like video rendering or they just got a multimedia message texted to them or the system's backup routine just started but it'll be done in 3 seconds. You just can't know. 
  3. Your test is purposefully adding load to the CPU, making your site seem even slower. Yuck.

I suppose you could look at screen size or something if you want to just assume that phones are slower than tablets which are slower than desktops/laptops. But of course there are blazingly fast phones that beat out an old laptop. 🤷‍♂️

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