Farmville: Computer and Flash Management For Best Gameplay

Farmville Computer and Flash Management For Best Gameplay
Having issues loading your Farmville farms? Flash crashes driving you mad? Don’t know what it all means? Well we have some tips for you on how to deal with flash and manage your computer’s resources to maximize your Farmville experience. Check out the details below and please do share with friends if you find the post helpful.

Zynga’s Farmville is a very heavy game. It uses a lot of resources from both your browser and your computer. It helps to both manage your resources, and manage what you have on your farms. First let’s take a look at what types of resources it uses.

Managing Your Computer Resources

One resource that Farmville uses is RAM. What RAM stands for is Random Access Memory and this is the memory your computer uses to power the operating system and anything else that it is running at a given time, including the game. For more about what RAM is and how it works, click here. 

To find out how much RAM your computer has on a Windows system, open Windows Explorer , right click on computer and left click on properties.

Computer Properties

This will bring up the following screen which will tell you how much RAM you have and also what type of processor you have.

Computer Specifications

As you can see on this system, there is 8 GB of RAM and an i5 processor. The more RAM you have, the more things your computer can run at a time or the heavier your farm can be and still load effectively. The better your processor, the faster your computer can process information. If you have   4 GB of RAM or less, you will need to keep a much closer eye on what else your computer is running while you are trying to farm. Disable unused extensions and don’t load other programs at the same time as Farmville. Also keep an eye on what is on your task bar on the lower right of your computer screen. If you allow a lot of programs to run in the back ground there, they can hog up all your memory and not leave you enough to run Farmville effectively. 6 or 8 GB will allow a few more active tabs or programs without crashing.

Note: you will also want to check your version of Windows. If you have a 64bit system, you can utilize large amounts of RAM, up to 128 GB. a 32 bit system will only recognize a total of 4GB of total Memory. That means if your graphics card has 1GB built in, your computer will only recognize 3GB of RAM, no matter how much you install. To read more from ZDnet click here. To see the primary differences betwen 32 bit and 64 bit from Microsoft, click here.

Thanks to Farmer
Jeremy for the tip to add this tip.

Your internet connection will also come into play with your Farmville  experience. You will have far better results with broadband than dial up. If your connection is interrupted, even for seconds, no matter how good your computer is – you will still experience a lot of whoa farmer issues.

Each item on your Farmville Farm takes memory to load and view. Animated (moving) items like animals or water features  take more memory than stationary items like plots. The larger your farm and the more items you have out in the open, the harder your farm will work your browser and computer.
For example a farm set up like this

Lighter Farm

Will use a lot less resources and be less likely to cause crashes in and of itself than a farm set up like this.

Heavy Farm

If you don’t have a lot of RAM, a fast processor or a fast internet connection, penning animals and storing your least favorite moving decorations can help you a lot in avoiding crashes.

If you are on a Windows System and often see the following message or a similar one:

That is a good indicator that you have too little RAM for the amount of things you have running. Once your computer has ALL of your RAM in use, Windows allocates a portion of your hard drive (usually ranging from 1-3 times the total amount of RAM you have) and temporarily writes those processes that your computer is using but are less active to a designated file on your hard drive. While this will help you to use more resources than the RAM you have alone, using the page file and writing to the hard drive is much more time consuming than writing to RAM and your game/browser/computer will lag and run slower if the virtual memory pagefile is in use. By the time you see this message, all of the page file is in use and Windows is looking for more - so you can expect severe lag and crashes. If you see this often, avoid running other tabs or unnecessary programs at the same time as your farm. If you do not have anything else open, try putting away some moving items in pens or storage to lessen the memory your farm will use. You do not need to do anything to manage the pagefile, Windows will do it for you. For more on what the pagefile is click here.

Another aspect of your computer that Flash and thus Farmville uses is your Graphics card. One issue that could effect you in that regard, if you are using a Windows system is that Windows does not automatically update device drivers with updates. If your graphics card driver is out of date, it can worsen your video display or even cause the game to crash. You can troubleshoot graphics issues in interaction with flash on the Adobe site here. This link includes troubleshooting options for both Windows and Mac.

Managing Flash

Now lets take a look at what you can do to manage Flash on your system, to minimize Flash Crashes.

First let’s take a look at the two types of flash crashes.

First the basic crash that will look like one of these two images, depending on your browser. This means something has gone wrong within the Flash plugin and it has had to terminate it’s process.

Mozilla Crash Chrome Crash

The other is what Adobe calls the Grey Circle of Death. This crash means that Flash has run out of available memory and has had to terminate the process. This error appears as a white screen with an exclamation point in a grey circle.

Flash Out Of Memory

If you get a message that says “Shockwave Flash is not responding, do you want to stop it now" THIS IS NOT A CRASH, Flash is just hanging and if you opt to wait, in many cases it will respond again and you can resume play.

What you can do to help avoid Flash crashes/Loading Issues.

One of the simplest and most important things is to make sure that Flash is up to date and the most current version. If you are using Google Chrome and have chosen to use Pepperflash, Chrome will take care of this for you when the browser updates. If you are not using Chrome or if you are using it with System flash, you will need to check this yourself. Flash will remind you to download new versions, but the default reminder is 14 days, and checking often can save a lot of avoidable interim frustration. You can check your flash version here.

If you are having Loading issues and are stuck on the loading screen

Loading Screen

One thing that may help is to clear your flash cache in case you have a bad temp file in it. For information on how to clear flash cache check the DF Emergency Farm Repair Kit. Note that if you clear your flash cache and are using Faster Loading, you will need to re-allow it and wait for the farm to fully load again.

Faster Loading is another option if you have less RAM. You allow Zynga to store some of the data from your farm on your computer, via your flash cache, so your browser does not have to load it all every time. For tips on whether or not Faster Loading is right for you, check the DF Gaming Tips for Faster Loading For Farmville. If you do not wish to enable Faster Loading, but want to allow the game a little more memory storage with you setting the specifications instead of Zynga, you can increase the amount of space that Farmville can use in your flash cache. For instructions from Adobe, click here.
Faster Loading

Another important thing to note. Flash DOES NOT RELEASE MEMORY UNTIL YOU CLOSE THE TAB. That means that if you travel to a larger/loaded farm and then to a smaller one and flash crashes on the smaller one. It does not mean that there is something wrong with the game because you crashed on a smaller farm. Your browser is holding memory for all farms that you have loaded since you opened the tab.  The fact that memory is held by Flash for everything you have done since you opened a tab is noted by an Adobe staff member here.

RAM Release

As you can see my browser is using quite a bit of memory for Flash here.  At this point I have gone from my Home Farm to Lighthouse Cove.

travel memory

After closing the tab, the memory the game has used is released. When I reload on the same farm, with the same number of objects, same animation and nothing else changed other than I have not traveled from another farm, it is using 42 Megabytes less of my RAM. At 8 GB of RAM, that doesn’t make much difference. If you have 1-3 GB of RAM, the difference will be much greater for you in terms of responsiveness and not crashing. If I had traveled through all farms, it would have used much more memory and even with an i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and Broadband internet, I would risk getting the grey circle of death. Closing and reloading after traveling to a couple of farms can greatly reduce your crashes.

Non-Travel Memory

If your flash is crashing often and you are using Google Chrome, you may have more than one version of flash enabled and they may be conflicting. For tips on how to decide which version to disable check the DF Guide to Chrome Flash Settings. Shockwave does NOT need to be disabled. It is a player for a different type of content than regular flash player.

If your Flash is crashing often and you are using Mozilla Firefox, one thing that may reduce memory usage – and thus crashes is to disable Mozilla’s native Protected Mode. Disabling Protected mode will use less memory, but also reduce the protection that Firefox has built in against malicious flash files. How much this matters depends on what sites you visit that have flash content. If you opt to do this, make an informed choice. You can read Adobe’s blog on the specifics of protected mode here.

Firefox also currently has a memory leak in flash. This open bug has been there for quite a while with no resolution. At times, some flash processes become orphaned in Firefox. This means that it does not release your memory when you close the tab. If you are on Firefox and have reloaded and still slow, rebooting your computer to end the processes and release the memory will help with lag. Disabling protected mode can stop the leak from occurring.

Another option to reduce the memory that Flash uses if you are having difficulties is to DISABLE HARDWARE ACCELERATION. You can do this by right clicking on the game and clicking settings

Flash Settings

Then unchecking “enable hardware acceleration”

Flash Hardware Acceleration

If you are unable to reach this screen through the settings menu in game, you can access it on the Adobe website here.

This can speed up your farm’s performance quite a bit, by using less resources to toggle with your video graphics driver. If your RAM is sufficient to support hardware acceleration, disabling  it can also slow you down. It is not the best choice for everyone though, as everyone’s system is different. If you opt to try disabling hardware acceleration and wish to re-enable if the impact is minimal or undesirable, you can do so through the same method you used to turn it off. If you would like to read more from Adobe before making a decision you can do so here.

What do you think? Was there anything you did not know before that might help your game play? Do let us know by commenting our post. Happy Farming.

Post a Comment Blogger

  1. How do I find out how much RAM I have left on a Mac OS X?

    1. Click on the apple symbol or go to Finder in the dock and scroll to About This Mac, then go to memory and see how much memory you have and if you can or cannot top up your mac ( mine is at its max of 4GB ).

  2. i love the dirtfarmer, i dont go anywhere else for information

  3. Something i think should have been mentioned is keeping the cache cleared up at adobe. I do this on a regular basis:

    you will see what looks like an example but it is the actual settings panel:

    just click on delete all websites and it clears the cache. My farm play has improved greatly now that I do this on a regular basis.. I keep the link tabbed and try to remember to do it every night.

  4. The problem is not with your browser or with Flash. Flash responds to the developer's programming code. If Zynga would code Farmville to only load the farm you are currently using the issue would stop.

  5. I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect!

  6. Thank you ....finally some help that makes since your the best

  7. Thank you SO much! This is very helpful. I always wondered how to reduce the number of unique items and didn't know if it helped to have trees in orchards and animals in pens. I also have to deal with HughesNet internet which is better than dial-up, but not nearly as good as cable. So I am going to do a summertime clean-up on my large farms and see if that helps. I get that "not responding" message every time I go to a different farm. So I just "take a tater and wait."

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  10. Hi, I did not play farmville for long time, now I replay it, it loads the main screen and go into my farm, but later, any click will hang the farm. Any ideas how can I play again?

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  13. Do you know if the lenovo z710 laptop is enough to play farmville? I want to buy this for my daughter for her birthday since she won't get off my laptop.

  14. Davechaoss - it has 8gb of RAM - so yes it should work fine BUT if she clutters it up with lots of other games on the SSD (instead of harddrive) or photos etc, it'll run slower (like everyone's). It seems quite pricey for just farmville though? Have a look at other machines with similar specs .

  15. Thank you So much for posting this!! I now know why I keep getting the exclamation point!!!

  16. Thanks so much for all the information. Hopefully I will be able to get on my farm now.:)

  17. Interesting blog.I am glad to read about such a useful information you share.Keep posting.Thanks for sharing..
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  18. i have a brand new computer I bought yesterday so there is no reason I should be having issues but it is taking absolutely forever for my farm to load. no flash crashing just extremely long load time if it fully loads at all

  19. in namaste india if i ask for somthing i can't get because it gets expired as soon asi write


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