I have been plagued by performance problems in my late 2010 MacBook Air for several months now. Most of it seems centred around Safari. I regularly get very high fan speeds (loud to the point of very annoying), very warm laptop, high load average, and spinning BBOD (beach ball of death), especially on Safari.
I consistently have a single window, 8-10 tabs, none of them heavy dynamic apps (Gmail and Calendar running in Chrome).
I regularly have CPU spikes from Safari and WebContent (and at times soagent). They rarely last very long, but when they do, I see the BBOD and Safari is completely unusable, then the rest of the laptop slows down to a crawl.
I have taken a spindump of Safari - it takes a very long time - but I do not actually know how to interpret it to see where it is stuck.
I have almost no extensions installed. Just 1Password, AdBlock and ClickToPlugin (which was installed specifically to prevent Flash and others from bogging it down).
What can I do to narrow down the issue?