AnandTech Tests GPU Accelerated Flash 10.1 Prereleaseby Anand Lal Shimpi on November 19, 2009 12:00 AM EST
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Huge Improvements under OS X
The release notes for the Flash 10.1 preview say the following about cross-platform hardware accelerated H.264 decoding support:
In Flash Player 10.1, H.264 hardware acceleration is not supported under Linux and Mac OS. Linux currently lacks a developed standard API that supports H.264 hardware video decoding, and Mac OS X does not expose access to the required APIs. We will continue to evaluate adding the feature to Linux and Mac OS in future releases.
Ouch. Linux isn’t ready and Apple isn’t open enough. That’s not to say that there aren’t major performance gains to be had.
I took the same Office clip I’d been using for all of the other tests and ran it on my Mac Pro at full screen (2560 x 1600). Using Activity Monitor I looked at the CPU utilization of the Flash Player plug-in. I compared both versions of Flash and saw a significant drop in CPU utilization:
|Hulu Full Screen (2560 x 1600) Average CPU Utilization||Flash 10.0.32.18||Flash 10.1.51.45|
|Hulu 480p - The Office - Murder||450%||190%|
Going from roughly 450% down to 190% (or a bit over 10% of total CPU utilization across 16 threads) made full-screen Hulu playable on my machine. In the past I always had to run it in a smaller window, but thanks to Flash 10.1 I don’t have to any longer.
With actual GPU-accelerated H.264 decoding I’m guessing those CPU utilization numbers could drop to a remotely reasonable value. But it’s up to Apple to expose the appropriate hooks to allow Adobe to (eventually) enable that functionality.
Until then, even OS X users have something to look forward to with the Flash 10.1 upgrade.
It's finally here. GPU accelerated video decode for Adobe Flash. Grab the preview and let us know how it fares on your system in the comments.