Print 17 comment(s) - last by B3an.. on May 2 at 6:57 PM

According to Tinic Uro, a tiny white square will appear in the top left corner of the screen when hardware decoding is operational.
Adobe says that this latest release reduced CPU utilization by two-thirds

Well, that was fast. It was only last week that Apple decided to play nice with Adobe and open up its APIs to allow low-level access to hardware acceleration. Adobe had long complained that a lack of access to core APIs for hardware acceleration was the reason for poor performance of Flash Player on OS X.

Now Adobe Labs is showcasing a new pre-release of Flash Player 10.1 "Gala" for OS X that supports hardware acceleration of H.264 video content. Gala takes advantage of hardware acceleration on Mac computers with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M, or GeForce GT 330M GPUs.

Adobe explains the importance of hardware acceleration with the following statement:

Many video professionals point out that access to hardware video decoding is the single most important factor in overall CPU load when playing video. Mac OS X 10.6.3, which became available on March 29, 2010, is the first Mac OS X release to expose APIs that support H.264 hardware video decoding in the browser. The combination of NVIDIA GPUs (GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M) with the Gala version of Flash Player enables supported Macs running the current version of OS X to deliver smooth, flicker-free HD video with substantially decreased power consumption. Users will be able to enjoy a much smoother viewing experience when accessing rich, H.264 video content built with the Flash Platform from popular sites like or YouTube.

Tinic Uro has a little more insight on Gala on his blog including the revelation that hardware acceleration was included in previous betas of Flash Player 10.1, but it simply wasn't enabled. Uro explains:

As some have noticed, previous release candidates we have made available on referenced this hardware decoding API provided by Apple. We are not in a position yet to enable this by default (hence the extra beta version we are making available) as this has only seen very limited testing by the engineers. Because of some of the issues I mentioned above, we want to put the hardware acceleration functionality through a full public beta cycle before including it in a final shipping version of Flash Player.

Gala will not be incorporated into the initial release of Flash Player 10.1 this summer. Instead, it will be available as a download some time after Flash Player 10.1 is made widely available. Adobe also notes that CPU utilization is reduced by up to two-thirds when compared to previous release candidate versions of Flash Player 10.1.

Currently, Gala will only operate on OS X 10.6.3 and only supports hardware decoding for H.264. You can access the direct download of Gala here [DMG].


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By Reclaimer77 on 4/28/2010 9:38:59 PM , Rating: 5
Now people with crappy computers can stop whining about Flash.

RE: Good
By inighthawki on 4/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Good
By therealnickdanger on 4/29/2010 8:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
No doubt. Flash is great for a lot of stuff, but video delivery... not so much.

The most pathetic part about all of this, however, is that ATI refuses to work out solutions for their pre-4000-series cards. They claim that since the 3000-series only has UVD and not UVD2, they can't do it (even though the Mobility 3200 can). But if I'm not mistaken, one of the big features of the 3000-series was H.264 GPU accelleration:

On the flip side, I understand arguments for just upgrading to a cheap 4000 or 5000-series card to solve the issue, but that's not really a "fix".

RE: Good
By B3an on 5/2/2010 6:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
Flash acceleration has been availible on Windows for months now since the 10.1 BETA's. It will work with pretty much all ATI card's after the 3xxx series. And i think all NV cards from the 8xxx series.

Now Apple finally ALLOW Adobe to support it on OSX... and it only works with 3 cards. Great.

RE: Good
By zmatt on 4/29/2010 8:46:54 AM , Rating: 2
Actually running many things on hardware acceleration is how we got here today. Video games are accelerated on the gpu, before they were software on the cpu, and now most media players decode movies on the gpu as well, lowering cpu usage so you can do other things. Sound can be totally offloaded on higher end sound cards, and the same can be said for network traffic and high end NICs. Offloading flash to the gpu is exactly how you solve the problem. When you watch movies the gpu isn't used for anything else, and it lends itself well to video decoding.

RE: Good
By inighthawki on 4/29/2010 9:21:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yes thanks I'm fully aware of what hardware acceleration is for, but my point was that the code is still unoptimized. But putting it on the gpu is only a partial fix to a much larger problem.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2010 9:26:02 AM , Rating: 2
But putting it on the gpu is only a partial fix to a much larger problem.

You can't "optimize" Flash because it runs on every platform and device known to man. It would be FAR too much trouble to go through all of that even if it was possible to gain that much from doing it.

And what "larger problem" does Flash have? You still haven't said what it is. I think you are just another anti-Flash bandwaggoner who heard it was "bad" on a few forum posts, but don't really know anything.

RE: Good
By inighthawki on 4/29/2010 2:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you certainly can optimize code on different platforms, just not at the assembly/hardware level. Flash is very inefficient. That "larger problem" IS the fact that it is unoptimized.

RE: Good
By B3an on 5/2/2010 6:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
Dont pretend like you know what you're talking about.
Flash is not "unoptimised", people just dont understand how Flash works, and that many of the things displayed in Flash content are vector graphics, which put more strain on a CPU which is already bad for vector calculations.

And GPU accleration will only work for video and 3D in flash. It wont work with 2D animations and websites and so on.

RE: Good
By Tony Swash on 4/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Good
By Chaser on 4/29/2010 7:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
In that case the "Fisher Price" computing experience might now be a little snappier. In the case of Flash at least.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/10, Rating: 0
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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