The new version of Flash for Mac now supports GPU-based acceleration.
Adobe yesterday released Gala, its first ever version of Flash for the Mac with GPU-based hardware acceleration. The release takes advantage of Mac OS X 10.6.3′s hardware video decoding API to utilize the graphics chipset to decode H.264 rather than offloading it to the main processor. The change will bring power efficiency to notebooks and ease strain on the system while watching Flash-based content.
Adobe explains the importance of hardware acceleration:
“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 Hulu.com or YouTube.”
Adobe notes that CPU utilization is reduced by up to two-thirds when compared to previous release candidate version of Flash Player 10.1
Gala will not be incorporated into the initial release of Flash Player 10.1, instead it will be available as a separate download some time after Flash Player 10.1. Currently, Gala will only work on OS X 1.6.3 and only supports hardware decoding for H.264. You can download Gala from here.