CPU Performance Test Results: Flash Player vs. HTML5

If you’ve been hearing the noise about Flash Player and CPU utilization over the past couple weeks, you’ll want to check out Jan Ozer’s post on StreamingMedia.com: Flash Player: CPU Hog or Hot Tamale? It Depends.

Instead of weighing in with his opinion, Jan rolled up his sleeves, did some tests, and performed a detailed analysis comparing Flash and HTML5 by monitoring CPU utilization during video playback. His conclusion? Hardware acceleration is key.

“When it comes to efficient video playback, the ability to access hardware acceleration is the single most important factor in the overall CPU load. On Windows, where Flash can access hardware acceleration, the CPU requirements drop to negligible levels. It seems reasonable to assume that if the Flash Player could access GPU-based hardware acceleration on the Mac (or iPod/iPhone/iPad), the difference between the CPU required for HTML5 playback and Flash playback would be very much narrowed, if not eliminated.”

The analysis does not show that Flash is better than HTML5 or vice versa for all platforms. Rather, it shows that blanket statements and over-generalizations about CPU performance should be viewed with some healthy skepticism.

Jan adds:”Overall, it’s inaccurate to conclude that Flash is inherently inefficient. Rather, Flash is efficient on platforms where it can access hardware acceleration and less efficient where it can’t. With Flash Player 10.1, Flash has the opportunity for a true leap in video playback performance on all platforms that enable hardware acceleration.”

The full post describes the test procedures and actual test results, so if you’re interested in all the details, be sure to read the whole thing.

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13 thoughts on “CPU Performance Test Results: Flash Player vs. HTML5

  1. I’m extremely excited about Adobe’s work on 10.1. The HP slate looks like an amazing device, mobile phones will be running flash player, things are really looking up, and are only going to get better.

  2. The analysis does not show that Flash is better than HTML5 or vice versa for all platforms. Rather, it shows that blanket statements and over-generalizations about CPU performance should be viewed with some healthy skepticism. Sample Resumes

  3. Interesting that the differences would be minuscule with multiple platforms having access to the CPU. I’ve always ran flash on Windows but never on MAC to see for myself. Rapid Prototyping

  4. It may take up more cpu but it is definitely better to use for your website. There is no doubt in my mind. There is nothing better to use then flash.
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  5. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. credit scores

  6. I would be very thankful if you continue with quality what you are serving right now with your blog…I really enjoyed it…and i really appreciate to you for this….its always pleasure to read so….Thanks for sharing!!! home daycare forms

  7. Hey,

    Thanks for doing such a helpful article, I agree with all the above comments. I think HTML Is better than FLASH. and BTW Adobe Rocks!

  8. The advent of 8-core processor will help increase performance. Thereafter, there will be a question of choosing between one technology or another but to fully enjoy all the new technologies to come! We can finally enjoy the full Adobe product ;)

  9. Hello world :)

    For Game and application, i prefere Flash, not other ! When you see number of website use flash technologie, game, vidéo, … ( flash 10, shockwave, … ) you can see this technologie is very better !

    We use this since long time on web and i think it will be like this agin long time…

    If HTML5 can be more quick ( and i don’t think for this moment, lot of computer not ready for this ) people don’t know very this technologie.

    And what webmaster do in general now ? Use technologie work !

    Then long life to Flash ;)
    Good week end for all.

  10. Flash vs HTML5 benchmark Web Design and Development. … No matter the results though, I’m still keeping my Flash plug-in disabled and will continue to code for … All I know is that on my Mac Flash had the lowest cpu.