July 02, 2008

New Flash Player beta speeds Mac performance

Adobe has posted Beta 2 of the upcoming Flash Player 10 to Adobe Labs.  Player engineer Tinic Uro shares some notes, pointing out that on Mac OS X this new build runs the GUIMark test suite some 3x faster than previous versions.  He posted more details in this comment.  Given that I heard a lot of criticism of the performance of Flash on Mac when I blogged about possibly using Flash inside the Photoshop UI, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing the good news.

Posted by John Nack at 4:43 PM on July 02, 2008


  • Bastiaan van Oorde — 5:16 PM on July 02, 2008

    More speed would be really welcome. Watching Flash video on Adobe TV is unnecessarily taxing on my Macbook Pro’s CPU causing the fan to spin on full speed all the time (especially compared to the same podcasts in iTunes).
    I like all the extra’s Flash 10 promises to bring, but making it work snappier (I always hear complaints about Flash’s speed on the mac compared to it running on windows) would be the best improvement in years.

  • Pedro Estarque — 8:14 PM on July 02, 2008

    This is great news. I wonder if we’ll have increase in video performance though, as Tinic says the performance gains come from text rendering improvements.

  • Mark Thomas — 12:55 AM on July 03, 2008

    Do you know if this is true on PowerPC Macs as well, or just multi-core Intel machines?
    [It’s PPC as well. –J.]
    Flash is so slow on my G4 PowerBook, and so abused by web advertisers, that I keep it shut off permanently. Nothing drains a laptop battery as effectively as a cleverly placed Flash ad.

  • Mark — 3:34 AM on July 03, 2008

    All Flash Video is distorted for me now, it looks like key frames aren’t displayed properly (everything has a green blur around it). I’m on an iMac G5 (PPC).

  • jeremy spegal — 8:02 AM on July 04, 2008

    Thanks for finally remembering that there is a mac platform and writing a version of flash worth using. Will actually consider downloading it once it is out of beta.

  • mark perrin — 10:25 AM on July 06, 2008

    mine is buggered up too. Im using a g4 powerbook 1.5ghz and you tube now wont display videos correctly. hmmm.

  • JP — 5:54 PM on July 06, 2008

    Yes, this is a good *start*. My Powerbook handles most web pages fine, but the CPU use from Flash is always off-the-chart.
    Reminds me of programming for Director. Apps would always pin the CPU unless you included the undocumented “sleep” call in the program. Then all was MUCH better. As Flash is a direct relative from Director, I wonder if there are similar optimizations that programmers could be making. Something to consider if Adobe wants to keep Flash around a while longer (think mobile web browsing!)

  • Pabodie — 11:33 AM on July 21, 2008

    JP: Some of the Mac optimization advice here is still worth reading: http://mediadesigner.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=18156

  • Juan Romero Abelleira — 10:30 AM on May 07, 2009

    Chris Pirillo has shared his, well, feelings about Flash’s performance on OSX. Thought I’d give you a heads up.

  • Dimon — 8:19 AM on February 27, 2010

    Do you – mac fans – are that naive or just pretend it to be that way? You complain about “taxing” your valuable cpu cycles by flash. What do you want when you watch a video which flash platform is all about?! Do yourself a favor, go to a nearest Mac store and run the term on that shitty-shiny aluminum mac and exec a vmstat in it. Stare for few minutes what’s your venerable Leopard OS is doing to your Mac even without flash installed and stop ranting about CPU taxation. And oh yes, do another exercise: put your hands on your f@cking idol and make a note how hot is this aluminum junk running a pile of all the software and gadgets written by Apple… Then you can rant.

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