Adobe Flash Player 11 Linux Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 9 August 2011. Page 1 of 2. 9 Comments

In the middle of July, Adobe released the first Flash Player 11 beta, which had updated the Linux version too. The Flash Player 11 release notably incorporated native 64-bit support, once again, after the earlier "Square" 64-bit beta had lagged behind in terms of updates. Shortly following the Flash Player 11 Beta 1 release I had carried out some Linux benchmarks, but those results never seemed to make it out the door. Here are those results for anyone interested in seeing how the CPU usage and system power consumption differ between Flash 11 with and without VDPAU rendering and then against the open-source Gnash Flash Player.

The testing was quite simple yet effective, but due to the mad rush in producing content while preparing for Norway and the Berlin Desktop Summit, the data was forgotten about for several weeks. The 64-bit Adobe Flash Player 11 Beta 1 release was tested with 64-bit Firefox 4.0. Gnash 0.8.9 was tested on the open-source side. Originally, the plan was to also test the promising Lightspark Flash Player, but that happened to be broken for YouTube at the time of testing.

The video used for testing was "The Dark Knight" trailer while being played back in full-screen at 1080p. Below is the video embedded below for your convenience.

The Phoronix Test Suite was used to monitor the CPU usage and system power consumption during the Flash process. The test system had an Intel Core i5 2500K CPU, Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra motherboard, 4GB of RAM, 64GB OCZ Agility SSD, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB graphics card. Ubuntu 11.04 was in use with the Linux 3.0 kernel (x86_64), NVIDIA 275.19 binary display driver, X.Org Server 1.10.1, and an EXT4 file-system.

The Adobe Flash Player 11 Beta 1 release was tested with and without VDPAU, which is the video decoding / playback acceleration method principally supported by the proprietary Flash Player. There's also Broadcom Crystal HD support, but NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix is what's best supported. As of Flash Player 11 Beta 1, there is still no support for AMD XvBA or VA-API for supporting video acceleration for supporting other graphics hardware / drivers.

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