'Gala' release of Flash brings hardware acceleration to Mac

Less than a week ago Apple opened Mac OS X APIs that allow developers to access low level hardware to accelerate their software. Adobe responded to that announcement saying they would utilize these APIs to use the Mac’s graphics hardware to accelerate Flash, and just six days later they have released the first preview with their hardware accelerated 'Gala' release.

The current list of supported GPUs include: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M. This covers the whole line of unibody MacBook Pros that feature discrete graphics. The iMac situation is a less straightforward due to Apple’s mix of NVIDIA and ATI GPUs used in their all-in-one. This leaves some users with even relatively recent Mac hardware unable to utilize hardware acceleration, so hopefully this list of supported GPUs will expand.

Adobe also announced that this functionality will be available as a standard feature in Flash Player 10.1. In their post announcing the Gala preview Adobe said, “The preview release of Flash Player Gala is based on Flash Player 10.1, which will ship the first half of this year and is now available as a release candidate.”

With Apple and Adobe’s belabored relationship in recent months, this is a surprising, yet welcome development.

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OK. Here is how to get this working with Google Chrome since the Flash plug-in is included with the Google Chrome app.

Install the new Flash plugin as normal. Navigate to HD > Library > Internet Plug-Ins > Copy Flash Player.plugin to your Desktop.

Rename this to 'Flash Player Plugin for Chrome.plugin'

Now navigate to Applications > Google Chrome > Right-click 'Show Package Contents' > Contents > Versions

Open up the folder for the version you are using. You'll see a Flash plugin in there. Delete and replace with the version on your Desktop. If you Get Info on the file the newer plugin should be '10.1 r81'. Now restart Chrome and you have GPU acceleration.

Chromium won't enable hardware acceleration unless HD is selected in youtube. Odd. On our software it enables acceleration for all content.

Septimus said,
Chromium won't enable hardware acceleration unless HD is selected in youtube. Odd. On our software it enables acceleration for all content.

Doesn't work for me whether I select an HD video or not with Chrome. Seems only Safari and Firefox work.

Edited by kraized, Apr 29 2010, 9:18am :

kraized said,

Doesn't work for me whether I select an HD video or not with Chrome. Seems only Safari and Firefox work.

Have you got a MBP with dual gfx chips? I haven't tested, but maybe the 9600M GT is enabled and, for no apparent reason, not supported?

Edited by Septimus, Apr 29 2010, 10:11am :

kraized said,
Ahh, hang on. It does work but not in Chrome for some reason. Works fine in Safari.

I'm not sure about Mac, but on Windows Flash is REALLY buggy in Chrome...

Doesn't seem to work for me. I'm not getting the little white square in the top-left of the video indicating that I'm using the GPU.

Um, These Nvidia cards are not new, and Adobe could have had hardware acceleration running already in a windows environment, its only because Apple has opened it up on their platform, it would then only be a case of porting the windows changes for Mac OS, it does not mean in 6 days they finally cracked it.

Pheee said,
Um, These Nvidia cards are not new, and Adobe could have had hardware acceleration running already in a windows environment, its only because Apple has opened it up on their platform, it would then only be a case of porting the windows changes for Mac OS, it does not mean in 6 days they finally cracked it.

But the API's are completely different... So I would imagine that there was still a good deal of work involved...

Awesome!! My MacBook pro is supported. I bet more gpu's will be supported soon. I'm very shocked at how responsive that was. Thanks, Adobe!

Now if only they could have done something about that 64 bit build of flash in sometime between 2005 with XP x64 and now. HMMMM?

Typhoon87 said,
Now if only they could have done something about that 64 bit build of flash in sometime between 2005 with XP x64 and now. HMMMM?

*insert generic browsers dont need to be 64-bit comment here* ... that's about the response most people give it seems like.... I want plug-ins to be 64-bit by now too...

Typhoon87 said,
Now if only they could have done something about that 64 bit build of flash in sometime between 2005 with XP x64 and now. HMMMM?
x64 for Flash is a BAD Idea, it uses enough RAM as it is, you want it using more than 4GB ?

Apart from Memory there is no good reason to make the switch.

neufuse said,

*insert generic browsers dont need to be 64-bit comment here* ... that's about the response most people give it seems like.... I want plug-ins to be 64-bit by now too...


Why? Do you run very memory intensive plugins? Isn't the effort better spent at making Flash faster and consume less CPU / battery life?

Edited by Northgrove, Apr 29 2010, 8:30am :

Typhoon87 said,
Now if only they could have done something about that 64 bit build of flash in sometime between 2005 with XP x64 and now. HMMMM?

Forgive my ignorance here, but if you have a 64 bit OS (Say Windows 7 64 bit), can you not use Flash? Or can you still use it, but it just won't be optimized for 64 bit? I'm kind of curious about that, as it seems like a lot of people are going 64 bit...

JoHideo said,
Why is the 8800M not supported? I'm pretty sure it's a discrete card too...
Maybe because of the same thing that happens with DVXA on windows with the first generation of 8800 GPU's.

CUDA works with applications but DXVA on multimedia players doesn't and it isn't supported because of the Hardware, not the software.

Just a thought...

ajua said,
Maybe because of the same thing that happens with DVXA on windows with the first generation of 8800 GPU's.

CUDA works with applications but DXVA on multimedia players doesn't and it isn't supported because of the Hardware, not the software.

Just a thought...

]

Video acceleration on NVIDIA has nothing to do with CUDA; the Framework merged with Mac OS X 10.6.3 is pretty much VideoPure API straight from Nvidia themselves. IIRC 8800 uses VideoPure 3. The question is how/if they will abstract the differences between ATI and NVIDIA or whether they'll bundle the ATI video technology in with the Video acceleration framework and force Adobe to add code specific for Nvidia and some more code specific for ATI.

Rudy said,
I guess I have to wait… ATI in my 27" iMac

Same. Adobe has no excuse not to support it.
But I'll STILL recognize that they're trying………… just not enough.

PsykX said,

Same. Adobe has no excuse not to support it.
But I'll STILL recognize that they're trying………… just not enough.

You're right. They've announced the start of support after a stunning mere six days, but there's clearly NO excuse not to have full 100% support RIGHT NOW.

PsykX said,

Same. Adobe has no excuse not to support it.
But I'll STILL recognize that they're trying………… just not enough.

Impatient troll is impatient

Joshie said,
You're right. They've announced the start of support after a stunning mere six days, but there's clearly NO excuse not to have full 100% support RIGHT NOW.

I was talking about the final version. They better support it, as it's the only thing that can help Flash's cause right now.

PsykX said,

Same. Adobe has no excuse not to support it.
But I'll STILL recognize that they're trying………… just not enough.

Pardon, Adobe has an excuse not to support it, Apple hasn't provided an API that exposes such functionality which supports ATI graphics cards. If you RTFM'ed you'd realise that the Framework only supports NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M.

PsykX said,

Same. Adobe has no excuse not to support it.
But I'll STILL recognize that they're trying………… just not enough.

The API doesn't support the card. The problem is Apple here, not Adobe. Flash will never support this gfx card on Mac. You can just as well stop waiting, unfortunately.

PsykX said,

Same. Adobe has no excuse not to support it.
But I'll STILL recognize that they're trying………… just not enough.

The API doesn't support the card. The problem is Apple here, not Adobe. Flash will never support this gfx card on Mac. You can just as well stop waiting, unfortunately.

Rudy said,
I guess I have to wait.... ATI in my 27" iMac

Quicktime doesn't even support acceleration on ATI's cards. That doesn't stop Quicktime from being damn efficient at decoding video on the CPU. Flash, however, just sucks at it.

PsykX said,

I was talking about the final version. They better support it, as it's the only thing that can help Flash's cause right now.

I see no reason why Adobe wouldn't... They do want it to be able to work on Mac's after all, and it's easier to work out support for the limited hardware specs in a Mac versus the multitude of variations in a PC... So I'm sure it's just a work in progress (They haven't had access to the API's for very long after all...