The Adobe Flash 10.1 pre-release player is now available for your perusal (download link).   Flash 10.1 promises much improved performance via GPU acceleration and other tricks which should make tasks like watching full screen Hulu and 1080P Youtubes much easier on the CPU. (anyone else think the release timing with 1080P Youtube is curious?)  

Well, Mac users, don’t get too excited yet.  Adobe still hasn’t enabled GPU acceleration on the Mac version.  In fact, GPU acceleration has only been enabled on recent models of NVIDIA GPUs on Windows (where it is showing some major improvements on machines like ION netbooks).  

It isn’t all bad news – the release is still worth trying out.  There was still some quality improvement from yesterday’s 1080P Youtube test – notably fewer dropped frames.  However, the CPU still red-lined on a new MacBook Pro 2.26GHZ, 4GB RAM:

Interestingly, using ClicktoFlash’s Quicktime(MP4) option showed almost no CPU usage while playing the file at the same resolution.  This shows what can be done with offloading the heavy lifting to the GPU.  By they way, if you aren’t using ClicktoFlash by now, you are nuts.

Not enough?  AnandTech has more information than you’d ever want on the matter.

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