It makes Flashy things run smoother.
Along with today's unleashing of the Radeon HD 5970, the fastest graphics card we've tested yet, AMD today released version 9.11 of its ATI Catalyst drivers.
Those who want to give their CPUs a break while playing Flash video, and who have the new Adobe 10.1 beta (which supports GPU-accelerated decoding), will want to grab the new Catalyst 9.11.
AMD describes in the release notes:
GPU Acceleration of H.264 video content using Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta
This release of ATI Catalyst supports the new Hardware Acceleration features of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta for video encoded in the H.264 format. Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta introduces hardware-based H.264 video decoding to deliver smooth video playback, reduce system resource utilization, and preserve battery life. Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta is expected to be available for download from Adobe Labs (labs.adobe.com) before the end of the year. This feature is supported on the ATI Radeon HD 5800, ATI Radeon HD 5700 and ATI Radeon HD 4000 Series of products
High Quality downscaling for video transcoding MSE
This release of ATI Catalyst includes an enhancement for the ATI Video converter for users transcoding high quality interlaced content (1920x1080i @60i videos) down to small resolution progressive content (320x240 @30p - iPod videos as an example), by maintaining high visual quality when down-scaling by a significant amount and converting interlaced video content to progressive.