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Adobe Flash Video: A Case Study

Adobe Flash: A Look At Browsers, Codecs, And System Performance

Adobe Flash Video: A Case Study

We looked at five systems and five different Web browsers, with hardware acceleration enabled and disabled, with Windows 7's Aero theme enabled and disabled in windowed and fullscreen mode on all available Youtube resolutions. Furthermore, we tested On2 VP6-, Sorensen Spark-, and H.264-based Flash videos, both in windowed and fullscreen mode.

Test Hardware
Intel Atom D525 (Dual-Core, 1.8 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 (Dual-Core, 1.3 GHz)
Intel Core i3-350M (Dual-Core, 2.26 GHz)Intel Core i5-540M (Dual-Core, 2.53 GHz)AMD Athlon II Neo K125 (Single-Core, 1.7 GHz)
4 GB DDR3-1066
4 GB DDR2-8004 GB DDR3-10664 GB DDR3-13334 GB DDR3-1333
Nvidia Ion2
Intel GMA 3150
Intel GMA 4500MHD
Intel HD Graphics
Nvidia Quadro NVS 3100MAMD Radeon HD 4225
Asus eeePC 1215N
Asus UL20A
Dell Vostro 3300
Lenovo Thinkpad T510Asus eeePC 1215T
Adobe Flash Player
Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bitWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
Windows 7 Professional 64-bitWindows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Graphics Driver260.99 (Nvidia) (Intel)
8. 14.10.2117 8. 14.10.2226

We've tested with the latest version of Flash, but we felt it was important to note that we saw some performance increases compare to previous versions of the software (Flash Player archive). We saw lower processing overhead, which allowed for higher FPS figures on many high bit rate video files. The scope of this story wasn't to evaluate enhancements from a generational standpoint, but rather to look at the interoperability of how Flash interacts with other software elements during processing.

Benchmark and Settings

Flash Video Playback, Custom Tom's Hardware Benchmark

Web sites

YouTube: All Resolutions
Sevenload: HD off (Default)
Boeing: HD on (Default)
Windowed and Fullscreen video tested


IE8 32-bit: 8.0.7600.1685
Chrome: 8.0.552.215
Safari: 5.0.3
Firefox: 3.6.12
Opera: 10.63 (build 3516)

Adobe Flash Player Settings

Hardware Enable and Disable

Windows Settings
Aero and non-Aero enabled

All Flash videos run within the browser and are played after they are fully loaded into the buffer. Wireless networking was disabled during playback. Furthermore, all CPU usage and FPS values are generated from one-minute test intervals.

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