Steve Jobs made it painfully clear today in an open letter that he doesn't have much love for Adobe and its Flash technology. But still, the developers at both companies have gotten together and delivered the first step to making Flash video far more livable on Mac OS X systems.
Apple recently released a new framework in its latest Snow Leopard update that provides low-level access to the H.264 decoding capabilities of compatible GPUs found in Macs and MacBooks such as the Nvidia GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M.
This paved the way for Adobe to implement GPU assisted video decoding for Flash videos, especially those encoded for high-definition. Read more details in a Flash Player Engineering Blog.
Engadget put the early build of the new Flash Player through its paces on the newest models of 15-inch MacBook Pros. While the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M helped decrease the CPU strain on the Core i7 model, the same plug-in curiously made things more strenuous on the CPU for the Core i5 machine. It's likely just a software bug, as the preview build has shown to make life easier with GPU assist.