Do Browsers Matter?
Does Your Browser Matter?
Remember that there are two Flash plug-ins. There’s an ActiveX version written specifically for IE8 and another one for every other browser. The same applies for the DivX Plus Web Player, with one major difference. The non-ActiveX plug-in supplied by DivX is only compatible with Firefox. HiQ doesn't work with Opera 11, Safari 5, or Chrome 10. Also, note that we're testing with Firefox 3.6. Mozilla recently released Firefox 4.0, but it's incompatible with DivX Plus Web Player.
|DivX Plus Web PlayerAverage CPU UsageWindowed Playback: ASRock E350M1Aero Enabled, Hardware Acceleration Enabled||YouTube 1080p||YouTube 720p||YouTube 360p|
|IE8 32-bit: 8.0.7600.1685||45%||27%||15%|
|Adobe Flash PlayerAverage CPU UsageWindowed Playback: ASRock E350M1Aero Enabled, Hardware Acceleration Enabled||YouTube 1080p||YouTube 720p||YouTube 360p|
|IE8 32-bit: 8.0.7600.1685||77%||32%||21%|
Browsers do matter. In fact, the difference between Internet Explorer and Firefox is much greater than what we've see with Adobe Flash Player. This isn't a pure DivX versus Adobe duel. It's a matter of pairings. Adobe and DivX each have two separate plug-ins, which makes for a four-way fight. When played in a window, Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer generally win.
We noticed that 1080p in IE8 seems to break hardware acceleration support. We’ve occasionally seen this isolated anomaly with Flash at higher resolutions.
Our Sandy Bridge-based system sees little difference between browsers, but we would expect to see performance variance minimized given this platform's more potent processor. On older systems without hardware-accelerated decoding, like the first-gen Centrino, the difference between two software configurations can even manifest itself in crashes. For example, on our Atom-based netbook, we found it difficult to properly load DivX with Firefox. The HiQ plug-in stalls whenever it tries to load the Flash file. With Internet Explorer, DivX crashes whenever it tries to load high bit rate video. In our case, IE8 refused to correctly load any 1080p YouTube video.
Clearly it seems that on low-power systems, DivX doesn't mix well with Firefox. Internet Explorer is your best bet.