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Old 05-10-09, 07:33 PM   #13
zbiggy
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 623
Default Re: Firefox + Flash terribly slow

Flash is pure software video playback. That is why it is so slowly. Do not blame Nvidia because Nvidia can not do anything with this. The hardware acceleration checkbox you see in recent flash 10 release allows only partial hardware acceleration if flash animation/video author enabled such option in flash animation script. In 99% of flash content hw acceleration is not enabled because author do not knows or did not know about it when flash content was created. The only acceleration you can have in flash is to use multicore CPU. Flash10 plugin can use max 4 cores by splitting rendering work to 4 threads. That is why owners of multicore CPUs usually better enjoy flash content on Linux.

1. Huge CPU usage in Linux flash is main topic in complains to Adobe Flash Linux.
2. Linux Flash developers refused to provide 2D acceleration saying that quality of acceleration is varying in GPUs drivers. They say also it takes more overhead to accelerate in hardware so it is better to optimize CPU code than add GPU acceleration.
I do not buy such explanation. Using XRender and/or Cairo library can improve 2D very much.
3. They say that Flash does not need Xv acceleration because the flash output is RGB already and Xv hardware conversion from YUV to RGB is not needed. I think they do not have right because compressed video is always in YUV format. I do not buy argument that software YUV to RGB conversion in flash has better performance than Xv hardware YUV to RGB converter. Now VDPAU could improve performance even more for mpeg-4 like streams.
Quote:
# FAQ regarding hardware acceleration: Why doesn't the Flash Player on Linux user the X video extension (Xv)?
# Answer: Because Xv scales YUV data. Flash Player operates on RGB data.
source: http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/2...s_the_gpu.html

Since 2 years on penguin.swf - the Adobe blog about Linux Flash I try to convince flash developers to use Cairo library for 2D drawing to stop hogging the CPU. firefox3 uses Cairo already so why not using this library also in Flash? (Cairo library uses XRender or OpenGL via glitz acceleration).

This is what I understood from blogs/user comments/author responses:
http://www.kaourantin.net/2008/09/on-performance.html
http://www.kaourantin.net/2008/05/wh...tion-mean.html
http://www.kaourantin.net/2007/06/mu...e-support.html
http://www.kaourantin.net/2007/02/li...rendering.html

Here are Flash Linux plugin blogs where you can contact people responsible for Flash Linux plugin or read more:
http://www.kaourantin.net/
http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/
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Old 05-11-09, 01:54 AM   #14
jcornwall
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 120
Default Re: Firefox + Flash terribly slow

Flash performance is quite demonstrably not tied to CPU performance alone. I have no doubt that it doesn't (and never did) take advantage of hardware acceleration with Compiz running but the performance of the unaccelerated rendering path it does use is tied closely to Xorg and the display driver.

My Phenom II X3 720 with 64-bit Flash 10 barely gets 10 FPS from a fullscreen low-quality Youtube video. Others have had the same problem only to magically see great performance under some conditions (notably by fiddling with vsync) only for it to revert to poor performance after a reboot.

Flash may be written badly but that alone cannot account for the highly variable performance experienced on the same and different graphics hardware by different people. I cannot attribute the problem directly to one component of the system but it is very relevant discussion to this forum, regardless.
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