With each new version of the Adobe Flash Player, it is becoming more and more resource hungry. You can check the Windows Task Manager for CPU usage as soon as you try to watch any videos on websites like Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion etc. By default, the Adobe Flash Player uses your computer’ CPU to decode the video frames and display them in your browser. This is why the CPU usage spikes up to 90% when watching videos on websites that make use of the Adobe Flash player. But you can make the Adobe Flash Player use the computer’s GPU for faster and better video performance using the GPU Accelerated Flash Player extension in Firefox.
Although the decision to use the GPU acceleration in the Adobe Flash player depends on a web developer while designing the webpage, the “GPU Accelerated Flash Player” extension for Firefox adds the extra code required to make Flash player use your GPU instead.
The “GPU Accelerated Flash Player” extension does everything automatically. As soon as you install this extension, it starts working and adds the wmode=”direct” parameter inside the Adobe Flash Player code on all the websites that you visit in Firefox. The result of this change can be easily seen while playing any video on Youtube. You can right-click on a Youtube video, and select Stats for nerds from the context-menu to view some of the statistics about the currently playing video.
As you compare these stats from before installing the “GPU Accelerated Flash Player” extension and after installing it, you would notice that it has resulted in fewer number of dropped frames in the video. If fewer frames are dropped, then it means you are going to watch much more smoother and clear video.
Other than the smoother video playback and great video quality, this also switched the video rendering over to the GPU, saving the CPU power for other tasks and programs.
Conclusion: You can use the GPU Accelerated Flash Player to make the Adobe Flash to use the GPU power instead of the CPU in your PC. This results not only smoother and better video playback, but also frees up the CPU power which can be utilized by some other programs.
You can download the “GPU Accelerated Flash Player” Firefox extension from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/gpu-accelerated-flash-player/.