The first Flash 10.1 desktop player beta has arrived, and AnandTech has put the new GPU-accelerated video playback to the test. And while the OS X version currently lacks graphics acceleration, Flash 10.1 still serves up improvements on the Mac.
I took the same [480p Hulu] Office clip I'd been using for all of the other tests and ran it on my Mac Pro at full screen (2560 x 1600)….Going from roughly 450% down to 190% (or a bit over 10% of total CPU utilization across 16 threads) made full-screen Hulu playable on my machine. In the past I always had to run it in a smaller window, but thanks to Flash 10.1 I don't have to any longer.
Meanwhile, Nvidia Ion-accelerated video was deemed "almost perfect." Just take a look at the table. CPU-utilization of 70% generally makes video unwatchable, but updating to Flash 10.1 made full screen high-def (1920 by 1200) Hulu a smooth stream on the Ion test system.
ATI chips and integrated Intel graphics ran into a few problems, but they've been attributed to the Flash 10.1 player still being a beta. I recommend giving the full test info a read over at: [AnandTech | Flash 10.1 Download]