Adobe's beta version of Flash 10.1 player let you test out hardware accelerated video decoding on your Mac. Despite a few bugs, the beta version provided a notable decrease in CPU use when watching Flash videos. With its latest security update, Adobe adds hardware accelerated video decoding to the release version of Flash 10.1 player.
While Adobe usually reserves major feature additions for a full version update, the company must have felt it was too good of a feature to keep from users. Despite Flash now supporting hardware accelerated video decoding, it only works on recent Macs that have certain graphics chips, such as the GeForce 330M, GeForce 320M, and GeForce 9400M that Apple uses in several recent iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook, and MacBook Pro models.
You can download the update, version 10.1.82.76, from CNET Downloads.
Keep in mind that while this update has new and exciting features, it may be wise to wait before installing it so that others can test it out first. If you do decide you want to install it, be sure to back up your current version of Flash so you can revert to it if necessary.
Before you install the latest version, be sure to first run the uninstall app Adobe provides to remove current versions of Flash (instructions and uninstaller app), and then shut down all Web browsers. While you should not need to install the update in Safe Mode, be sure you close any application that use Internet plug-ins-- such as e-mail clients and Web browsers.