Flash Player 9 faster in Parallels then on OSX? Really?

I was almost off for the day, when I decided to quickly read up on my blogs. I came across Ubi’s post on Parallels build 3036.

As one of the last lines; he notes : “The funniest thing? The flash player 9 is (much) faster under Parallels than it’s natively on Firefox Mac.”

Now I’m guessing that the hardware emulation that Parallels on an Intel mac would mostly be heavy on the device emulation / virtualization, not really CPU specific. So things like graphics, sound and input/IO should be the things slowing down the actual performance.

Let’s say parallels on this kind of hardware would be able run at 80% speed of the same hardware running the software native / not through a virtualization layer.
We also know that since AVM2 in Flash Player 9, we can rest assure that graphics/drawing overhead is the main bottleneck on speed in the Flash Player. The Flash player, in the end presents a form of bitmap to the plugin host, this in term is rendered on screen. The conclusion I am making here is that the Flash Player relies most on CPU performance of it’s host os.

On a sidenote : it IS time for graphics hardware support in the Flash Player, but I am wondering how the FP team will overcome the technical challenges this presents in terms of portability and player size, just to name two of the issues…the ubiquity of the player is at stake here…..
I have understood the FP8 already makes minor use of hardware on the newer mac’s with OS X 10.2, where it apparantly utilizes openGL support to speed up rendering and prevent tearing. So, it is already a bit on that path, I wonder when/if we get the full deal. But, hey having hardware acceleration would put the FP on the map for hardware accelerated 3d too !

Back on topic. Assuming that Ubi’s assumption is reproducable, and goes for more machines then just his :
Can someone tell me how it can be that a piece of software ran on the same hardware for the same cpu, actually runs faster in a virtualized environment on the same machine, with the host os still running ? I am amazed. I’d really love to hear what the problems with the mac FP are, making it this slow… maybe Tinic knows ?

I was already holding of buying one of those great-looking-fruit-machines, but this and the fact that the Flex Builder for Mac is also not in production….I’ll wait a bit longer.

Anyway, I’d love some feedback on this!

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5 Responses to Flash Player 9 faster in Parallels then on OSX? Really?

  1. ubi says:

    if you create something heavy duty that has an fps counter,
    I’ll be glad to post screenshots of the performance.

  2. C4RL05 says:


    Here you can check the code execution speed in milliseconds, and the graphics/drawing overhead in fps.

  3. Jami says:

    I did the benchmark at http://www.powerflasher.de/bench/powerbench.html on 3 different browser/os combo and here are my results MacBook Pro 17″:

    mac osx 1.4.8 (while Parallels open)
    - safari : 1483
    win xp pro on Parallels build 1970
    - IE7 : 1536
    - firefox : 1044

  4. Blender says:

    Not on my system!
    Flash player 9 is a lot slower under parallels
    It runs way smoother in Safari.

  5. UnitZeroOne says:

    In my experience, Safari is actually the slowest of them all, when it comes to Flash.

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