Flash Player 11 System Requirements and Debugging

As we continue to work with the latest Flash Player (11.x) and it’s new “Stage3D” features, moving toward even more interactive eLearning content, a couple things we’ve found we want to share:

  1. Despite some suggestions that Flash Player 11 only works with DirectX 10 and above, and thus may not work on XP systems, FP11 does indeed work just fine under Windows XP and the last supported version of Dx for that OS (“9.0c”, or v.9.29.1974).
  2. However, in order to allow Flash Player 11 to access your GPU, you must have fairly recent video card drivers that support DirectX 9c, at minimum. Some machines we’ve tested on here had such drivers, but they were a couple years old and FP11 indicated software rendering. Updating those drivers to the latest versions enabled hardware rendering.
  3. Playback of rather intensive Flash content on our older Intel G4 tower, running Panther, showed remarkable improvement!

Additionally, while it makes general web browsing a bit…odd, using the ‘debug’ version of the Flash Player provides a great way to really gauge performance between sites/Flash components and various computer configurations. See this Adobe Flash Download page for links to the debug versions. Unfortunately, you have to choose between one or the other; on some machines, we’ve installed the ‘standard’ version for one browser (i.e. Firefox) and the debug version for the other (i.e. IE!).

Found any other helpful hints or insights related to working with the latest Flash Player? We’d love to hear from you!