Thanks for all the input. If there is Flash GPU acceleration, it will probably be worth the suspected 20% performance drop.
So any ATI HD 3000's series card will provide Flash acceleration in Win7? There is GUI Flash acceleration for XP?
What series of ATI HD card is needed for WDDM 1.1? WDDM provides improvement on top of Flash acceleration?
I'm almost 100% sure that the HD 3000 series cards support WDDM 1.1. After all, the original G80-based GeForce 8800 does, and that card is what, a year older?
Just because a card supports WDDM1.1 does not mean that it will support video decoding in Flash. It needs to have a video decode block built into the GPU to be able to improve DirectShow and Flash video performance. WDDM1.1 will, however, improve Win7 GUI performance.
I'm not sure which ATI card was the first to support full Flash acceleration, but I do know that NVIDIA cards as early as G84 (GeForce 8600) and G92 (2nd gen 8800 GTS) support hardware decoding and rendering of Flash video.
gandhig mentioned somewhere in this very long thread that he was able to get smooth 1080p video playback on his P3-850 with a PCI GT520.
Again, really wishing I kept that 3850.
Yeah, It definitely did. IIRC, the video I tested was a 1080p trailer of 'Tangled' in QuickTime format played in MPC with DXVA enabled. However I don't exactly remember the CPU load, might have been close to 70-80%.
Flash videos in browser was too much for it(as expected), though I guess GT520 supports Flash acceleration. Even 480p was heavily stuttering. Though I didn't fiddle much with any settings or checked GPU acceleration was enabled.
I've noticed that browser choice affects which rendering and decoding modes YouTube's Flash player uses. You can find this info by right-clicking on the video and choosing Stats For Nerds.
Chrome will use hardware rendering, but only software decoding, even with my GTX-780.
Firefox, IE, and Opera 12 use hardware rendering and decoding, but only in full screen mode. In windowed mode, they drop back to software rendering (but still use hardware decoding). I haven't tried the new webkit-based versions of Opera.
If you haven't already, you may want to try watching YouTube with Firefox or IE in full screen mode. It may boost performance to the point of being watchable.
Not-a-Gateway-Destination: P2-300 | 192MB EDO | AIW-128 | Dxr2 | 32" JVC D-Series
MCE2005: PM @ 2720 | 2GB DDR2 | GTX 750Ti | BD/HD-DVD combi | 64" F8500 Plasma
Batcave: i7-8700 | RTX 4070 | 32GB DDR4 | JVC 4K D-ILA, 120" AT screen