Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Mozilla Agrees, Update Your Graphics Drivers

By - Source: Mozilla | B 37 comments

A few days ago, Chrome told users and developers that upgrading their graphics driver is a good idea to avoid Chrome crashes and making sure that the performance potential of the software is fully exploited. Mozilla follows suit.

As more GPU-acceleration features are made available and content that supports this feature it is increasingly beneficial even to average users to add graphics driver updates to their monthly maintenance routine.

Mozilla now also says that graphics driver updates are important to avoid browser crashes. "Firefox 4 brings many new features in the Graphics department, notably hardware acceleration and WebGL," Mozilla's Benoit Jacob wrote in a blog post. "However, when we turned these features on by default in nightly builds around September last year, and then in Beta 7,  crash statistics and bug reports quickly showed that bugs in graphics drivers were often making these features misbehave."   

I tend to be a bit pessimistic about graphics driver updates outside the professional and enthusiast segment of computing. There is a certain lack of education, especially in the mainstream market, that graphics drivers need to be updated on a regular basis. The mainstream user will need to receive a much better option for updated driver updates than what is available today. I wonder if browser manufacturers will, in fact, find a way to help users upgrade their graphics drivers as GPU acceleration seems to become an essential feature for web browsers.     

Display 37 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • -1 Hide
    icepick314 , March 8, 2011 7:57 PM
    I don't know about anyone else but I get 31 fps on http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/HWACCEL/

    my laptop is Asus G73JH with ATI Radeon Mobility 5870...
  • 0 Hide
    thrust2night , March 8, 2011 8:00 PM
    Why not have hardware acceleration turned off by default and have an easy to find option in Options that we can simple check and restart browser to turn on. Perhaps having the option next to where you can change the default homepage would be nice so that even inexperience people can be told relatively quickly on how to find it.

    Most people don't go into their browser options to make changes and I would recon most of them don't update their graphics drivers either. People like me who actually do that can find the gpu acceleration option and turn it on when I'm configuring my browsers options.

    There's nothing wrong with that is there? Now you don't have to ask people to update their drivers if they don't want to or don't know how to. They can simply use their browser without the fancy gpu acceleration.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 8, 2011 8:21 PM
    Doesn't windows 7 get the latest drivers for your video card on its own? I do notice Since I sometimes used beta drivers from ATI that windows update will automatically roll me back to an older driver.
  • -1 Hide
    Anomalyx , March 8, 2011 8:27 PM
    doubleathemanDoesn't windows 7 get the latest drivers for your video card on its own? I do notice Since I sometimes used beta drivers from ATI that windows update will automatically roll me back to an older driver.

    I don't trust Windows Update for drivers. So much so, that the only case I'll use a driver from it is when I can't find a manufacturer's driver anywhere. Too many times, Windows Update has broken something while trying to update drivers. Using Windows Update for drivers is kind of like using the discs that come with video cards... Most of the time, they aren't an issue, but there's a good chance that something is wrong with it, and it's far better to just get the official manufacturer's driver.
  • 0 Hide
    JDFan , March 8, 2011 8:33 PM
    @icepick314 -- just tested using Mozilla 4.0 beta with my 5770 I get 60+ FPS on that test (they limit it to 60FPS in the test)-- tried it first with the non beta build and got 7FPS -- so you might want to try upgrading to the 4.0 beta if using Firefox !
  • 0 Hide
    jrharbort , March 8, 2011 8:55 PM
    otacon72Getting tired of FF crashing because of Flash...and I'm running the latest everything.

    Same here.

    No problem keeping my GPU drivers up to date. But flash? That's another story...

    I can't use a flash version newer than 10.0 without random lockups and BSoDs.

    GPU is a 9600M GT. Likely a faulty, and needs to be RMA'd.
  • 1 Hide
    Aionism , March 8, 2011 9:10 PM
    icepick314I don't know about anyone else but I get 31 fps on http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/HWACCEL/my laptop is Asus G73JH with ATI Radeon Mobility 5870...

    60+ with Radeon 5770 (Catalyst 11.2) and Firefox 4.0b12
  • -1 Hide
    tntom , March 8, 2011 9:11 PM
    New drivers are not always better. I'm using a two year old driver with my HD3650 because it is the only that doesn't crash with AOE2. All the newer drivers from ATI crash with certain older games. A problem with how they handle direct draw. I'm also in a Beta program for a certain new game coming out and the older driver is the only one that doesn't crash with it.
  • 0 Hide
    echdskech , March 8, 2011 9:12 PM
    icepick314I don't know about anyone else but I get 31 fps on http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/HWACCEL/my laptop is Asus G73JH with ATI Radeon Mobility 5870...


    27fps on a Mobility 5470. That gap is too small, yours should be much higher i think. I'm on Chrome on Linux.
  • 1 Hide
    mikem_90 , March 8, 2011 9:33 PM
    Some people keep their drivers back. I recall when Nvidia and the lot yoinked DVD playback on video cards that did not have special Macrovision TV out hardware built in. Even with the TV out disabled it would not play DVDs on the newer driver.
  • 0 Hide
    PreferLinux , March 8, 2011 9:37 PM
    icepick314I don't know about anyone else but I get 31 fps on http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/HWACCEL/my laptop is Asus G73JH with ATI Radeon Mobility 5870...

    17 fps on a i5 2500K and NVIDIA 8400GS with Win Vista and Firefox 3.6.
  • 0 Hide
    ricardok , March 8, 2011 10:00 PM
    Firefox 3.6.15 - 11fps
    Firefox 4 beta 12 - 60+

    HP Envy 15 - Mobile Radeon 5830. (1366x768)
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , March 8, 2011 10:12 PM
    otacon72Getting tired of FF crashing because of Flash...and I'm running the latest everything.

    get rid of flash :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Camikazi , March 8, 2011 10:50 PM
    doubleathemanDoesn't windows 7 get the latest drivers for your video card on its own? I do notice Since I sometimes used beta drivers from ATI that windows update will automatically roll me back to an older driver.

    No, it gives you the newest WHQL certified driver, which might actually be pretty old.
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , March 8, 2011 11:38 PM
    icepick314I don't know about anyone else but I get 31 fps on http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/HWACCEL/my laptop is Asus G73JH with ATI Radeon Mobility 5870...


    60+ FPS in IE9 and FF 4 Beta 12 on a Q6600 and HD5870 OCed. Latest Catalyst drivers, 11.2.
  • 0 Hide
    caeden , March 8, 2011 11:43 PM
    I find most win drivers OK. There are some older onboard audio drivers that will instantly BSOD your machine, but other than that I have never had a problem and I have worked with everything from the mainstream to some pretty exotic AV editing builds.
    But like Camikazi said, it is the last 'windows approved' version, which is usually 2-3 versions behind what is considered 'current'.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 8, 2011 11:43 PM
    Here is a quick and easy way to update Windows Vista and Windows 7 graphics drivers without using third party software. It's so easy even I can do it. Mine didn't need updating. Asus computers do it for you automatically.

    http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-update-vistawindows-7-drivers-instantly/
  • 0 Hide
    rhangman , March 9, 2011 1:43 AM
    No problems with flash crashing here with FF 4.0b13pre x64 and Adobe Labs flash x64.

    60+ fps here on a 4550. Think a more stressful benchmark is needed since a 4550 can max that one.
  • 0 Hide
    valpanig , March 9, 2011 3:46 AM
    Google Map more responsive in IE9 than FF 4b12
  • 0 Hide
    Scanlia , March 9, 2011 3:58 AM
    icepick314I don't know about anyone else but I get 31 fps on http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/HWACCEL/my laptop is Asus G73JH with ATI Radeon Mobility 5870...


    I got 21 FPS on Chrome, 10 FPS on Firefox, and surprisingly, 60+ FPS on the new IE9.
Display more comments