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Firefox 4 B4 Bringing Direct2D GPU Acceleration

The fourth beta of Firefox 4 will be hitting on Monday, and notable will be the inclusion of hardware acceleration for Windows users that have the hardware and software to support Direct2D.

Firefox using your GPU to render won't be on by default – at least not yet. Mozilla's VP of engineering tweeted that Direct2D will be included in beta 4, but it isn't quite ready for everyone to be running it yet. Instead, the feature will be enabled through user intervention by modifying the config.

Mozilla details in its Wiki of how to turn it on and what to look out for:

D2D status: Direct2D is not turned on by default for Firefox 4 beta 4. (We weren't confident enough to turn it on for all users.) However, all the code in Firefox 4 beta 4, and it should work reasonably well for everyone. We really need testers, both on the beta and on nightlies. (We plan to enable Direct2D in nightlies as soon as beta 4 is tagged and branched.) To turn on Direct2D: Go in to about:config and set mozilla.widget.render-mode to 6, and gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled to true. To turn off Direct2D, once it is on by default, set mozilla.widget.render-mode to 0. To check whether you are running with Direct2D, go to about:support and look at the bottom. (Once bug 586046 lands, there will be even more information about your graphics card in there.) Please look out for memory usage, rendering speed, and any rendering problems you might see. Also focus on interactions with plugins like Flash.

Firefox beta 4 will also bring with it the first official implementation of Tab Candy, the super slick way of managing lots of tabs.

While we hate it when the weekend ends, we're excited to try the new Firefox beta 4 that'll work our GPUs.

  • mianmian
    Firefox4, do not fall behind IE9.
    Reply
  • gmarsack
    Neato. Interested in seeing some performance numbers. :)
    Reply
  • masterofm
    Nice
    Reply
  • phatboe
    The Mozilla developers need to stick to using open standards for hardware acceleration instead of using MS's proprietary Direct2D GPU acceleration.
    Reply
  • Travis Beane
    FF4 B5 is out, and this was around in FF4 B1 I believe.
    It does cause some issues. Screen tearing does seem to occur a lot. Happens mostly when using the scroll wheel with flash. Getting better with each beta it seems however.

    Bit slow on the take here Toms?

    I leave fraps on generally, and it's kinda neat seeing a FPS counter in the top right corner.
    Reply
  • JE_D
    Travis BeaneFF4 B5 is out, and this was around in FF4 B1 I believe.It does cause some issues. Screen tearing does seem to occur a lot. Happens mostly when using the scroll wheel with flash. Getting better with each beta it seems however.Bit slow on the take here Toms?I leave fraps on generally, and it's kinda neat seeing a FPS counter in the top right corner.beta 4 and 5 are only available via FTP sever but not yet for general release so their timing is fine
    Reply
  • Travis Beane
    JE_Dbeta 4 and 5 are only available via FTP sever but not yet for general release so their timing is finenightly.mozilla.org I think beta 4 has been around for 10 days now, maybe more. What's this general release thing you talk about?
    :)
    Reply
  • nevertell
    How 'bout using openGL/openCL, so other OS's can use it ?
    Reply
  • gsacks
    Hey, where's the girl? I only clicked on the article to see the firefox girl pic ;)
    Reply
  • JE_D
    nevertellHow 'bout using openGL/openCL, so other OS's can use it ?http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html
    you can only directly download firefox 4 beta 3
    http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk/
    there you can get firefox 4 beta 4 and beta 5
    Reply