Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Firefox 4 beta 4 - Hardware Acceleration FTW!

I just wanted to jot down a quick note about something that made me VERY happy today! Firefox 4 beta 4 was released today, and one of the big features that it includes is (On Windows Vista/7 anyway) hardware acceleration via Direct2D. It's disabled by default, but doesn't take much to turn on (and certainly shouldn't be a problem for anyone who's been following WebGL).

First off, let me say that text rendering looks 1000% better when hardware acceleration is enabled. Seriously! I'm usually not one to care about aliasing in my text and whatnot but... WOW! The really exciting bit for me, though, was booting up my Quake 3 demo. With acceleration turned off I'm getting about 20-23 FPS (on par with previous betas), but with acceleration enabled I'm seeing 60-70 FPS! OMGWTFBBQ!?!

A 300% bump in render performance? That's insane! Awesome, but insane! Great work, Firefox crew! I can't wait to get this out of beta and into the average users hands.

(And now Chrome needs to get with the program! Seriously, looking at text in any other browser is gonna bug the crap out of me now!)

UPDATE: Ask and it shall be given, I suppose? I've turned the associated flag on, but can't see any difference in performance due to the apparent message pump cap I mentioned in a newer post. I'll see if I can find some better way of performance testing this later.