Mozilla has finally identified the speed problems with its much popular Firefox browser, especially when compared to lighter Google Chrome. The Firefox 4 Beta 4 update to be release on Monday is going to offer GPU acceleration option which will offload the Direct2D calculations to the Graphics hardware, while consuming less system resources.
Although this feature was first announced by Microsoft to be included with Internet Explorer 9, it seems Firefox 4 is going to be the first browser to bring it out in the open. However, this feature will be disabled by default due to stability problems, but it can be manually switched on using the following techniques.
- Open the browser window and type “about:config” in the address bar. Click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!” to proceed.
- In the top Filter box, type “gfx.font”.
- Now open the option titled “gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled” and set is value as “true”.
- Now right click on space and select New -> Integer. Enter its preference name as “mozilla.widget.render-mode” and set it’s value as “6”.
- Now restart your browser to complete the process. You can confirm if the Direct2D is running but entering “about:support” in the address bar and look at the bottom.
Besides GPU acceleration, the Beta 4 update also introduces the Tab Candy feature than will help users to manage multiple tabs better. The video below demonstrates this capability.