Firefox with Direct2D: Speed you can feel

Firefox recently got hardware acceleration in its nightly builds via Vista’s and Win7’s Direct2D acceleration. And with the Layers project promising hardware acceleration across all platforms soon (as well as IE9 also providing hardware acceleration via Direct2D) for the first time there’s a reasonable chance that we will have good performance on all platforms, even default Windows systems with Internet Explorer.

When a Direct2D supporting version of Firefox was first released last year I wrote a stupid little stresstest to see how much performance could be gained and I eventually compiled it into a video. It really does nothing but scale and rotate a bunch of image elements, but apparently the bright colors make people excited.

You can see it running side-by-side in recent versions of Opera, Safari, Chrome and Firefox with and without Direct2D here:

3 thoughts on “Firefox with Direct2D: Speed you can feel”

  1. Really impressive indeed. And great to hear about Layers project, I was scared that I won’t get HD acceleration on Linux.
    Does it mean new speed race for web browsers this year?

  2. Don’t worry, Layers is already working quite nicely at least on WindowsXP (that’s the only non-D2D platform that I have available for testing right now) for video blitting. My little netbook can now handle fullscreen playback without any problems thanks to Layers (powered by OpenGL).

    I’m not sure I would talk about a “new” speed race. So far there has been little competition for your average Joe who doesn’t look at benchmarks since content was always authored for the lowest common denominator. But with hardware acceleration you get noticeable speedup on legacy content as well, so I’m actually tempted to call it the first real speed race 🙂

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