Firefox 4 brings many new features in the Graphics department, notably hardware acceleration and WebGL. 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. We reacted by selectively disabling these new features on buggy drivers, based on the large amounts of information collected by beta testers. Of course, Firefox remains fully functional: only these new features get disabled.
The resulting driver blocklist is worth reading if you want to get the most out of Firefox 4:
- Windows users with Intel cards: you need a very recent driver.
- Windows users with NVIDIA cards: you need driver version 257.21 or newer.
- Windows users with ATI cards: you need driver version 10.6 or newer.
- Instructions are also given for Mac and X11 (Linux/Unix).
Unfortunately, certain computer manufacturers do not allow end users to upgrade drivers on their own. Hopefully these manufacturers will eventually give their users these much needed graphics driver updates.