Testing hardware acceleration

Firefox 4 nightly builds (and soon, betas) now include hardware acceleration on all versions of Windows! We would simply love it if you would help us test this acceleration.

To know if you’re using hardware acceleration, check the Graphics section of about:support. If your computer is capable of using content acceleration using Direct2D, you will see “Direct2D Enabled: true.” If your computer is capable of using layers/compositing acceleration using Direct3D 9, you will see “GPU Accelerated Windows: 2/2 Direct3D 9″[1] (for example).

To test if a problem you’re seeing is due to hardware acceleration, you can disable it. There are two ways to accomplish this:

  • Run Firefox in safe mode. (All hardware acceleration is always disabled in safe mode.)
  • Uncheck “Use hardware acceleration when available” in the Advanced section of the Preferences/Options dialog.

When reporting a bug caused by hardware acceleration, please copy the entire Graphics information block from about:support into your bug report. This will help us work out root causes and reproducing your problems.

In the very near future, we plan to enable layers/compositing hardware acceleration on Mac OS X using OpenGL. The same testing procedure works there, too, and we will even more gratefully accept your bug reports for hardware acceleration issues on OS X.

1. Due to some technical issues, each window can have a different hardware acceleration status, which is why we show a ratio. Most of the time all of your windows will be accelerated, though.


  1. Also, you can get more info on your graphics setup from the Grafx Bot extension’s “System Info” link on Windows and Linux (I don’t know about Mac).

    As I wrote in bug 591787, it would be great if about:support provided the info to explain “Here’s why you aren’t getting accelerated layers and/or WebGL.” It seems like it’s going to be a big support issue for Firefox 4.

    Thanks for all you do!

    • Crap, I forgot to mention Grafxbot in my post. For those who are reading the comments, Grafxbot is an extension you can use to test your computer’s hardware acceleration and submit the results to Mozilla. Running it on your computer will help us make hardware acceleration better!

  2. It says that Grafxbot is incompatible: “Not available for Firefox 4.0b7pre”.

  3. Think Client, not Server – Load the raw data from the server but generate graphics on the Client. This takes advantage of the browser and device CPU/GPU combination which is likely to be more capable for hardware acceleration.

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