Firefox 5 with Hardware Acceleration

Firefox 5 was just recently released and I love it! The hardest part is finding the new features and possibilities in the new versions.

One item I found that was a carry-over from the firefox 4 days was hardware acceleration. In the beta versions of FF4, you could enable acceleration, but it was unproven. In theory, this was rolled up into the new versions, but I found some improvements were still possible.
First, go to and run the acceleration demo. This will give you a baseline of your current configuration.

Then, enable accelerated graphics: From

  1. Enter ‘about:config’
  2. Click through the warning, if necessary
  3. Enter gfx.font in the ‘Filter’ box
  4. Double-click on ‘gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled’ to set it to true
  5. Below this, right click and select New > Integer to add a pref setting
  6. Enter ‘mozilla.widget.render-mode’ for the preference name, 6 for the value
  7. Restart

(To disable, set gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled to false, delete mozilla.widget.render-mode, then restart.)

Finally, go back to the acceleration demo and see the differences.

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