Firefox Nightly Gets a GPU Accelerated Renderer

AlphaAtlas

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mozilla released a big overhaul of Firefox they call "Quantum" awhile ago, but they left out one key piece of technology that wasn't ready yet. "Webrender," as Mozilla calls it, works more like a game engine than a traditional browser renderer, painting every pixel on every frame to make browsing as smooth as possible. In a newsletter, a Mozilla developer says "WebRender should be generally usable on all platforms other than Android," and is automatically enabled on Firefox nightly builds if you have a desktop Nvidia GPU and Windows 10. On other hardware, you can manually turn webrender on in Firefox's settings.

Even if most of your frames are best-case scenarios - that is, they only take up a tiny bit of the frame budget - you can still get choppy motion. For perceptible jank, only a couple of frames need to fall into worst-case scenarios. These scenarios are called performance cliffs. Your app seems to be moving along fine until it hits one of these worst-case scenarios (like animating background color) and all of the sudden your app's frame rate topples over the edge. But we can get rid of these performance cliffs. How do we do this? We follow the lead of 3D game engines.
 

SixFootDuo

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Oct 5, 2004
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Thanks for this! Firefox has been my browser of choice for years. Mostly because of the bookmark window / management. I love it.
 

Sniper_Merc

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Mozilla released a big overhaul of Firefox they call "Quantum" awhile ago, but they left out one key piece of technology that wasn't ready yet. "Webrender," as Mozilla calls it, works more like a game engine than a traditional browser renderer, painting every pixel on every frame to make browsing as smooth as possible. In a newsletter, a Mozilla developer says "WebRender should be generally usable on all platforms other than Android," and is automatically enabled on Firefox nightly builds if you have a desktop Nvidia GPU and Windows 10. On other hardware, you can manually turn webrender on in Firefox's settings.
Definitely notice a difference, browser runs smoother and faster. Thanks for the info :)
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
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Aug 16, 2004
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13,574
Time to try Firefox again.

I wonder how much nVidia paid them to default to only accelerate on nVidia cards.
 

Nobu

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Jun 7, 2007
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Time to try Firefox again.

I wonder how much nVidia paid them to default to only accelerate on nVidia cards.
It's been that way with every browser (and plugin) that tried hardware accelerated rendering, and I think it had more to do with driver stability than anything. Eventually they enable AMD support, but it takes a while.
 

Galvin

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Jan 22, 2002
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Will this mean the browser will slow down my game more and will no longer be able to run the browser in the background?
 

socK

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Jan 25, 2004
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Will this mean the browser will slow down my game more and will no longer be able to run the browser in the background?
Assuming your game is full screen, one way or another (even borderless on newer builds of Windows) it probably shouldn't.

Your desktop itself is hardware accelerated.
 

knowom

Limp Gawd
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Aug 15, 2008
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Sync now, NoScript, and Adblock are 3 reasons I'm not ditching Firefox/Nightly anytime soon. Chrome is meh and Edge is malware.
 

Sniper_Merc

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Mar 25, 2004
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1,035
Kept crashing on me like crazy, when it did work it was damned smooth tho. Had to uninstall it.
 

PimpUigi

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Jan 4, 2008
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309
Fixed every frame drop issue I was having with streaming movies off Amazon Prime / Netflix / youtube etc.
And I was having a lot of those problems.
 
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