How-To Geek

Firefox 4 Beta 5 Has Blazing Fast Hardware Acceleration Enabled by Default

The latest beta release of the Firefox web browser is out, and it’s finally got native hardware acceleration that’s blazing fast.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the browser, you can test out the crazy speed for yourself with the Internet Explorer 9 speed demos—the FishIE Tank one is especially interesting. They’ve also got a video with more details showing off just how fast it really is:

Also included in this release are menu changes, a new audio API, and upgrades SSL support to make sure that you are only connecting to certain sites using encryption. Here’s a video that shows off the new audio API and exactly what it can do:

You can read more about the changes at the Mozilla blog post, or just download it from the link below and try it out for yourself.

Firefox Beta Download [Mozilla]

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/8/10

Comments (18)

  1. matthewguay

    Seems to load pages screaming-fast too … I think I’ll be using FF4 b5 for the next week until I get my hands on IE 9 beta :) The joys of being a geek … you never get to use fully released software since you’re always using the next beta!

  2. ProtoSphere

    Wow! Now that’s fast!
    Firefox 4’s 60 FPS on FishIE Tank definitely beats Chrome’s 2 FPS (with –enable-accelerated-compositing).

  3. tapuz

    it loads up very fast, but all most all the addons are not compatible, and still did not figure out how to get out of full screen mode. everytime i open up it starts up in full mode, and i cannot do much changing. esc. did not work.

  4. Sszecret

    It loads pages really fast. I was like : “What?? Already loaded? Wow!”. Hardware acceleration is the future :) . The features they are adding with every new release are getting cooler and cooler. Way to go Mozilla!
    @tapuz : to toggle full screen or normal mode, press F11 :D

  5. FUBAR

    @ tapuz : I’m using Add-on Compatibility Reporter so I can install Add-ons that are not compatible and see by myself which work and which don’t. I can tell that all of “my” add-ons are working.

  6. tapuz

    thanks “sszecret”, should help me (curious how you knew that).
    any ideas about the addons ? it would help, as firefox is really very quick.
    or when the final version will be out ?

  7. GoodBytes

    It is fast!

    However, I don’t like the font rendering. Make it hard to read for a long period of time.
    It looks like Linux font style when you don’t have your graphic card drivers installed.

    Hopefully that will be corrected to match Windows don’t in the next beta. For for me that is enough to completely let go Firefox, which I really don’t want to.

  8. Midnight

    I agree with tapuz re: the Firefox Add 0ns not all working! That’s the Only reason I’m sticking with 3.6.9 fort now! Stylish is an important Extension and until it becomes compatible with FF 4 Beta, I won’t be upgrading!
    Firefox has always been the fastest, most secure Browser out there and it’s the Browser of choice, for those in the know! :D

  9. Sam Mackay

    To use disabled addons – go to the Firefox Addons website, right-click on the greyed-out “Add to Firefox” button, choose “save link as…” and save the extension to your computer. Right-click on the extension on your computer, open with Winzip.

    Within Winzip, right-click on the file install.rdf and choose to open in Notepad. Check the file carefully for the words “target application” and “Firefox” and look for with a version number after it. Change this version to a much later version eg 4.7 or 5.0.

    Save the Notepad file and allow Winzip to update the archive when it asks.

    Now right-click on the extension and open with Firefox. Install it and restart Firefox.

    Most, if not all, of your extensions should now work!

  10. Sam Mackay

    In my previous post, the words maxVersion has disappeared… this is what you change, not MinVersion.

  11. Gerry

    Guess this hardware acceleration is either not enabled on the Linux version of Firefox or my card is not supported. But either way on my Ubuntu 10.4 it was 11-13 fps on Firefox 3.6.8 and actually DROPPED in speed on Firefox 4 beta 5 to 9-11 fps.

  12. baldeguy56

    Is pretty fast. I’ve left 3.6.9 version behind.
    tapuz, minimize FF window, then resize it by stretching, minimize completely to toolbar, right click and choose Restore. Windows will remember this setting for the next time you open FF.

  13. Dompee

    @midnight…..idk who your “those in the know” are because they DONT know that FF has never been the fastest browser IE has been and still is the fastest non beta browser but don’t worry IE9 will be faster than FF4 when released….now your in the “Know” ha!

  14. tapuz

    FUBAR: thanks for your input, it helped for most of my important addons. (i posted before your post, for some reason it got out of order, thanks for the help, really appreciate it).

    Sam Mackay : tried your idea, really thought it would help, but not really.
    the addon that i would really like to get going, is known for compatibility problems, but i found a fix for the previous ff versions, but not the beta yet.
    it is called “imglikeopera” blocks all pictures from coming up, with a little button on the bottom if one chooses to see them. it comes in very handy for me and many other friends of mine. (even though it seems odd, i would really really appreciate it if anyone has any input).

    don’t know what you have been using, but just check the standings, and user rate, taking into account that ff is not on a new computer as the default, and people still opt to install it, and it doesn’t have google pushing one to install it. but if you feel better with it, that’s the most important of all. (sorry, just my oppinion)

  15. tapuz

    Sam Mackay : tried your idea again, and on the restart after installing the addon, i get the following error:
    “typeError: components.classes[cid] id undefined.

  16. Sam Mackay

    Tapuz: Some addons just WON’T work. That said, I was lucky, since I have lots of addons, and only one or two won’t work using that method. The important ones do, though. Hopefully, the programmers will update them soon.

  17. Sam Mackay

    Tapuz: In Firefox Options, Content tab, you can untick “load pictures automatically”. Then if you want to see a picture, right-click on the placeholder and choose “view image”. Hope this helps.

  18. Sam Mackay

    Tapuz: Try this: Image and Flash Blocker

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