Firefox 4.0 For Mac Might Get Hardware Acceleration

Minefield is the name given to nightly builds of Firefox

Much love has been thrown in Google Chrome’s direction of late, not least of which because, well, it’s quite snappy. But let’s not forget the trailblazing browser that helped open the door for all these non-Internet Explorer browsers: Firefox! Yes, Mozilla is closing in on version 4.0 (I’ve been running the betas for some time now, and I’m a fan of the new Mac interface, while the Windows one looks sorta weird in Aero), and now Mac users have a rather specific reason to be excited: hardware acceleration.

The next beta, Firefox 4.0 b7, may, just may, include hardware acceleration. If not, then we’ll have to be waiting a while since b7 is when “feature freeze” kicks in.

What would hardware acceleration accomplish? In a perfect world it’d speed up the rendering of certain pages, such as those that contain video (ie, YouTube). But, rather counter-intuitively, hardware acceleration, at least in the current implementation, actually manages to slow the rendering of certain sites by up to 6 percent.

Strange for a feature called hardware acceleration.

But, these are concerns for another day, if and when hardware acceleration makes its way into Firefox 4.0 proper.