But it’s time to change it all. Microsoft has built the new browser ground up and lead innovation to let the industry to follow. IE9 is the First browser to support full GPU acceleration (Direct 2D) Rendering which means your graphics card is now put to good use. Earlier to this Firefox 3.7 nightly showed some GPU rendering which is pretty limited.
Our early impressions of IE9 were good, but it has gone better.
Rendering the web page in most browsers including IE8 is performed on the CPU. Direct2D (a new Windows API in Windows 7) uses hardware Direct3D acceleration to accelerate 2D graphics. This would be available as a patch for Windows Vista. Through the use of Direct2D, IE9 performs all graphics rendering on the GPU, providing quicker page rendering, faster, smoother animation, and high quality image scaling, resulting in richer experience.
Results: My eyes popped out, IE9 seems to have some great improvements:
Clearly, IE9 has come very close to Safari and beats all versions of Firefox. It would be some time till it touches chrome’s mark (may be in the final version) but the results are brilliant so far.
Graphics Framerate (FPS)
Era of Rich graphics on web just started over last few years with beginning of Maps applications and some fantastic animations in various webapps. We took some of the most common ones: google Maps, Bing Maps and few demos hosted by Microsoft for IE9 and then average framerate over all of these and results were eye-opener:
Update: IE9 vs. Chrome 10 vs. Firefox 4 Benchmarks - on Core i7 machine