As Microsoft prepares to launch the beta version of the Internet Explorer 9 two days from now, the marketing pitch is already reaching a crescendo. Both Microsoft and Intel are harping on the hardware accelerated graphics capabilities of the IE9, which will give you a web browsing experience like never before.
When the browser is finally unveiled, it will serve as competition to the Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It is also notable that Intel is introducing the new Sandy Bridge chip now at an Intel Developer Forum. So, you can guess that the two of them are trying to make some sweet music over here!
Microsoft has recently made it clear how full hardware acceleration outscores partial acceleration, when it comes to browsing. At the same time Intel has just launched a video showing IE9 hardware acceleration on the Sandy Bridge powered Core-i series chips.
Microsoft IE9 Brings the best out of Your GPU
The fact, that the IE9 will utilize your computer’s graphics chip, means that the main processor or CPU will not be too heavily burdened, even if you have multiple tabs or windows opened at a time. Microsoft is trying to get the best out of your GPU or graphics unit, which though not as strong as the CPU, can complete certain tasks faster than the CPU.
Nowadays most GPU’s pack a lot of processing power, but the new Sandy Bridge architecture will take GPU capability to a whole new level. It brings the fastest graphics engine on any CPU thus far.
Microsoft explains that the full hardware acceleration will affect every element of a web-page, be it text, images, vector graphics, video or audio. The IE9 also has a hardware accelerated HTML5 canvas.
Because the hardware acceleration here is achieved in three separate steps leading to the final display on screen, performance is not affected even for the sake of cross-platform compatibility. There are no abstraction layers which usually cause the trade off between cross platform compatibility and performance.
The demos and leaks have been encouraging, with the IE9 playing 720p videos without burdening the CPU or dropping frames.
But in the wake of this marketing hype by Microsoft, Mozilla has chosen to speak up. The company claims that their Firefox browser has all three levels of hardware acceleration that Microsoft is talking of. And thus Mozilla is trying to disprove the idea that Microsoft is the first to bring in hardware accelerated browsing. The truth will be revealed as soon as you get your hands on the IE9 beta!