FireFox 4 beta 7 is fast

November 11, 2010

FireFox 4 beta 7 is fast when it uses hardware graphics acceleration.

On my system it detected:

  • ATI Radeon HD 5600 Series
  • Direct2D enabled: true
  • DirectWrite Enabled: true
  • GPU Accelerated Windows: 2/2 Direct3D 10.

To find out if it detected yours, put about:support in the address bar and go to bottom of resulting page. This blog post has more information.


Added ATI HD 5670 Graphics card to PC

October 7, 2010

As I wrote about before My desktop, an HP P6230Y, even with a quad-core chip, the AMD Phenom II X4 810/2.6 Ghz, the Windows Experience Index is just 4.5 due to the low score of the main board graphics (with shared system memory).

The Card

I installed the “HIS HD 5670 IceQ 1GB (128bit) GDDR5 PCIe Display Port (DirectX 11/ Eyefinity)” graphics card. I’m not a gamer, so I picked an average performance video card. My big requirement was noise, I didn’t want to hear another fan. Second was multi-monitor support. Based on reviews the card made by HIS fit the bill.

Catalyst Install Manager Issue

Installing the card was very easy. Open the case and gently push it into the slot, then attach the monitors. Boot, and get a standard VGA screen. Now install the graphics drivers. Oops! They fail. Trying to uninstall any drivers fails. Looked at Process Explorer, but no driver is running. Downloaded the latest driver. Nope. Of course, the error info and Windows Event log are useless unless you have all that arcane knowledge of Windows internals.

Time for web search. The first link had the answer! I followed the last suggestion, using the command line approach.

Experience

Did it make a difference? Wow! Everything runs faster, even things I did not think would make a difference. Now even streaming video services, like Hulu, YouTube, and NetFlix are faster and more reliable. Based on this experience I think even for non-game PC a good graphics card is essential. My son tried Modern Warfare 2 on it. Even he was floored with it. On high settings, the graphics were great and game play was smooth.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the card is ok, just had it two days. Connected it to two monitors with DVI and HDMI connectors. 23″ and 24″ monitors. If I had a DisplayPort cable and adapter I have another monitor I could also attach.

Result

The Windows Experience Index for Graphics is now 7.0:

  • Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB: 7.5
  • Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5600 Series: 7.0
  • Gaming graphics 4083 MB Total available graphics memory: 7.0
  • Primary hard disk 522GB Free (686GB Total): 5.9

Whats with that low storage score, 5.9?

Cons

I noticed that when changing media streams, like one youtube clip to another, there is a momentary glitch on the HDMI connected monitor (ACER P241w [whose text output is ugly]). I think its just Flash format, so far. Am thinking of sending the card back if its a card thing. So far, it could be:


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