The time is fast approaching when every significant app will make use of the vast parallel resource pool of the GPUs. This stampede towards GPU-accelerated-computing just got a boost from the release of the all new Internet Explorer 9. NVIDIA worked with Microsoft since almost the start of IE9 development cycle to make sure every possible GPU resource is utilized. IE9 is definitely a leap forward from it’s predecessors in that it opens up a new avenue for the future browsers: GPUs.
The new Internet Explorer 9 has a built in HTML5 engine that makes use of the GPU to render all the new features of HTML5. It also has an improved video encoder and decoder which means improved and smooth video rendering. In order to gauge the actual performance, Microsoft has included 3 really cool tools to bench the performance of your current browser. Go to Beauty Of the Web (Yes, Microsoft has a habit of putting every new product into a new domain name) and click on the small box icon on the top left:
These are the 3 really cool tools all written in HTML5 which you can use to bench your browser. So while I was installing IE9 on my PC (Windows 7 x64 with GeForce 9800GT GPU) I played with these tools on my Chrome9 and even though I enjoyed the cool animations like the fish tank, the results were not so impressive. Here’s a comparison of the performance on Chrome 9 and Internet Explorer 9:
Machine specs are:
- CPU: Core2Duo 6550 @ 2.33 GHz with 3GB of RAM
- GPU: Tesla C2050
This is 7 times acceleration! and you will have to experience it yourself to see how smooth the HTML animation runs. Here’s a shot of the fish tank:
Microsoft has not mentioned whether IE9 supports GPU acceleration across all GPUs or just NVIDIA’s but even if it’s sticking to NVIDIA’s the message to every other browser is very clear: Narrow down the boundaries between web and native app which could only be done when you make use of the hardware resources that were laying idle before.
These are exciting times for GPU developers!