Yesterday, we acquired a new ATI Radeon 6950 Graphics Card and hacked its BIOS to unlock inactive shaders and turn it into a more expensive 6970 Card. Everything went smooth, but for some reason Firefox decided to go ugly. The text and the UI looked a bit blurry with rough edges. Like This:
We tried everything we could in ATI’s Catalyst Control Panel, but nothing helped. This issue only affected Firefox, and none of the other application, which was a bit weird initially, but helped us narrow-down on the problem and resolve it. The main culprit for this problem turned out to be Firefox’s hardware acceleration feature, which tries to use GPU to render fonts and other elements of the browser. We simply disabled it, and restarted Firefox to solve the issue.
How to Disable Hardware Acceleration in Firefox
Click on the Orange Firefox Button, choose ‘Options’ from the menu (if you are using different operating system or older version of Firefox, go to Tools > Options). Go to Advanced, and under the ‘General’ tab, you will find ‘Use hardware acceleration when available’. Just uncheck it and restart your browser.
Hardware Acceleration is a very useful feature which uses your GPU’s potential to improve page and multimedia rendering, and it was too good to simply be disabled. Upon future stumbling, we found a nifty little extension called Anti-Aliasing Tuner which allows us to keep hardware acceleration feature enabled, but at the same time fix the blurry anti aliasing issue.
It’s not really a plug and play kind of add-on, and you may possibly have to fiddle around with the settings of the add-on to be able to resolve the blurry font issue.