Microsoft confirmed this issue, and noted that IE9 is not to blame, but that at fault is an incompatibility between the next generation IE browser and old hardware.
It appears that reports of poor performance for IE9 came from users that compared the speed of the new browser with that of older versions of Internet Explorer. The older releases of IE were faster especially on webpages that had complex graphics.
The issue is related to the HTML5 performance enhancements built into Microsoft’s next iteration of IE.
IE9 brings to the table hardware acceleration, leveraging the computer’s GPU (graphics processing unit) in concert with the DirectX APIs in Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP2.
Of course, the graphics card needs to support DirectX 11. Older graphics cards fail to play nice with modern technology such as DirectX 11, and as such IE9 uses the Software Rendering mode to display content.
“By default, Internet Explorer 9 Beta uses GPU Rendering mode. However, some outdated video cards and video drivers do not support GPU hardware acceleration,” Microsoft stated.
“If Internet Explorer 9 Beta determines that your current video card or video driver does not support GPU hardware acceleration, Internet Explorer 9 Beta uses Software Rendering mode.”
The software giant advises users to make sure they have the latest graphics drivers installed, specifically the version that supports hardware acceleration.
In the eventuality that the drivers are up to date, but IE9 still underperforms in comparison to older versions of IE, customers need to consider a hardware upgrade.
“To determine whether Internet Explorer 9 Beta is using Software Rendering mode, follow these steps: start Internet Explorer 9 Beta; click Internet Options on the Tools menu; on the Advanced tab, locate the Accelerated graphics section.
“Verify that the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering check box is selected.
“If this option is selected, Internet Explorer 9 Beta is running in Software Rendering mode. If the option is greyed out, your current video card or video driver does not support GPU hardware acceleration,” Microsoft explained.
Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Platform Preview 6 (PP6) is available for download here.