JavaFX versus AWT/Swing Hardware Acceleration

Kevin Rushforth kevin.rushforth at
Fri Jan 3 09:24:08 PST 2014

A couple other thoughts.

1) JavaFX doesn't use software loops for the actual rendering as long as 
the card is capable of supporting Prism. We do mix HW and SW in that we 
generate masks from a path in SW, but we cache that on the card and 
render it using shaders.

2) JavaFX can support Intel HD on Windows (something in the way Java2D 
uses D3D exposes a bug in Intel's driver so it is disabled).

Jim can probably come up with more.

-- Kevin

Stephen F Northover wrote:
> Hi Ryan,
> I'll let others describe hardware acceleration in AWT/Swing but in 
> JavaFX, D3D and ES2 shaders are used to draw.  These run directly on 
> the graphics card and render data that is downloaded there.  Because 
> JavaFX has a scene graph, it has a notion of what has been changed and 
> can render only a subset of the scene graph nodes.
> This is a very high level description of JavaFX but captures the 
> essence of what is happening.  Any other FX committers want to comment?
> Steve
> On 2014-01-01 1:39 PM, Ryan Cuprak wrote:
>>   What is the difference between hardware acceleration in JavaFX 
>> versus Swing/AWT? I heard a while back someone claim that Swing/AWT 
>> could never fully leverage hardware acceleration. However there are 
>> the usual mix of -D parameters (sun.java2.opengl/sun.java2d.d3d, 
>> etc.) for Swing/AWT. So I am just wondering how JavaFX’s acceleration 
>> differs from the hardware acceleration in Swing. When I was giving a 
>> talk at a JUG meeting someone called me out on the hardware 
>> acceleration bit and I realized I didn’t fully understand the 
>> differences between the two.
>>   I understand that JavaFX has a scene graph and Swing doesn’t etc. 
>> So I am assuming that the scene graph operations are optimized on the 
>> GPU whereas if you were trying to replicate a scene graph in Swing 
>> you would obviously be doing all the work on the CPU. So Swing’s 
>> hardware acceleration is more about buffers?
>>   I did come across this article:
>>   Specifically this line caught my attention "Prism finally renders 
>> effects with full hardware acceleration and without the extra buffer 
>> copies that spoil effects on the Swing toolkit.”
>>   This article is a dated - brings up a second question about 
>> hardware acceleration with a hybrid Swing/JavaFX application - what 
>> happens?
>>     Thanks,
>> -Ryan

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