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What about SSE3/SSE4 support?

Posted: 2011-10-14, 10:00
by Moonchild
What about SSE3/SSE4 support?

This will not be specifically used in Pale Moon, for a few reasons:
  • The most important one: the compiler used doesn't include support for compiling with these SIMD extensions (in fact, SSE2 support is already half-broken; go Microsoft! :roll:). This would mean that if it were desired, it would have to be manually programmed in assembly for every single function where it would be desired.
  • The specific advantages of using SSE3 and SSE4 would be mostly interesting for video and sound processing, not for a browser. The areas where these kinds of calculations are used (graphics libraries) are already manually optimized.
  • Every higher SSE level further limits the amount of computers the browser will run on. Pale Moon aims to be a middle road, to cut away support for archaic architectures, but still allow a fairly broad user base.
  • Using a different compiler that supports more advanced SIMD instruction sets (Like Intel's) would potentially be an option, but compiling with a different compiler on Windows is not properly supported in the Firefox code base, and has shown to lead to either build errors or totally unstable binaries.