.NET 3.5 SP1 includes several significant performance optimizations and improvements to WPF. Some of the specific graphics improvements include:

  • Smoother animations (with Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3)
  • Hardware accelerated rendering of Blur and DropShadow Bitmap Effects
  • Text Rendering speed improvements - especially with VisualBrish and 3D scenes
  • 2D graphics improvements - especially with z-index scenarios
  • A new WriteableBitmap class that enables real-time and tear-free bitmap updates. This enables custom "paint"-style applications, data visualizations, charts and graphs that optionally bypass the default WPF 2D graphics APIs.
  • Layered window performance improvements

SP1 also adds support for better data scalability in WPF. The ListView, ListBox and TreeView controls now support "item container recycling" and "virtualization" support which allows you to easily achieve a 40% performance improvement with scrolling scenarios. These controls also now optionally support a "deferred scrolling" feature which allows you to avoid scrolling in real time and instead wait until a user releases the scroll thumb (the default scrolling mode in Outlook). This can be useful when scrolling over very large data sets quickly.