I was getting very bad performance drawing some images so I tried turning on hardware acceleration using both launch params and this code I found on the internets:
Turning it on seemed to do nothing whatsoever, so I *sigh* had to make my code not shitty instead. I removed that line of code, looks hunky dory now. Amusingly enough it won't grab focus so keyboard input won't work. New problems, go! I'll fix that when I get some time.
[EDIT]I fixed the focus issue. I was already calling requestFocusInWindow() but interestingly enough it performs slightly differently in an applet than it does in an app. It must be called later (after the applet is already loaded and added to screen). I added in a popup that appears if you don't have focus, works well enough.[/EDIT]