Quoting the extract from official documentation (3.5 Restrictions):
rendered="false" setting to not be rendered on the page.
Setting rendered="false" is OK when components are in the tree. However, since we have sometimes two thousand components on a single page, for performance reasons we exclude parts by means of <c:if> or <c:choose> tags.
That's at least what we did in 3.3.3. It worked fine back then. However, it won't work in RichFaces 4.*. We're in the middle of migration to RichFaces 4.* and it would be great to know if there are any plans to restore this functionality.
This is somewhat related to the conditional resource inclusion being considered in RF-12194. While not the same problem, the solutions should be considered together. Feel free to file a new jira issue, and link the two together.
The issue is currently targetting 4.3-Tracking, but has not been scheduled for a specific milestone release. Additionally, we currently have too many issues tracking the 4.3 release, we will have to prune some. I will be able to give you a better idea of the timing around this request once that triage is complete.
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