Thursday, March 3, 2011

Speed up Google Chrome by enabling hardware acceleration and pre-rendering

Chrome logoWe've spent a lot of time jabbering on and on and on about hardware acceleration in the next generation of Web browsers.

The problem, however, is that no stable browsers have it turned on by default. Unless you're running Firefox 4 beta or Internet Explorer 9 RC, you're probably not enjoying hardware acceleration. Heck, our latest poll shows that almost 50% of Download Squad readers run Chrome, anyway!

Turning hardware acceleration on in Chrome 9, 10 and 11 (stable, beta and canary) is easy, and it can significantly speed up surfing on low-powered devices, like laptops -- or if you're the kind of person who has 30 tabs open on your desktop PC. We'll show you how to turn on pre-rendering, too, which provides another nice speed boost.

To begin, visit about:flags.

Scroll down and enable GPU Accelerated Compositing. Just below that, also enable GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D. Chrome 11 doesn't have the 'GPU Accelerated Compositing' option, because it's now turned on by default (hooray!). Mac users, you can only enable GPU Accelerated Compositing; GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D is not yet available.

Scroll down a little, and enable Web Page Prerendering.

Finally, hit the Restart button at the bottom of the page.

Now head to your favorite shiny, graphical site (Engadget is good) and try scrolling! It should be a lot smoother.

For more Chrome tips, see our tips index.

Tags: 2D, apps, canvas, chrome, flags, google chrome, GoogleChrome, gpu, gpu acceleration, GpuAcceleration, hardware acceleration, HardwareAcceleration, tips, web, web page prerendering, WebPagePrerendering

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