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Speed up Google Chrome by enabling Hardware Acceleration and Web Page Pre-rendering

Jaimin is the Co-Founder of Technolicious, where he is currently the Editor, User Interface Analyst and Search Engine Optimizer. He is a student of Computer Applications and blogs about anything related to software and web applications, he finds worth sharing.

Hardware acceleration in web browsers is nothing but a mechanism when the browser puts down processor-intensive tasks to the computer’s graphical processor so that page loading and rendering is much faster and smoother.


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.


If you’re using Google Chrome’s version 9 or higher, then turning hardware acceleration on 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 lots of tabs open at the same time. Turning on web page Pre-rendering, provides another nice speed boost.


1. First you need to check whether your Google Chrome’s version is 9 or higher, as only then you’ll be eligible to perform the further steps.


To do so, click on the small “wrench icon” wrench at the top-right corner of the browser and then select About Google Chrome from the drop-down menu, to know Google Chrome’s version number, as shown below:


About Google Chrome


If you’re running Google Chrome 9 or above, it’s fine. If not, first upgrade Google Chrome to it’s latest version and only then perform the following steps.


2. Type in about:flags in Google Chrome’s address bar and hit Enter. Now scroll down until you find GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D and Enable it. Just above that, you may also find GPU Accelerated Compositing. If it’s there, Enable that as well.


Note: Google Chrome 11 doesn't have the 'GPU Accelerated Compositing' option, because it's now turned on by default, where as Mac users can only enable GPU Accelerated Compositing; GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D is not yet available.


3. Similarly, look for Web Page Prerendering and Enable that too.


Enabling Hardware Acceleration and Web Page Prerendering


4. Finally, hit the Restart/Relaunch Now button at the bottom of the page.


Done! Now head to any of your favorite shiny, graphical site and try scrolling. It should be a lot smoother.


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