What to Know About Chrome Hardware Acceleration – Web app users are getting more and more familiar with the term “hardware acceleration.” In simple terms, it means that your software will delegate some tasks to other hardware components to operate more efficiently.
Many software, including web browsers like Google Chrome, require significantly more RAM to function properly.
This post will explain what hardware acceleration is and how to enable it in Google Chrome and how to test if it works.
What Is Hardware Acceleration?
Allowing your programs to utilize sections of your hardware to boost their overall performance is enabled by enabling hardware acceleration. Most of the key activities of programs, notably web browsers, used to be handled by your computer’s processor.
However, as technology advances, the requirements for minor online programs grow in size. Some apps won’t run to their full capabilities if they’re only using your processor’s resources.
Take, for example, web browsers. Because web pages are getting more sophisticated and demanding, your browser may need to ‘borrow’ some processing power from your graphics and sound cards to be more efficient. One of these browsers is Google Chrome.
How to Check Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
Check the status of hardware acceleration before turning it on or off. To accomplish this, you must:
Open Google Chrome, then type “chrome:/gpu” in the top address bar and hit Enter.
Chrome should offer a list of various data about the software when you run the command. However, only the ‘Graphics Feature Status’ column should be considered for hardware acceleration.
You should see either Hardware-accelerated or Software-only next to each option. Enabled, Disabled, or Unavailable hardware acceleration.
If the Hardware-accelerated value is displayed in green for most of these items, the feature is enabled. If Canvas, Flash, Compositing, WebGL, and other features are disabled, you’ll need to enable hardware acceleration.
Turning On Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
By following a few simple steps, you can enable hardware acceleration:
- On the top-right of your Chrome window, click the More icon (three vertical dots).
- Then, from the drop-down option, choose Settings.
- Now, on the left-hand side, click the Advanced menu and then System.
- Then, under the System section, toggle on Use hardware acceleration when available.
- If Chrome prompts you to restart it, close all open tabs and relaunch it.
- To make sure it’s still working, type “chrome:/gpu” into the address bar and push Enter.
- Check if the Hardware-accelerated value is present in the majority of the entries under the ‘Graphics Feature Status’ heading.
Follow steps 1-3 and toggle the Use hardware acceleration when available to disable hardware acceleration.
You would need to use another technique if the Use hardware acceleration when the available option was already enabled when you entered the Settings and the values were deactivated nonetheless.
Forcing Hardware Acceleration within Chrome
You can try to override Chrome’s system flags if nothing else works. To do so, you’ll need to:
- In the address box, type “chrome:/flags” and press Enter.
- Locate the option to Override software rendering list.
- Then, besides it, click the drop-down menu, which will most likely be set to Disabled.
- Change the state to Enabled.
- Then, at the bottom of the window, click the Relaunch button to restart the browser.
- Return to “chrome:/gpu” and examine if the hardware is accelerated; Hardware-accelerated should appear next to most settings.
What If Neither Method Works?
If hardware acceleration is still disabled after overriding the system flags, the issue isn’t likely to be with Chrome’s software.
Instead, try updating your video drivers or checking for actual problems with your graphics card.
How to See If Hardware Acceleration Helps
Mozilla has put together a great webpage that shows off the visual capabilities of web browsers. This webpage is also compatible with Google Chrome. You may evaluate your 2D and 3D animated performance, as well as draggable videos, SVG-embedded media, HD movies, and more.
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You can try opening some websites that use high-quality flash animations or video games to check if your browser slows down or functions well.
You may also examine the picture quality by watching HD videos on YouTube or other video streaming providers. However, keep in mind that video buffering is typically caused by a slow internet connection, so hardware acceleration won’t help.
You Can’t Accelerate Everything.
Offloading a chunk of duties to your hardware on the lower end of the range may make your machine slower than before. That’s why, for a smooth web browsing experience, you’ll need a strong video and sound card. If your web browser becomes slow after you enable hardware acceleration, consider turning it off to see if things improve.
Which do you prefer: browsing with hardware acceleration or without? What makes you choose that option? In the comments section below, please share your responses and ideas.
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