What is this hardware acceleration we are talking about ? Let’s quickly understand .
Imagine you are browsing a site which has heavy graphical elements (and running 35 open tabs in the background). Your browser needs to memorize the details of every other website in the opened tabs and fulfill your current request. Hardware acceleration in browsers is a nothing but a mechanism when the browser puts down processor intensive tasks to the computer’s graphical processor so that animations, page rendering and page loading is much more smoother and faster.
In the present scenario of HTML5 apps, no browser has hardware acceleration turned on (unless of course you’re running Firefox 4 or Internet Explorer RC build, Google Chrome 9 or higher). So if you’re using Google Chrome and want to turn on hardware acceleration in Google Chrome, here are the steps that needs to be done:
1. First, you have to find out which version of Google Chrome you’re running. Click the small wrench icon and select “About Google Chrome” to know Chrome’s version, as shown below:
2. If you are running Google Chrome 9 or above, it’s fine. If not, first upgrade Google Chrome to it’s latest version.
3. Type about:flags in Google Chrome’s address bar, scroll down until you find “GPU Accelerated Compositing”. Enable that
4. Next, you will find a setting called “GPU Accelerated Canvas 2D”. Enable that option too (if you’re running Google Chrome 11, you won’t find that because it comes out of the box).
5. Enable “Web page prerendering”.
6. Done !
The advantage of using hardware acceleration in Chrome 9, 10 or higher versions is that page loading and rendering times are much faster and smoother. If you’re using heavyweight HTML5 apps or surfing through dozens of YouTube videos, enabling hardware acceleration will surely improve Google Chrome’s performance.