Opera just got faster, so you can start the year with extra speed!

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Apr 21, 2016
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Happy new year, friends!

For those who celebrated and had a bit of a break during the Christmas and New Year holidays, hope you enjoyed your time off! But even if you didn’t, it’s time to get ready for the new year. And to let you hit the ground running, we’ve gone under the hood and fiddled around to give the Opera and Opera GX browsers that little bit of extra kick to help you get what you need, faster.

As a result, Opera is now 16% faster when it comes to rendering web pages and handling your requests, compared to six months ago. It’s also 14% faster in handling graphics, so you can enjoy extra speed in your in-browser gaming or in animation- and graphics-heavy web-apps.

Always be optimizing​


At Opera, we’re always working to make our browsers faster, more efficient, and more secure. This doesn’t just mean keeping the browser up-to-date and running smoothly. It also means optimizing for all the different types of devices you might be browsing on, whether you’re a casual user or a power user with tons of tabs open and extensions running, and so on – all in the name of offering you a better browser experience.

In the past, we have worked on optimizing how the browser handles and stores data, allowing it to use less memory. We have also implemented changes that help extend your device’s battery life.

This time, we focused on the following areas to make sure you get more speed out of your desktop browser:

Build optimizations

We’re using Profile Guided Optimization (PGO) across platforms. This feature optimizes code based on profiles created through test runs with samples of various real-time user scenarios. The test results show which parts of a program are executed more frequently, allowing for more efficient optimization of those parts.

Link time optimizations

We’ve enabled maximum link time optimization. Link Time Optimization (LTO) is a form of interprocedural optimization (IPO), which aims to improve performance in programs that contain many small but frequently used functions. The way LTO is implemented allows these optimizations to cover all the different parts of the program as a single module, which results in better performance.

Engine settings tweaks

We have improved out-of-process 2D canvas rasterization in our out-of-process rendering, which moves all rendering tasks to the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit, also known as your graphics card). This helps lighten the load for the CPU, which can keep your system running more smoothly.

Measure of success


To make sure our work had the desired results, we used two well-established benchmarks to test it out: Speedometer 2.1 and Motionmark.

Speedometer, a benchmark originally developed by the WebKit team at Apple, tests a browser’s performance by measuring how quickly it can execute a series of common tasks, which usually reflect real-world usage. Rendering a web page, running a JavaScript application, and handling user input are all part of possible scenarios checked by the benchmark. By measuring how quickly the browser can complete these tasks, Speedometer can usually indicate how well the browser performs overall.

Motionmark focuses on a browser’s graphical performance by rendering complex animations and graphics to measure frame rate, rendering speed, and visual quality. It does this by rendering a series of complex animations and measuring the frame rate at which they are displayed. This is particularly relevant as more browser applications and content rely on complex graphics and animation, especially when it comes to in-browser games or web apps for photo and video editing.

No matter what kind of user you are, start the year off right with a faster browser! Download the Opera browser here.

Source: Opera just got faster, so you can start the year with extra speed!
 

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