By Tommy A. Olsentoman. Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:46:26 PM
The way Opera has implemented hardware acceleration is a bit different from the way many other browsers have implemented it. We render absolutely everything using the GPU when possible. All of the user interface, and all of the web-page, and WebGL.
Currently our implementation in the Alpha version makes the most intensive things a lot faster, while some things are still not as fast as the optimized software backend. We are aware of what is causing this, and are working to improve the performance significantly.
One thing we have done to improve performance is to limit how often we draw to that of modern monitors. This means that some tests may report a lower frame-rate, while in fact the actual rendering is a lot faster, since both the CPU and the GPU won't be busy trying to render things that can't be displayed anyway.
Supported graphics cards
This Alpha release only supports OpenGL. DirectX 9/10 support on Windows is work in progress. Like other browsers, we are blocking troublesome graphics cards and drivers. We control which are blocked with blocklists, which are separate per platform and back-end, and is located in <install-dir>\extra\.
When a card or driver is blocked, Opera falls back to using software rendering. You can check the current status on your machine by opening opera:gpu. If the page says "Vega backend Software", try to upgrade your driver. Note that some cards are not supported by the vendor anymore, and these may still be blocked even if you have the latest driver for that card.
If you see a bug, try to turn off hardware acceleration by setting opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableHardwareAcceleration to 0, restart Opera, and see if the bug is still there. Not surprisingly, this turns off hardware acceleration, so remember to set the preference back to 1 after testing to enable hardware acceleration again (0=off, 1=auto, 2=force on).
Some cards will get WebGL disabled due to problems with the card or driver. If you're confident that it will work, you can force this on, set opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableWebGL to 2 (0=off, 1=auto, 2=force on). Even if these settings can be changed, we advise you to change them only for testing purposes.
Please provide your feedback on hardware acceleration in this blog post. Supply steps to reproduce, and the following information:
- Operating system
- Graphics card make/model
- Graphics card driver/version
Comments that do not relate to hardware acceleration will be deleted.