Google pushes GPU optimization, 3D support in new Chrome beta

Maintaining its quick release schedule for Chrome, Google has pushed out an open beta for the browser’s next major update. GPU enhancements for quicker Canvas-based software performance and a 3D nod to folks still running on older operating systems are the two major improvements available now for willing test subjects.

Chrome’s implementation of the SwiftShader software rasterizer means users running Windows XP with old GPUs can now view 3D content, said Software Engineers John Bauman and Brian Salomon. Writing at the Chromium Blog, the two engineers admitted the software was no replacement for “a real GPU,” but would get the job done. It should easily load 3D pages for users with lackluster GPUs once downloaded, they explained.

To improve 2D canvas-based content, Google flicked the “on” switch for GPU-accelerated rendering, but warned that performance may vary.

“This is a tricky area to optimize, due to the wide variety of hardware and operating system configurations found in the wild,” said the pair. “We’ve made a series of small improvements to the way this acceleration works in the latest release, and we’re seeking feedback on it from our Beta users.”

Beta guinea pigs should submit a bug report if they encounter any performance issues, said Bauman and Saloman.

Google released the latest stable version of Chrome last week. The upgrade features more obvious security measures and a URL auto-complete tweak that delivers quicker-loading pages.



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