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Rendering optimizations are making Chrome smoother and faster

Google rolled out a few performance improvements to Chrome’s rendering pipeline over the last few months, making the browser faster and more responsive.

Published onJanuary 31, 2017

The Chrome OS logo.

Chrome is the most popular browser in the world and to keep its many users happy, Google is constantly trying to improve it. In a recent blog post, the search giant said that it rolled out quite a few performance improvements to Chrome’s rendering pipeline over the last few months, making the browser even faster and more responsive. It now more intelligently skips redundant tasks, chooses optimal rendering algorithms, and better utilizes system hardware which means that not only do websites load faster, they also run smoother.

Google’s Chrome team aims to optimize the browser’s rendering pipeline so every website is displayed at a buttery-smooth 60 frames per second. In order to accomplish this, the browser only has 16ms to render each frame. The less time it uses to render each frame the more time web developers have to run scripts and load content. A lot of the recent performance improvements made to the rendering pipeline were focused on reducing the per-frame workload which results in a faster web experience for users.

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Google gave us an example of how this works. When Chrome is preparing to load a website, it must first identify which elements on the page need to be redrawn and which can be copied from the previous frame’s cache. In order to simplify the task, the browser now tracks the draw commands generated for each element and can identify the exact areas that need to be redrawn . The optimization technique has proven to be quite successful, as it reduces the time required to paint a new frame to the user’s screen by as much as 35 percent.

These specific techniques are coming to Chrome for Android, Windows, and Mac. It’s not clear from Google’s blog post when exactly they will be widely available, but it could take several months for features to move from Chromium to stable releases of Chrome. Speed is one of the most important factors for users when it comes to surfing the web, which is why we hope that the tech giant will implement even more optimization techniques in the near future.

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