|Opera 11.5 has FULL hardware acceleration!|
WebGL & full hardware acceleraton on any OpenGL 2.x operating system!
|Our hardware acceleration is a bit different from what other browsers are doing. Like IE9 and Firefox 4, we do full hardware acceleration of all draw operations - but unlike those browsers, who only offer this acceleration on Windows Vista and Windows 7, our implementation will run on any OS with sufficient hardware support. This means we can have full hardware acceleration on Windows XP, Linux, Mac OS X and OpenGL ES 2 capable devices such as recent smart-phones and web-enabled TVs. |
I opened up GPU-Z with Opera 11.5, I have an AMD 5770 and run Windows XP. In Chrome, Firefox 4 and IE9 (VirtualBox with 2/3D acceleration enabled) my site's show/hide sidebar DHTML animation hardly utilized the GPU, about 1~7% utilization tops. In Opera 11.5 the GPU was utilized between 74~81% while underclocked and it's effect was exceptionally noticeable. The Quake 3 WebGL Demo produced similar results, Firefox 4 utilized 7~17% of my underclocked GPU while Opera utilized 99% underclocked and about 75% at stock speeds. The Quake 3 WebGL demo wasn't flawless however this is the first public build though it's clear that Opera will have the lead once 11.5 is out of development. Imagine if you will in a year browsing a fully accelerated WebGL site on mobile device.
Can't wait to try it. They have the first build of the next series out. When I open my "morning run" of 21 tabs, it rocked right through them. First Barracuda build: [my.opera.com...]
I think the biggest thing to learn from the browser speed tests is that page load speed is much less important these days. What is important is "surf speed". that is the speed with which you actually can open, navigate and get around pages.
Places I find Opera is still the fastest:
- single key surfing. (on your left hand you have z=back x=forward. Seems almost trivial, but it speeds up surfing by considerable amounts.)
- mouse gestures. speed up surfing like no other browser feature in history.
- tab options. (pin, stack, and open/close in a myriad of options)
- form submission (shift click on a form button to keep the current able and open the submission in a new tab. No more wiped out forms if you make a mistake on the form!)
- auto reload a page at a set interval. Great for sites like Twitter (or your websites log files).
- sync. pretty impressive to sync everything in your browser.
- dropbox compatible. Just install Opera in your dropbox and you are 100% in sync all the time. (i would move the cache to your local drive).
- configurability. although it is a bit daunting, and Opera software can screw with your favorite option (happens every build almost), no other browser comes anywhere close to the number of option you can set in Opera (both via the options interface, or config screen)
- what is really cool is that all of the above is builtin. No addons, no installs, no goofing anything from an untrusted 3rd party.
All of the above combine to make Opera the fastest surfing browser around. I hate firing up FireFox because it is so slow. Who can suffer being hassled by-the-man (Chrome or IE) these days? An safari - well, we know that is just for the girls ;-) (ducking and running)
I just found the mouse gestures in 11.5 and I like the visual.
I've noticed that Opera loads pages from the cache when you open it hence it's fast initial speed. "Continue from last time" in Opera and "Show windows and tabs from last time" in Firefox is absolutely invaluable. Years ago how did we ever live without tabs?
Firefox 4.0's startup time does seem much faster however they keep wasting time merging extensions in to the browser directly and then destroying critical GUI components.
While I'm not big in to mobile I like the fact that Opera is and that they apparently do a lot of good working keeping things working cross-platform.
Funny thing about Safari, it's now more customizable than IE9, who would have imagined that a few years ago?
I have done more testing with Opera 11.5 and GPUz and I have to say I'm much more impressed with how much they offload to the GPU than other browsers. I would very much like the ability to merge the bookmarks toolbar with the address bar though, in Firefox I use only favicons and t uses about 50% of the width of the screen.
@JAB: What do you mean with "I would very much like the ability to merge the bookmarks toolbar with the address bar though" ? Opera 11 added the new default location of the personal bar (now renamed to bookmarks bar) merged with the address bar, have you tried it?
Mitchman, not sure how to do that? When I click on the bookmarks toolbar there is no merge-like placement with other toolbars in options->toolbars.
Currently in Opera my address bar is setup as...
[address bar] [Go] [Log In] and I just figured out how to move the [Search] option up to the main bar (where I've moved the buttons [back] [forward] [reload] [home] [bookmarks] [new tab] etc. If I could have one-click access to bookmarks like in Firefox without the side-panel having to be open it would make Opera much easier for me to use.
Yes, you can have that. Right click somewhere, go into Customize, enable the Bookmarks bar, select it and you can set Images only and the orientation of it (eg. on the side with only showing icons).
Thank you Mitchman, it looks like I can do what I'd like to do however at the cost of a lot of time. I looked up the lead GUI designer for Opera and directly contacted him to make him aware of the bugs (I don't think I've ever received a response to any of the Opera bugs I've submitted) to make a few positive/constructive suggestions. There are a lot of bugs in even the stable versions of Opera with the GUI however I think if they get fixed I could seriously switch from Firefox.
On a separate note I like my Go and Log In buttons with the text labels and did not want text labels (text on the right of course) on the bookmarks (individually) merged to the address bar. After removing the text via the properties context menu the URL was automatically inserted in it's place. My work around? Use a single space for the title and it worked! :) It'll just be painful to move that much GUI around for every version of Opera as I prefer to use the default profiles to avoid cross-version bugs.
One of the suggestions I made was to make the info button toggle the sidebar (to completely hide/show) so a single click I could see the page's media type/mime and then a second click I could toggle the sidebar off. It doesn't work that way though in any of the versions of Opera.
Their claim that other browsers only support acceleration on Windows Vista+ is a tad exaggerated. Firefox has some hardware acceleration on Mac (but, I think, only for compositing), and full hardware acceleration on Linux IF you have the right hardware (which I think is still rather limiting).