Opera Software released a new beta of Opera 41 to the public yesterday that promises performance improvements in several key areas.
In short, Opera 41 starts up about 48% faster, decreases cpu usage by 30% when using video pop-out functionality, and reduces battery consumption during video conferences by 30% as well.
Tip: in case you have not yet, read our Opera 40 release guide that covers all major new features in the browser.
So how is that achieved? Lets find out!
Opera used the same startup mechanic as Google Chrome. This should not come as a surprise as it shares much of its code with the Google browser.
Google Chrome loads all open tabs by default when you start the browser. If you have one, ten or one-hundred tabs open, they all get loaded during startup. This may slow down the browser as you can imagine.
Other browsers, Firefox for instance, use lazy load tech to load only the active tab on start. The method speeds up the start of the browser significantly and reduces lag during that time on top of that.
Opera 41 ships with a similar system that prioritizes the active tab and pinned tabs during browser start. The start of background tabs is delayed in Opera 41 and newer which reduces browser start time by about 48% according to Opera Software.
As always, your mileage may vary depending on how many sites you have pinned, how many background tabs you have, and the active tab.
A test performed by Opera Software on Opera 41 with 10 browser tabs saved as a session reduced the cold start and hot start up time by about a second
The feature is only beneficial to Opera users who have configured the web browser to load the last session on start.
The lazy loading or delayed loading of background tabs in Opera can be disabled in the preferences:
Opera 41 supports hardware acceleration when it comes to video codec use in the browser. This means that the browser will make use of hardware acceleration by default when doing video conferencing via WebRTC.
According to Opera Software, this improves battery time by 30% in Opera 41.
Please note that this will only kick in if Battery Saver mode is enabled. Opera users may disable hardware acceleration in the browser in the following way:
Opera 41 uses hardware acceleration if supported for its video pop-out feature as well. Video pop-out, introduced in Opera 37, allows you to display videos embedded on sites in a small window that acts independently.
Opera states that hardware accelerated video pop-out uses up to 30% less cpu.
Opera Software plans to launch a 64-bit version of Opera Stable when the stable channel reaches version 42.
The feature is a RSS / news reader that is built-in to the Opera browser. While not as flexible or sophisticated as standalone RSS readers, it may do for users who prefer to have news attached to the browser directly.
Opera continues its work on Personal News in Opera 41. Among the many changes is an option to enter any url to have the module pick up any RSS feed available at the URL, history navigation, web feed previews, and less recommendations.
Now You: Have you tried Opera 41 already? What's your take on the new version?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.