1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Opera 12 Brings GPU Acceleration, Other Features

Free Software

Published on 13 October 2011 08:01 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
3 Comments

The Norwegian developers behind the Opera web-browser have released Opera 12 Alpha this morning with several new features. Among the goods in Opera 12 is a new HTML5 parser, full ECMAScript 5.1 compliance, improved memory efficiency, and most notable to end-users is now full GPU hardware acceleration with WebGL support.

The new Ragnarök HTML5 parser is interesting along with some of the other changes to Opera 12, but it's the GPU hardware acceleration that certainly catches the Phoronix attention. This initial hardware acceleration in the Opera web-browser is using OpenGL, but the Oslo developers are also working on DirectX 9/10 support for Microsoft Windows too. They mention though that some graphics cards and drivers are being blocked on a platform basis due to various bugs. However, forcing hardware acceleration is easy in Opera and separately the WebGL support can be toggled; this is all done via the preferences.

From the Opera hardware acceleration blog post, "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."

The aforementioned blog post goes into detail about how to force the hardware acceleration and WebGL support.

There's also themes support coming to Opera 12. The themes support is already in place for Windows and Mac OS X users, but the Linux/FreeBSD themes support isn't coming until later.

Read more about the Opera 12 Alpha release in this blog post. Due to the well known issues that Firefox developers have had Linux GPU driver issues that required a few releases to sort out, I'm quite interested in testing out Opera 12 on several different open and closed-source Linux graphics drivers with varying hardware generations. Hopefully the GPU hardware acceleration for Opera on Linux will mostly be good with the latest Mesa/Gallium3D code and the latest NVIDIA and AMD Catalyst drivers, but chances are I'll wait until Opera 12 is in beta or gold as the company mentions there are hardware acceleration improvements coming.

Opera 12 Brings GPU Acceleration, Other Features


The Norwegian company expects to ship Opera 12 final by year's end.

Update: The Linux GPU driver requirements for Opera 12 are listed here.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Radeon Linux Benchmarks: Catalyst 15.3 Beta vs. Linux 4.0 + Mesa 10.6-devel
  2. Trying Out The Modern Linux Desktops With 4 Monitors + AMD/NVIDIA Graphics
  3. Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room
  4. NVIDIA's $1000+ GeForce GTX TITAN X Delivers Maximum Linux Performance
  5. OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 vs. Fedora 21 Tests: Linux Sweeps The Board
  6. The New Place Where Linux Code Is Constantly Being Benchmarked
Latest Linux News
  1. Debian 8.0 Jessie Gets A Release Date
  2. Firefox 37 Coming Today With Heartbeat, HTTPS Bing
  3. OpenIndiana 2015.03 Updates Its Solaris/Illumos Environment
  4. GNOME 3.16 SDK Runtime Now Available
  5. Initial Intel Braxton Support Might Come To Linux 4.1
  6. Why KDE's KWin Doesn't Integrate Weston/QtCompositor For Wayland Support
  7. Clang Now Supports Targeting The NaCl OS
  8. PC-BSD Updates Its Lumina Desktop (v0.8.3)
  9. Fedora 22 Alpha Now Available For AArch64 & PowerPC64
  10. Systemd Developers Did NOT Fork The Linux Kernel
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Big Features Of The Linux 4.0 Kernel
  2. Improved OpenCL Support For Blender's Cycles Renderer
  3. Open-Source Driver Fans Will Love NVIDIA's New OpenGL Demo
  4. Allwinner Continues Jerking Around The Open-Source Community
  5. GNOME 3.16 Released: It's Their Best Release Yet
  6. Ubuntu 15.04 Final Beta Released
  7. Nuclide: Facebook's New Unified IDE
  8. LibreOffice Online: A Cloud Version Of LibreOffice