Chrome

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Chrome and Chromium Performance Tweaks

Chrome has always been one of the fastest browsers around, mainly because Google is constantly working on improvements to HTTP 1.0. Recently Google announced that with Chrome 40+ they will slowly be building in support for some of the new features that will be added to HTTP 2.0. Check out this google blog post about http 2.0.

Google plans on deprecating it's SPDY protocol because all of the features and optimizations that SPDY had are now being built into the new HTTP 2.0 protocol.

For more information on HTTP 2.0 check out this excellent guide - http://daniel.haxx.se/http2/

Increase Chrome Memory Limit

To increase the amount of memory that Chrome can use paste this into the URL bar in Chrome. Click on the drop down menu under the setting that's called "Maximum tiles for interest area", which is just a fancy name for "use moar ram". Whether or not this really "speeds" up Chrome is another story, but if you're like me and have 16GB of RAM to burn, why not increase the limits a bit? By raising the limit for max-tiles-for-interest-area, you are letting Chrome use more Memory to store data, usually cached files from websites you frequently visit. This means that there are better odds of reusing cached files, so your internet appears faster because your browser does not need to request data, like pictures if they are already stored in your browser.

The values are in MB: Default, 64, 128, 256, 512

chrome://flags/#max-tiles-for-interest-area

Hey there, I'm back, I forgot to mention you need to press the apply / relaunch button at the bottom of the page, do this after you selected the value you want. Your browser will then restart with moar Memory at it's disposal.

If you're running Linux, changed this setting to 512 and now Chrome's having a bad time, please visit this thread which may help solve the issue - http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=120584&p=569921

Enable SPDY Protocol Chrome

SPDY is still in the experimental / beta phase, but probably still usable for the most part. If you want to test out HTTP 2.0, or at least get an idea of the future you can enter in the url below into chrome and enable SPDY/4. If you are running the latest Windows 10 Tech Preview, Build 9926, you can enable this for Chrome. I believe you can also enable SPDY support for Windows 8.1. Right now, not a lot of websites fully support SPDY, but I would imagine that as time goes on, more and more sites will take advantage of SPDY, which is a protocol that your browser uses to talk to servers that host websites. SPDY lets your browser request and download more data at the same time, which makes everything faster.

chrome://flags/#enable-spdy4

For more information about SPDY

Enforce Async DNS with Chrome

The default settings for "enable-async-dns" is set to "Default" which is not helpful in determining what's going on here. I will need to look into this more before I can advise doing anything with it. I do have async-dns enabled currently and everything works just fine.

chrome://flags/#enable-async-dns

Enable Chrome TCP Fast Open (Linux / Android Only)

If you are using Linux, or Android version of Chrome, you can enable this experimental setting which can help to reduce latency when interacting with websites. This assumes the webserver can take advantage of this, if not then you will not see performance gains, but still, if you want to test out all the new and shiny chrome features, give TCP fast open a shot! Enabling TCP Fast Open (TFO) for Chrome allows your browser to send additional data during the initial SYN connection (first part of TCP handshake), by sending data during this stage, you are able to eliminate 1 round trip between your browser and the website you are viewing. This will shave off a few milliseconds of latency, possibly much more depending on your location.

chrome://flags/#enable-tcp-fast-open

Apple gave an excellent talk on TCP Fast Open, and the challenges / benefits they saw when they used TCP Fast Open

Enable Chrome Simple Cache for HTTP

This is a new caching backend for Chrome which aims to reduce the amount of time it takes to re-validate cached files in your browser. For Windows this can add up to about 14ms per request on average, and this new caching backend aims to remove this latency. By default "Simple Cache for HTTP" is disabled, however you can enable this by pasting the flag below into Chrome.

chrome://flags/#enable-simple-cache-backend

Chrome and Chromium Visual and Text Enhancements

Disabling / Enabling Chrome's LCD Text Antialiasing

I have not measured the performance impact of this yet, but I will tell you that enabling AA for text makes chrome look at lot less fuzzy, and better, at least imo.

chrome://flags/#lcd-text-aa

This is what text looks like when AA is enabled / disabled for Chrome text. Personally I like having text antialiasing enabled, it makes text look more vibrant and pop out more. I'm sure that enabling text AA puts more stress on your PC, so if you want Chrome to be faster do not enable LCD text antialiasing. If you have a powerful CPU and GPU and just want to improve visuals, then enable Chrome text antialiasing, I have it enabled on my PCs and it looks great. However I don't use this setting for mobile or laptops because I don't want to waste battery.

  • Chrome Text AA Disabled

Chrome Text LCD AA Disabled.png


  • Chrome Text AA Enabled

Chrome Text LCD AA Enabled.png

Chrome and Chromium Functionality Tweaks

Enable Download Resumption with Chrome

You can enable the experimental download resumption feature by visiting the URL below in chrome. This will allow you to resume downloads that may have been aborted because the connection was reset or the browser was closed.

chrome://flags/#enable-download-resumption

LiquidWeb API Banner.jpg

  • Hell, even this text based ad looks more attractive with text anti-aliasing!