To enter the same level of excitement as us for this release, we advise you to push play and listen to Harder, better, faster, stronger, by Daft Punk while reading this blog post.
Meet Opera 41 beta:
- 48% faster startup!
- 30% more video conference time on battery thanks to battery savings!
- 30% less CPU usage when using video pop-out through hardware acceleration!
In addition we have added many smaller improvements to performance, and continued improvements to our key features.
Twice as fast startup!
Starting the browser should be very fast. However, until now, if you had many tabs open in your last session, the browser would start loading all of them at the same time. This could mean slowing down the browser. With Opera 41 we’re working on optimizing browser startup time with the most recent active tab and pinned tabs being prioritized for startup, while background tabs will be loaded with decreased priority. The test results show that Opera 41 is about 48% faster than Opera 40.
The test was performed with 10 tabs open in the session saved in history. An Intel Core i5-5200 – 2.20GHz with SPCC SSD 120GB and 8GB DDR3 12800 (800MHz) running Windows 7 64-bit was used. Time was measured until the active tab appeared and could be used.
A cold start means your browser has not yet been open since restarting the operating system. A hot start happens when the browser has been closed and without OS restart you are launching browser again. It’s usually faster than cold start, since some needed libraries might still be in RAM memory.
Longer battery time when video conferencing
When using battery saving mode, Opera now detects which video codec can be hardware accelerated and tries to choose that codec when doing video conferencing via WebRTC (this includes services such as Google Hangouts). This should save a lot of CPU and battery for our laptop-using video-conferencing hobnobbers out there! And even if Opera can’t find a hardware-accelerated codec, Opera will now try to limit the pixel count when in battery saving mode to reduce CPU usage if possible.
The test was run on a Dell laptop equipped with an Intel i7-4600 2.1 GHz, 8GB of RAM and Windows 7 64-bit.
- Start Opera on fully loaded battery, make sure no other apps are running,
- Go to appear.in and start conference
- Connected to other machine to conference using Google Chrome
Hardware accelerated video pop-out
Since Opera became the first browser to introduce the video pop-up back in May, the videos displayed has been handled by software. This could cause extensive CPU usage, which again could lead to general system slowdown on low end computers. With Opera 41 we introduce a fully hardware accelerated video pop-out. This should greatly limit the need for CPU support and free your PC resources to other things, while you watch your favorites movies.
The test results show up to 30% less CPU usage after this change.
Test run on a Macbook Pro Retina 15″ (Late 2013) running macOS 10.12. We’ve launched single tab with
https://vimeo.com/97073941, detached the video, and observed the lowest and highest CPU usage of Opera processes via Activity Monitor for two minutes.
Personal news in Opera 41 got a bunch of new features and improvements. Here are just the most important ones:
- Add source even if you don’t know exact RSS URL. Just enter page address and if any feed is found, you’ll have an option to add it. For example: enduro-mtb.com/en/ or pinkbike.com.
- More UI changes including some little animations as well.
- Added history navigation, now you can go back to previous view.
- Option to preview source before adding, works nicely with history navigation.
- Removal of “CUSTOM SOURCE” badge from manually added feeds. It’s too eye catchy and draws attention away from the title.
- Show less recommendations.
- Web feed preview. For example, head to http://mars.nasa.gov/rss/ and click “All Mars” link. Content will be displayed using layout known from personal news (you can switch between two modes). Moreover you can also add this feed to your sources. Note: If you have RSS detection extension, you may need to disable it.
- My sources configuration stored in preferences and synced with Opera account.
- Due to limited interest, News on SD removed.
- Onboarding was redesigned and aligned with catalog. Default view for new users is Top 50.
- Catalog includes recommendations listed in a nice fold-able section (state remembered between sessions).
Windows x64 builds
Initial benchmarks test show that x64 builds might be faster than x32 version. We are preparing to launch x64 builds in final version O42. In O41 development and stabilization cycle besides regular browsing, we are also testing if regular auto update and installation work well. If you are using x64 version, please let us know if your previous build updated properly to recent x64 release.
- After upgrading from O40 where VPN was used it might happen that VPN stops working at some circumstances.
It can be fixed by clearing the third party services data. Open preferences url: opera://settings/, select “Privacy & security”, click on “Clear browsing data…”, ensure to have checked “Third party services data” and click on “Clear browsing data” button.
The changelog is available here.