Throughout this year, we have put lots of focus into making web browsing with Opera super fast, with unique features such as native ad blocker and faster startup time. With Opera 43 beta we are doing another speed boost that will accelerate your browsing: instant page loading and PGO.
Instant page loading
Instant page loading is a mechanism where the Opera browser tries to predict which website you are typing the address for and starts loading it in the background even before you hit enter.
Instant page loading gets smarter over time and learns from all previous address bar inputs which led to loading a specific web site. So if you start typing “nyt.com” every time, it will eventually learn that and load New York Times in the background. In addition, when you search for something, it will load the results likely to be clicked in the background.
Opera can predict what page a user is going to load not only from its behaviour, but also when the current page uses the < link rel=prerender … > tag. For instance, Google uses that for search results if they are pretty sure of what you will load next.
PGO for Windows
Another feature that improves Opera’s performance is Profile Guided Optimizations (PGO). PGO is a Visual Studio compiler feature, able to make software running on Windows significantly faster.
There is a trade-off between the size and the speed of the browser. If we tried to maximize the speed of everything, our browser would be a 1GB download, and as a result it would consume a lot of memory and become slow instead. With the help of PGO, Opera can run compiled data faster. By selecting a number of important scenarios, we can now teach the compiler what code is important and what is not, and optimize the important parts in a much more effective way.
PGO brings several improvements by optimizing the most important parts of the browser.
Classic link selection
Another feature you will find in Opera 43 is a classic link selection, which some of you might remember from Opera 12. With this feature, Opera is able select text in the link without a hyperlink. Using classic link selection is very simple:
horizontal mouse movements: select text
vertical mouse movements: drag link
*The results are from a computer running Windows 7 x64 using an i7-6700 CPU locked at 3.4 GHz. In the startup tests Opera was stored on an SSD. We’ve compared x64 build number 43.0.2440.0 compiled with and without PGO.