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Opera Browser Finally Gets Hardware Acceleration

For those who are looking for an alternative browser next to IE, Chrome and Firefox, the latest Opera release delivers a few new features, most notably experimental hardware acceleration.

If you have been following browser technologies, you may know that Opera has been promising hardware acceleration for more than a year and originally promised this feature to be available with version 11. It's not final, but explicitly described as "experimental", so don't expect to function flawlessly just yet.

Opera 12 also comes with new themes, as well as webcam apps that include PhotoBooth, as well as Polaroid and Facekat. Polaroid even implements WebRTC functionality. Also new is an overhauled security engine that is much more transparent to the user, 64-bit support on Windows and Mac, improved JavaScript performance as well as right-to-left text support.

And just in case you are wondering, yes, Opera declined to comment on the rumor that it may soon turn into the official Facebook browser. Opera 12 can be downloaded from opera's homepage.

  • kartu
    Can't say it felt slow without it.
    Actually memory footprint is the only thing that concerns me, but that's a typical problem for all modern browsers.
    Reply
  • Opera Sucks.
    Reply
  • csf60
    You forgot to say it comes disabled by default. To enable it you have to follow this instructions:
    http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/2012/04/20/update-on-hardware-acceleration-in-opera-12
    Reply
  • Cryio
    Opera 12 isn't the juggernaut it was supposed to be. This happened because many of v12 strong points were introduced in 11.60, so there you go. It has improved memory consumption in comparison to 11.64.

    Opera 12: The first browser with native 64 bit support.
    The first browser with (albeit experimental) FULL hardware acceleration (on BOTH OpenGL and DirectX) on every OS out there.
    Reply
  • Cryio
    Toms Hardware, I have a request. Can you make another Grand Prix when Windows 8 comes out, in x64, with all the latest browsers out there, presumably Firefox 14, Chrome 20, Safari 5.2 and IE10, and Opera 12 x64.

    Then, when all the metro browser are out, another round with Firefox 15 x64 (it should be out by then, December), Chrome 21, Safari 5.2.x, IE10 (with updates, oh yeah) and Opera 12.5 x64 (or 12.1/12.2, the one that comes out by then)
    Reply
  • belardo
    How about this... not just a performance comparison between the browsers... because SPEED isn't everything.

    How about feature and function comparison.

    Opera 12 flies.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    cryioOpera 12 isn't the juggernaut it was supposed to be. This happened because many of v12 strong points were introduced in 11.60, so there you go. It has improved memory consumption in comparison to 11.64.Opera 12: The first browser with native 64 bit support. The first browser with (albeit experimental) FULL hardware acceleration (on BOTH OpenGL and DirectX) on every OS out there.
    IE was the first 64bit browser....Opera is a few years late on that (about 8 years actually).... Unless you play browser based games, "acceleration" of DX and OGL in a browser is nothing to get excited about.
    Reply
  • bison88
    I'm curious to know if Opera 12 has started sandboxing add-ons like FF/Chrome appear to do these days. Just noticed in the task manager under each browser session there is a separate process going on that says "opera_plugin_wrapper.exe".
    Reply
  • mitch074
    @sykozis: if you're talking about Internet Explorer 5 running on Windows 2000 IA-64, then maybe - however, this one was never delivered as final. The first shipping browser with a 64-bit version could very well have been Opera, which was made from the get go to be cross-platform. Personally, the first natively supported 64-bit browser I used was Konqueror on KDE 3 - until Firefox 3 came out, which fixed all the problems in the 64-bit builds of Gecko. The Mozilla Suite had shipped in user-contributed (thus unofficial) builds ever since the project turned open source.
    Reply
  • devBunny
    "The first shipping browser with a 64-bit version could very well have been Opera "

    Not if it's only just coming out. I've been using Pale Moon x64 for a while now. It's a browser, it's 64-bit, I reckon it qualifies as a contender but there may still have been another Firefox project that got in first. ;-)
    Reply