Linux Gaming News

Chrome 18 adds GPU-acceleration and SwiftShader for better gaming performance

Those of you running an older computer or one with less-than-stellar integrated graphics (read: Intel) take heed: Chrome 18 has gone stable, bringing SwiftShader’s awesome software rendering muscle to Google’s web browser. The gains are impressive, too, with the Transgaming tech capable of yielding 3Dmark scores that are on par with an AMD Radeon 5550.

That’s not to say your Atom-powered, first-generation Chromebook is going to run Bastion as smoothly as your desktop computer, but it’s probably going to run a whole lot better following this update.

Chrome 18 has also introduced GPU-accelerated Canvas 2D rendering (on Windows and Mac for now — an ETA for Linux wasn’t mentioned), which is another reason that the integration of SwiftShader is important. Google wants to ensure that all Chrome users get to experience every aspect of its speed, from URL completion and pre-rendering to all the GPU-acceleration features it now offers.

It’s all down to Google’s desire to push Chrome as a platform. Yes, Google is a supporter of the web as a platform and web apps as the wave of the future, but they’re also doing everything they can to entice developers into building Chrome-centric apps and games.

By dangling extras like Native Client and thereby offering performance that plain vanilla web apps — and other browsers — just can’t match right now, Google hopes developers will favor Chrome. That’s becoming increasingly likely as Chrome’s user base swells. Just recently it surpassed Internet Explorer as the most-used browser worldwide…even if it was only for a single Sunday.

More at the Chromium Blog

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