Discussion:
Chromium extremely sluggish when dealing with graphics
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Harold Johanssen
2021-01-21 19:41:01 UTC
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I have been using AlienBob's Chromium package for a while now - I
have just upgraded to the 88 release in my 14.2-64 system. Although it
works well, I am noticing more and more that Chromium can barely cope
when loading graphics-rich pages in my system.

I noticed it first long ago when trying to play Youtube videos in
Chromium. They play, but they are extremely choppy - almost unwatchable,
really. No such problem when playing them under Firefox though.

My system is not such a puny one. It consists of an 8-core Xeon
E31240 processor at 3 GHz. I have 16 GB RAM, and an NVidia GeForce GT 720
graphics card.

Let me give you an example to assess what I am saying:

The page https://www.micro-pano.com/pearl/index.html gives you
access to a 10 billion pixel scan of a famous Vermeer painting. In this
page you can zoom into the painting to appreciate it in exquisite detail.

When I try to zoom into this painting using Chromium, the browser
slows down to become almost unresponsive, while load in each of the
eight cores of the system shoots up to 100%. If, however, I try do the
same thing under Firefox, everything proceeds without a problem: the
zooming in (and out) operation is smooth, the browser stays responsive,
and the cores load mostly negligible. In this page the painting can be
manipulated in several ways - all of them work smoothly under Firefox,
while Chromium chokes even in the most elementary ones: I did not even
try the 3D features with Chromium.

Obviously Firefox is using my NVidia card to do the rendering,
while Chromium is attempting to do everything in software, thus almost
bringing the system down to its knees. Here is the thing though: Brave,
which is based on Chromium, can cope with this page without any problems,
just as Firefox does.

Anybody know what is going on here? How can one get Chromium to
behave like Brave in this sense? Aren't they both based on the same
rendering engine? If Brave can use the underlying graphics hardware, why
not Chromium? Or is it just that I have some assinine setting in my
Chromium configuration?
Harold Johanssen
2021-01-21 19:56:27 UTC
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Some more info:

I am using the NVidia driver 440.64, Linux kernel 4.4.208, and
when I do

chrome://gpu

in my Chromium browser I get the following (abbreviated):

Graphics Feature Status
Canvas: Software only, hardware acceleration unavailable
Compositing: Software only. Hardware acceleration disabled
Multiple Raster Threads: Enabled
Out-of-process Rasterization: Disabled
OpenGL: Disabled
Hardware Protected Video Decode: Disabled
Rasterization: Software only. Hardware acceleration disabled
Skia Renderer: Enabled
Video Decode: Software only. Hardware acceleration disabled
Vulkan: Disabled
WebGL: Software only, hardware acceleration unavailable
WebGL2: Software only, hardware acceleration unavailable
Problems Detected
Gpu compositing has been disabled, either via blocklist, about:flags or
the command line. The browser will fall back to software compositing and
hardware acceleration will be unavailable.
Disabled Features: gpu_compositing
Accelerated video decode has been disabled, either via blocklist,
about:flags or the command line.
Disabled Features: video_decode

No wonder it is slow - just about everything is disabled.
Harold Johanssen
2021-01-21 20:07:46 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 19:56:27 +0000, Harold Johanssen wrote:

G**dammit! Unbeknownst to me, the hardware acceleration option
in my Chromium environment was unset. After setting it, everything works
under Chromium as under Brave and Firefox.

Well, I made a fool of myself in a public forum, but I fixed the
problem.
Henrik Carlqvist
2021-01-22 06:41:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harold Johanssen
Well, I made a fool of myself in a public forum, but I fixed the
problem.
No you did not. It was great that you not only fixed the problem, but
also documented it so others can benefit from the solution. If someone
googles for a similar performance problem with Chromium they might find
your solution. Great work!

regards Henrik

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