PGO Tech Improves Google Chrome Load Times By 15%

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Google’s Chromium team has recently started addressing the general performance of its popular browser by introducing Chrome 53 which reportedly improved its effectiveness by up to 47%. After making the software much less taxing on hardware, developers decided to focus on the other side of the coin – page load times. More specifically, the Chromium team has announced a Chrome update which introduces support for Microsoft’s Profile Guided Optimization (PGO) tech. The update was introduced earlier today, and as of right now, PGO should be used by all 64-bit versions of Chrome 53 and each 32-bit variant of Chrome 54. Before we get into technical details, let’s just state the immediate result of this update is an average 5.9% increase in page load times, 14.8% improvement in new tab page load times, and a 16.8% rise in Chrome startup time. In other words, this update should significantly improve the performance of your browser.

As for the technology behind it, PGO is a compiler optimization technique based on robust profiling of existing files so that the optimizer knows how to handle them once they are supposed to be turned into output data. In other words, it prioritizes browser functions which are used more frequently than others and optimizes the process of displaying pages accordingly. If a certain function is more likely to be used than another one, PGO will optimize it for speed and attribute less demanding and somewhat slower code to functions which aren’t likely to be needed. In addition to that, this solution also optimizes code’s memory location which means that less common functions are moved away from the regularly occurring ones which are kept in memory as long as possible.

This way of handling things statistically leads to better average performance and is generally a rather intelligent way to manage browser resources which certainly shows in this case as the latest Chrome build boasts 12.5% improvement in average load times. Unfortunately for Android users, this update is currently only available on the Windows platform, so we can only hope that the Chromium team will work on either bringing this solution to the mobile version of their popular browser or come up with an alternative. That said, there are plenty of excellent Android browsers to choose from on the Play Store if Chrome isn’t cutting it for you.