Google just released Chrome version 18 stable release for Mac, Linux, Windows and Chrome Frame (a plug-in that brings Chrome technology to Intenet Explorer). Apart from bug and security fixes, this version of Chrome brings faster and better graphics rendering.
For computers with compatible hardware, Chrome will now by default enable Canvas2D that supports hardware acceleration. This means that the graphics on web pages could be rendered and displayed faster.
For old computers, Chrome can render 3D graphics using WebGL even if there is no hardware support, because Chrome will use a technology called SwiftShader to simulate the hardware. In other words, even if you use old computers you can enjoy using 3D applications and games (certainly the results depends on how good/poor the hardware spec is). This is how Google described these new features:
“We’ve enabled GPU-accelerated Canvas2D on capable Windows and Mac computers, which should make web applications like games perform even better than a pure software implementation. GPU-accelerated Canvas2D has previously been enabled in the Beta channel for quite some time, so hopefully developers have had a chance to try it out…
WebGL enables compelling 3D content on the web, so we want to ensure that as many users as possible have access to this technology. That’s why we’ve enabled SwiftShader, a software rasterizer licensed from our friends at TransGaming, for users with older configurations.”
If you want to test the 3D performance of your old computer in Chrome, try the following web site: