Accelerate? No thank you.


I have an older PC that could easily be categorized as a "senior citizen." It was purchased back in 2010, which makes it well over 100 in computer years. But, the PC has had its fair share of surgery, with its RAM maxed out at 4Gb and a solid state drive installed, such that it moves along at a perfectly reasonable pace.

Lately, however, the PC has been ailing, with the overall performance suffering as the CPU remained pegged at 100% at all times. Keyboard response lagged, the mouse stuttered and I was getting ready to find a hammer.

Using the Windows Task Manager, I determined that the Google Chrome web browser would always absorb all additional CPU cycles not used by other processes. Using Chrome's own Task Manager, in turn, I determined that the CPU was being used by the browser itself and not any of its extensions. After a bit of research, I stumbled upon the culprit: "hardware acceleration." In short, Chrome looks to see if it can improve performance through hardware collaboration, and in the end, degrades performance enormously.

To fix this, follows these steps in Chrome itself:

  1. Type "chrome:settings" in the address bar and press enter
  2. Click "Advanced Settings" 
  3. Uncheck "Use hardware acceleration when possible" 
  4. Close all open Chrome windows
  5. Restart Chrome

 If you'd like to learn more about this problem, you can read about the chatter on the web.