Google Chrome whizzes by 15% faster on Windows

How did it do it? It's been following Microsoft's Profile Guided Optimization (PGO) technology to the letter for some time now. And this is the result

Google started following Microsoft's directions for optimizing Windows applications as early as Chrome's 64-bit Release 52 and 32-bit Release 54, respectively, and now Mountain View's browser is 15% faster on Redmond's platform.

Profile Guided Optimization (PGO) is one of the many tools provided by Microsoft's Visual Studio package that measures how users, in reality, interact with an application. PGO exploits, therefore, the information collected on the real use of an application and recompiles it focusing all the attention on how to optimize the most used functions in a given software. And the result, in this case, has led to a 15% increase in the performance of Chrome on Windows. A great team effort that has done a useful service to Windows users who surf the web astride Chrome.

A great example of a partnership to copy

Google is always looking for new ways to speed up web browsing. "Chrome is an extremely complex piece of software with a source code that hosts more than a million functions," explains Google's Sébastien Marchand. "Not all functions are equal - some are frequently used, while others are rarely used. PGO uses data from runtime execution that tracks which features are most 'token' and proceeds to optimize them." The result, thanks to PGO's intervention, was great: Chrome on Windows improved startup times by 17%, new page loading in tabs by nearly 15%, and pages in general by 16%.

CPU used smartly

One of the most effective techniques PGO uses to speed up applications is to optimize where in memory an application's most used features are stored so that - possibly - they are hosted in the CPU's fast instruction cache. Microsoft, for those who wish to learn more about how Profile Guided Optimization works, has created a special area of its Visual C++ blog.