Adjusting flags for better optimization in Vivaldi

(and other Chromium browsers)

published 05/07/2017 updated 06/06/2017

Update: If you're on older hardware, this might actually hurt performance on sites where the background is set to fixed. Including this site.

Chromium consumes system resources like fire eats oxygen, and Vivaldi is built on Chromium. Of course most users hover around a few specific sites, therefore don't require more than a single tab or two, and don't typically notice the drain on their system. And who cares that your browser is using 2GB of ram with only two or three open tabs when computers are coming with 8GB of ram now'days? Most users hardly run anything but their browsers anyway, what could they possible need that ram for?

But Vivaldi is marketed to "power users," some of whom are the type to more frequently open quite a lot more than 10 tabs. Vivaldi users are not Chrome users. These two demographics are fundamentally different due to Google's incessant push to dumb everything down until the software can only be used as the developers want it to be used.

I myself have seen Vivaldi use so much of my ram that the rest of my system slows down and ultimately becomes unresponsive. I am on somewhat older hardware and only have 4GB of ram. Before I enabled the following flags, Vivaldi used to sit between 2 and 3 gigs of ram on my system while doing nothing more than browsing Reddit. Now, it uses just over 1GB. These flags made Vivaldi noticeably more responsive and much lighter for me, but, obviously, mileage will vary depending on your hardware and operating system.

Before we get into the flags, extensions to automatically suspend or hibernate tabs when not used can be helpful, like The Great Suspender. I also recommend using an extension that will compress data before your browser downloads it, such as Google's own Data Saver, at least until the Vivaldi devs implement a native feature similar to Opera Turbo.

Adjusting the flags

Vivaldi-specific settings

These are options that can be toggled in Vivaldi's settings to further improve performance and power management. Not all of them will be available to users of other Chromium browsers.

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