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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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Latest WebKit Builds Address Browser Scrolling Performance on Retina MacBook Pro Models




Soon after the launch of the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro in June, we pointed to an analysis by AnandTech showing how the need to drive a massive number of pixels taxed the graphics capabilities of the machine to the point where it struggled to hit 20 frames per second while scrolling on resource-intensive web pages such as Facebook news feeds.

AnandTech now follows up with a new report based on a thread in our forums showing that the latest builds of WebKit, the open source browser engine upon which Safari is based, demonstrate dramatically improved frame rates during scrolling.
Quote:
I grabbed a build (r135516 - it's no longer the latest build but I assume the later builds also contain the fix) and tried it out on the 13-inch rMBP. Scrolling down my Facebook news feed ended up being one of the best showcases for poor scrolling performance on the rMBPs, so that's obviously the first test I ran. As always I used Quartz Debug to measure UI frame rate.
The results show frame rates of around 20 frames per second (fps) under the standard Safari 6.0.2, but jump to nearly 50 fps when using nightly build r135516 of WebKit.

Frame rates approaching 50 fps when scrolling in WebKit nightly build r135515
AnandTech hasn't been able to determine exactly what code changes were made to enable the significant boost to scrolling performance on Retina MacBook Pro models, and it is unclear exactly when those changes will be incorporated into Safari itself, but it certainly seems that a solution is on its way.

Article Link: Latest WebKit Builds Address Browser Scrolling Performance on Retina MacBook Pro Models
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:50 PM   #2
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Great, that was the major concern I had that was holding me from purchase a new macbook pro: Poor web browsing performance. Kudos to Apple, for working on optimising the code rather than trying to sell another model with faster processor in just a few months. I am so glad they managed to address this as it was rather irritating...
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:54 PM   #3
tim000
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Thank god. It's the worst part of this expensive machine. Think I'll just install the nightly rather than wait.

----------

Now bring us a Retina CS6, upgradable RAM and we'll be cruising .
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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Blur out the names or someone's getting pizzas sent to thier house
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Impressive

Downloaded the nightly build of webkit and the browser is much faster and smoother on my RMBP. Thanks for the article and reference link.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:59 PM   #6
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Safari will now become.. "Scrollier".
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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Blur out the names or someone's getting pizzas sent to thier house
Horse pizza........Mmmmm
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tim000 View Post
Thank god. It's the worst part of this expensive machine. Think I'll just install the nightly rather than wait.

----------

Now bring us a Retina CS6, upgradable RAM and we'll be cruising .
In other words, the BS argument spread by AnandTech, Ars Technica et al. that the Retina's hardware was not powerful enough to drive that great "number of pixels" (thus requiring a future GPU update, nothing less) has been buried deep in the ground...it was all a matter of software optimization.

Where are the pundits now?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 04:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BRLawyer View Post
In other words, the BS argument spread by AnandTech, Ars Technica et al. that the Retina's hardware was not powerful enough to drive that great "number of pixels" (thus requiring a future GPU update, nothing less) has been buried deep in the ground...it was all a matter of software optimization.

Where are the pundits now?
It's not a bs argument, it's not powerful enough indeed. The ui still lags and stutters. The current hardware is just not capable enough. It's an air cpu circa rev. 1. Apple have hacked their way to resolution independence with rendering twice the resolution canvas so as to avoid what win 8 did and go into detail about interface elements. They thus offloaded all the complexity on the hardware, and the hardware isn't there yet. Simple as that. Rev. 1 retina macbook pros are a major compromise. I am still planning to go ahead and buy one, fyi, but If I do I ll be do it in fully aware that I am buying a problematic rev. 1 product, not only for the image retention issue with the lg screen, but also for the gfx barely making it there.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:42 PM   #10
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PUSH IT PUSH IT COME ON!! This has been one of my biggest gripes.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:56 PM   #11
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Holy mother of God, I've been waiting for this news since the day I got my retina MacBook Pro. Safari for rMBP has been the single most crappy product they've ever released. It was so bad it's almost impossible to understand how they released it in the first place. Scrolling in sites like facebook and pitchfork was so bad I thought about returning the machine.

However, now that nightly has a fix, what are the chances of this being incorporated in the next Safari update? When do you guys think it will be released?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ironsienna View Post
Great, that was the major concern I had that was holding me from purchase a new macbook pro: Poor web browsing performance. Kudos to Apple, for working on optimising the code rather than trying to sell another model with faster processor in just a few months. I am so glad they managed to address this as it was rather irritating...
Apple didn't do anything, webkit did which is mostly people from KHTML which is what webkit was forked from.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by blackhand1001 View Post
Apple didn't do anything, webkit did which is mostly people from KHTML which is what webkit was forked from.
That was ages ago. Today's webkit is a much larger beast than that old KHTML. Go ask Dave Hyatt how much work he's put into Webkit as an Apple employee.

To say Apple hasn't make a significant investment in Webkit is to be either ignorant or foolish or both.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:23 PM   #14
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I cant say I've ever noticed this myself. I'm assuming it only happens in certain circumstances?

(Using Chrome, 15" rMBP)
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
That was ages ago. Today's webkit is a much larger beast than that old KHTML. Go ask Dave Hyatt how much work he's put into Webkit as an Apple employee.

To say Apple hasn't make a significant investment in Webkit is to be either ignorant or foolish or both.
There are tons of other contributors to the project, in the large scheme of things apple has only a small role.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:51 PM   #16
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The latest Webkit is noticeably smoother on my MBPr 15"! Way better! Scores a 388 compared to a previous 378.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by blackhand1001 View Post
Apple didn't do anything, webkit did which is mostly people from KHTML which is what webkit was forked from.
All of WebKit has nothing of KHTML in it. The QTWebKit port is being backported to KDE's structure and I would appreciate if people realized that for the past 5 years nothing from KDE has existed in any Apple WebKit code.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:27 PM   #18
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Installed. Instantly noticed a difference on Facebook, Neowin.net and Gizmodo/Lifehacker.

I’m a happy man, it made my day! Choppy scrolling in Safari was the most annoying thing on my rMBP.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:49 PM   #19
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Damn the difference is incredible on my 2011 Air! In fact everything in the browser seems so much faster.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 07:45 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
All of WebKit has nothing of KHTML in it. The QTWebKit port is being backported to KDE's structure and I would appreciate if people realized that for the past 5 years nothing from KDE has existed in any Apple WebKit code.
For the last 5 years, WebKit has not been an Apple only project. Heck, 2 years ago, Google surpassed Apple in terms of raw commits to the code base. Of course WebKit has evolved since its days as KHTML, it still is a fork of KHTML, and is maintained by quite a few folk outside of Apple. In fact, Apple aren't even the main contributors anymore.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 08:10 PM   #21
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For the last 5 years, WebKit has not been an Apple only project. Heck, 2 years ago, Google surpassed Apple in terms of raw commits to the code base. Of course WebKit has evolved since its days as KHTML, it still is a fork of KHTML, and is maintained by quite a few folk outside of Apple. In fact, Apple aren't even the main contributors anymore.
Thats all fine, but google keeps a lot of its top improvements in their forked chrome project while everything apple does is available to benefit everyone.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:09 PM   #22
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Does it REALLY say that the 2000 euro machine can't (couldn't) scroll the web smoothly...? Sheesh, and people get all upset about a maps application you have plenty of alternatives for.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:16 PM   #23
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Does it REALLY say that the 2000 euro machine can't (couldn't) scroll the web smoothly...? Sheesh, and people get all upset about a maps application you have plenty of alternatives for.
Well, 20 fps scrolling of Facebook isn't exactly the Nerdpocalypse, either.

What has been annoying, I've found, is significant lag fairly frequently in Mission Control.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:20 PM   #24
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Well, 20 fps scrolling of Facebook isn't exactly the Nerdpocalypse, either.

What has been annoying, I've found, is significant lag fairly frequently in Mission Control.
10.8.3 beta fixed that lag for me hope it stay that way when the final is eventualy released.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 07:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by AirThis View Post
People here are missing the point. This only fixes the issue for some websites.

- The Verge is still choppy as are many other websites.
- Webkit crashes in double tap mode.
- Webkit slows down the UI frame rate (it's measureable). And no, it's not a memory leak. I did all the tests for that.

Bottom line: not ready for prime time.
In my case The Verge is as smooth as Facebook now! And as far as I now, more smooth and beautiful than any other Mac

And I tested it with HD4000
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