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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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Last edited by ironsienna; Dec 4, 2012 at 01:55 PM.
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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
thertrain
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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, 02:03 PM   #7
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Sweet.

It's a shame so many "trusted" review sites (including The Verge) dinged the rMBP and blamed the hardware.... for what is clearly a software problem.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
Sweet.

It's a shame so many "trusted" review sites (including The Verge) dinged the rMBP and blamed the hardware.... for what is clearly a software problem.
This isn't the only area where lag is found. There is general UI lag in the OS as well. Not to say that there isn't some software issues there as well, but they have a lot of evidence that GPUs just aren't up to snuff yet.


Edit: Why haven't I downloaded nightly builds before? This fixed multiple issues I had been having with Safari.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:06 PM   #9
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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, 02:07 PM   #10
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So why did Apple release a product that clearly wasn't ready yet?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Puevlo View Post
So why did Apple release a product that clearly wasn't ready yet?
To wake everyone up.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:09 PM   #12
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helloo ooo webkit nightlies.

EDIT: Hooooly moly, the article doesn't lie.

Scrolling theverge.com for instance, is like night(ly) and day when compared between Safari and WebKit.

Think I'll be switching over for a while...

Last edited by Feed Me; Dec 4, 2012 at 02:18 PM.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:09 PM   #13
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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, 02:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Puevlo View Post
So why did Apple release a product that clearly wasn't ready yet?
When is anything every ready in this industry?

Everything is in constant motion.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:11 PM   #15
stevelam
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who cares about safari. so does this mean chrome will finally be as speedy on the RMBP?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:12 PM   #16
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wow theverge.com is now finally nearly fluid on my 2012 MBA! thanks!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmChimera View Post
This isn't the only area where lag is found. There is general UI lag in the OS as well. Not to say that there isn't some software issues there as well, but they have a lot of evidence that GPUs just aren't up to snuff yet.


Edit: Why haven't I downloaded nightly builds before? This fixed multiple issues I had been having with Safari.
I haven't noticed anything besides the scrolling, then again my previous MBP probably had some lag because it was quite old. Which instances can you detect the UI lag?

The scrolling lag is completely gone with the new Webkit build by the way.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omenatarhuri View Post
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, 02:18 PM   #19
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So this update makes Safari feel snappier?

Okay, now I think Arn is just trolling us...
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:18 PM   #20
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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, 02:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by CptnJustc View Post
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 4, 2012, 02:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
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   #23
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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, 02:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmChimera View Post
This isn't the only area where lag is found. There is general UI lag in the OS as well. Not to say that there isn't some software issues there as well, but they have a lot of evidence that GPUs just aren't up to snuff yet.


Edit: Why haven't I downloaded nightly builds before? This fixed multiple issues I had been having with Safari.
The issue with the nightlies is they're highly unreliable. Every now and then an update comes in that makes it crash all day, introduce rendering errors, etc. It's meant for testing and nothing else. Only a fraction of the changes in the nightly actually gets into release WebKit.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
I cant say I've ever noticed this myself. I'm assuming it only happens in certain circumstances?

(Using Chrome, 15" rMBP)
Well, I can't say I've noticed any scrolling issues in FB on my rMBP - except when FB is still loading images.

The only noticeable regular glitch is clicking on Quick Links at the top of these forums. About 2/3rds of the time it draws the drop down menu in two steps.
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