Web Poor web video performance in Chrome? Here's how to fix it

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,795   +124
Staff member

Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers in the world, installed on anywhere between 25 to 50 percent of all desktop machines depending on your web analytics firm of choice. Those statistics alone tell you that Google is doing something right with its browser although it’s not perfect.

Many users – myself included – have reported issues at times when trying to watch high-resolution videos on YouTube and other sites. I assumed my modern (yet aging) computer was to blame but apparently that’s not the case.

François Beaufort recently revealed that the Chromium team is hard at work on a solution to provide smoother video frame rendering for HTML5 videos. In fact, there’s an early solution already available that anyone willing to use the experimental Chromium build can try right now.

Once you have the latest build, type “chrome://flags/#enable-new-video-renderer” into the browser’s address bar and press enter. Then, simply restart Chrome and you should be good to go.

Of course, keep in mind that this tweak won’t work miracles. If you’re running an old AMD Athlon CPU with 1GB of RAM, you still won’t be able to watch 4K YouTube content. Those with a more modern machine, however, should see improvements with 4K60, 4K and 1080p60 video clips around the web.

One final reminder and warning – you’ll need the latest experimental build to try it. As such, it’s entirely possible that there may be some oddball errors pop up from time to time due to its experimental nature.

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Posts: 218   +79
YouTube is currently busted, regardless what you are watching and with what.

I tried IE11, Opera 29 and Firefox 38. All three both Flash and HTML5.

Pages don't load properly. The video is off center. The resolution doesn't change on time. Comment fail to load. The website fails to recognize it can scroll downward.

It's a disaster.


Posts: 349   +132
Never had any of those issues with Youtube with Chrome.

Weird how it hits people differently - my first assumption is extensions. If you're running any that modify HTML content or javascript on-load (though I do have Ad-Block and Ghostery) it might cause problems.

For me, Youtube is just has a horrible front page, but individual videos and stuff are great.


Posts: 318   +163
Poor reporting, rather than just saying "Many users – myself included – have reported issues at times when trying to watch high-resolution videos on YouTube and other sites." it might be better to actually say what the problem this is fixing actually is.

This fix is for people who have systems that are only just capable of showing higher-speed (1080p60) or higher resolution (4K) streams but suffer from occasional stutter.

If like me you have a system easily capable of showing 4Kp60 streams then this fix will make no difference. Likewise if you have a system that always struggles with video like this then this fix is not going to make it any better. It is an edge-case fix only.