What is hardware acceleration?
Hardware acceleration is simply a process in which computers or applications use specific hardware components to perform their task(s) more efficiently. By default, the CPU typically handles the execution of tasks but when necessary, some apps will utilize available hardware components to offload the burden from the CPU.
What does all of this mean for you?
Depending on the Subject’s device, Hardware Acceleration (HA) can impact the video being recorded.
Scenario 1: Device has a dedicated graphics card in addition to their CPU.
In this situation HA toggled on would *likely have a positive effect as it would allow the browser to utilize the GPU during the recording and put less processing on the CPU.
Scenario 2: Device does NOT have a dedicated graphics card and the graphics are integrated.
In this scenario HA being toggled on would potentially have a negative effect on the shoot or no effect.
To troubleshoot a few specific issues, we recommend turning hardware acceleration OFF or ON, depending on what it is currently set to.
Common issues that can be affected by hardware acceleration:
- Webcam subject recordings are shorter than what was intended to be recorded
- For example: Director records a clip that is 1 minute long. Once the clip uploads, it only shows 24 seconds for the file length. This is a typical indicator that the HA settings need to be toggled on or off.
- A Webcam Subject’s recorded video is black
- A very laggy, slow browser
In these cases, it can be helpful to have the person experiencing the issue to toggle their browser’s hardware acceleration to the opposite of its current state.
How to enable or disable hardware acceleration
Follow the steps listed below to toggle off/on your browser’s hardware acceleration.
- Click the three dots in the top-right corner of your browser, then click Settings
- Click ‘Advanced’ (You’ll find the Advanced button at the very bottom of your Chrome settings window, underneath the On startup section.)
- Toggle ‘Use hardware acceleration when available’ on or off.
- Once you’re done, press the Relaunch button to apply the changes.
- Check hardware acceleration status with chrome://gpu. In your browser bar, paste chrome://gpu to open the GPU diagnostics page. In the Graphics Feature Status list, with hardware acceleration off, you’ll see several items marked as Disabled
- In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and select Preferences.
- Select the General panel.
- Under Performance, uncheck Use recommended performance settings.
Additional settings will be displayed.
- Check or uncheck Use hardware acceleration when available.
- Click the Firefox menu at the top of the screen and select Quit Firefox.
- Start Firefox the way you normally do.
- Click the Settings and More (three-dotted) button on the top-right corner
- Click on Settings
- Click on System.
- Under the “System” section, turn on/off the Use hardware acceleration when available toggle switch.
- Click the Restart button.
Quick tip: If you are not able to navigate the settings due to visual rendering problems, you can use this path to access the system settings: edge://settings/system.