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Opera GX gamifies the browser at E3 2019

The company reskins and revamps its Opera internet browser with gaming-specific features like resource limiting, always-on-top for games and Razer Chroma support.

Opera GX has basic RAM and CPU limiter apps to keep the browser from getting too piggy when you need the resources for a game.

Lesser-known web browser-developer Opera has tried to ease gamers' pain points with its new Opera GX browser, announced today at the E3 gaming show. It looks and feels much different than the standard browser, with different customizations, but some of the changes go more than skin deep.

For instance, in GX Control it lets you set hard or soft limits on the amount of memory and CPU the browser can use -- something every browser could benefit from, frankly -- so that you can leave the browser open while playing without taking a performance hit. It does so by intelligently juggling tabs and unloading idle pages; if you set a hard limit, it will close tabs ruthlessly.

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The CPU limiter constrains the percentage of CPU the entire browser can hog, which can help when you need to free up cores for streaming but still need to monitor streams via the browser. I wish it were more granular, though, with the ability to, say, allocate a number of cores instead. 


You can pop out YouTube or Twitch streams and pin them on top.


Opera's had the ability to pop out video windows for a while, but here the company adds the ability to pin YouTube or Twitch on top of a game, which is nice if you want to monitor a competitor's location on their stream or keep a walk-through handy, especially in single-monitor setups. In the next release Opera will be adding a shortcut toggle for it.

Opera GX also uses the sidebar of its parent browser, but customized for gamers; for instance, you can receive Twitch stream starting notifications.

The biggest hole in the Level 1 feature set feature set -- you can download the early access version today if you want to give it a shot and offer feedback -- is controller support so that you don't need to jump between the mouse and the controller.  The company says that's on its short list of capabiilities to add.

The rest of the browser's features are more about convenience and experience. You can set custom wallpapers and colors, including syncing with Razer Chroma (though it's not the first browser to sync with Chroma), and the overall design is more angular, with colored borders to simulate the look of LEDs. (It defaults to black with red outlines, because "red browsers are the fastest.")

An animation with sound greets you on launch, and custom beeps and boops sound when you click on tabs; you can disable them if you like.

As with any browser you can customize the home screen with the sites you visit most often. Launching GX Corner brings you manually curated lists of upcoming games and deals (in local currency), as well as a feed of the latest news. The news isn't curated, but you can customize which sites and categories to show, which is nice. (The rest is pulled from and links to IGBD.) It's all information you can get from other sites, and you probably already have your own favorites, so I'm not sure it will be worth it to Opera to maintain it.