Is Opera GX Worth Switching from Google Chrome?

These days, Google Chrome has become synonymous with the phrase “internet browser”. But what if I told you that there was an optimized alternative for the gaming community? Well, that’s exactly what Opera is building with their recently released Opera GX browser!

Opera GX blends the tools and customization of Chrome with unique features that benefit gamers. I’ve been using it for several months and am excited to share my thoughts on how Opera GX might change the game (see what I did there?)!

Opera GX Features

Opera GX highlights many unique browser features on its landing page. Here are some of the ones that stand out.

GX Control

This was actually the most intriguing feature when I first read about Opera GX. The browser lets you set RAM & CPU limits while identifying which tabs pull the most resources from your PC. Coming from Chrome where I regularly have 40 tabs open that consume about 4 GB of RAM, this was a fascinating proposal!

To test the RAM usage, I simultaneously opened my typical Chrome tabs in Google Chrome and Opera GX. Interestingly, both tabs had the same exact tabs open, but the task manager showed 6-9 additional tasks open in GX. The number of tasks fluctuated in each browser, including things like crash reports.

Without any resource limitation, Opera GX used about a quarter less RAM than Google Chrome! Interestingly, there does seem to be a higher power usage with Opera GX vs Chrome. I haven’t seen any performance issues while operating without resource limitations. Additionally, anyone running Opera GX on a laptop will want to turn on the battery-saver option to extend their battery life.

Opera GX Battery Saver

Opera’s RAM limiter does not restrict your resources as long as you toggle the ‘Hard Limit’. Without it, Opera GX consumed about 1.6 GB of RAM when I set the memory limit to 1 GB.

RAM Limiter seems to push the power usage even higher for Opera GX, so I’m guessing there’s something intense going on in the background. Power usage came down to moderate-to-high after a few minutes, but still hit “Very High” every so often.

The number of tasks also went down by about 33%, even though all of my original 18 tabs were still open.

Once I activated the ‘Hard Limit’, Opera GX refreshed all of my tabs, and memory usage dropped below 1 GB. However, it took a good amount of time for certain sites to get back to normal, especially pages with large amounts of video and image content.

After several minutes, I gave up on Twitch functioning properly with the hard limit and had to remove the cap. While disappointing, it’s not the end of the world to have 1.6 vs 1.0 GB used by a browser when I’ve got room to spare. For machines with fewer resources, say 4 to 8 GB, this would be a nice saving if the Opera GX team could make all tabs work!

The CPU Limiter also worked properly, but the minimum you can set is still 13%. With my 18 tabs, it was rare even to get to double digits CPU usage percentage, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

Overall, GX Control is a fantastic addition to the browser space. The community will appreciate this since gamers are trying to reserve resources for streaming and playing games.

GX Design

There are a ton of customization options in Opera GX. You can choose from a few themes and pick colors that suit you.

GX Design

If you’re a fan of customization, you’ll spend plenty of time in the design workshop. For the rest of us, choose one of the sleek default themes and enjoy!

GX Color Schemes

GX Cleaner

We all need a good cleaner in our life. Opera GX Cleaner removes unnecessary junk files to improve your overall browsing experience.

Opera GX Cleaner

Rather than searching through cleaning options in settings, Opera GX lets you pick min, med, or max to rid your life of junk effectively. Alternatively, you can manually select which browser files you want to be removed. 

The process is painless and only takes a few seconds. I like the simplicity and intuitive nature of the GX Cleaner!

Background Music

Users can pick one of five background tracks from the music section. Opera GX intelligently mutes the background music when you have website audio and restarts it once the audio on your website is finished.

GX Player Options

While the library is small, they have great composers producing the tracks, and I’m optimistic about the future growth of the music library. It’s a nice change of pace to hear some tunes while you’re waiting for your favorite streamer to begin gaming!

Separately, as the team continues to add more integrations, users can connect directly to platforms to increase the size of the audio library. This background music is great for gaming, working, or even watching your favorite stream.

Razer Chroma Integration

Opera GX Light Control

Lights customization is all the rage these days. With the Razer Chroma integration, you can sync your browser with your devices for an immersive lighting experience. Since its launch, Opera GX has also added Logitech and CORSAIR options to make the GX Lights customization more appealing to the masses.

People who like playing with lighting will surely appreciate this feature, but I don’t think this area will be utilized as much.

GX Corner

This is easily my favorite part of Opera GX (saved the best for last)! GX Corner is the type of HUD the gamers would dream up if they had full control over the internet.

You get everything from a gaming release calendar to game trailers to, wait for it, AN AGGREGATION OF AVAILABLE FREE GAMES! I’m a slickdeals fiend, so I’m all for free stuff. This browser will actually show you which video games are available for free and where you can play them!

If that wasn’t enough, GX corner also shows you deals on popular titles. Overwatch is one of my favorite shooters and popped up on the list with solid savings.

Finally, you’ll find gaming news to keep you occupied for dozens of hours. Simply put, GX Corner is a fantastic homepage for anyone who loves gaming.

Opera GX Corner

Extras

I liked some things about Opera that aren’t heavily advertised:

  • Compatibility with some of my commonly used extensions, like LastPass
  • One-click screengrabs
  • Control of your music library
  • Overall had a very clean design

I hope that some of these features will eventually become the norm on Google Chrome.

The Verdict on Opera GX

Opera GX tailors to the gaming community and gets many things right. There’s a load of customization, the included features are implemented really nicely, and the browsing experience feels elevated from the Chrome baseline.

While Opera GX is a great platform, people are still creatures of habit. I’ve rated this browser very highly, but Chrome has remained my default browser. It’s likely psychological, but for some reason, there’s still too high of a barrier for me to switch over from a browser that I’ve used for decades.

With that said, I have begun watching Twitch exclusively on Opera. The reduced resource usage and built-in notification system are a better experience than what I’m used to in Chrome.

I imagine that if I actually spent more time playing around with Opera, I would get to a point where it would be my default browser. Until then, it’s a supplement to my Chrome browsing that sits nicely on my second screen.

I recommend trying Opera for yourself and seeing if it’s a step up for you. It’s free, installs quickly, and you can get rid of it if you don’t like it.

Let me know what else you’d like to see from Opera GX in the comments below!

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