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What is GPU rendering in Android and how to enable it?

If you are using an ageing Android device you probably won’t get the same experience compared to when it was new. Phones can get slower over time and to get rid of this lag and make your Android experience exceptional again, you can turn to GPU rendering.

Any computing device has two processing units — GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) and the CPU (Central Processing unit). Both of these units perform different operations. The CPU is used for logical operations and is great at doing the same but isn’t as great at parallel processing. GPU, on the other hand, is exceptional at parallel processing — performs the same tasks at faster speeds.

The main job of the GPU is to render images on the mobile phone. When you are playing a 3D game on your phone, the GPU is responsible for showing a 3D image on a 2D screen by performing various matrix calculations. If the CPU has to perform this rendering, it slows down the device because in such a case the CPU is burdened with a lot of tasks. By enabling the following settings on your Android device, it will become snappier.

Also read: What is Undervolting a CPU or GPU? Pros and Cons

Should you enable GPU rendering?

GPU rendering basically means that you’re tasking your GPU to do certain tasks like generate screen elements, which usually the CPU does, among other things. Needless to say, the CPU on any device is the busiest hardware as it has a lot of things to take care of and the entire functioning of the device actually rests on its shoulders.

Enabling GPU rendering can a take off a considerable amount of load from the CPU, which could effectively make your system run smoother and faster. However, it’s important that you have a high-performing graphics card for GPU rendering, otherwise, the whole process might turn out to be counterproductive as a low-performance GPU could slow down the screen loads and the entire experience.

In case of Android devices, if you’re working on a low or mid-segment smartphone with a not-so-efficient SoC, it’s not recommended to use GPU rendering as that can put stress on your device and might make it slower. However, you can give it a try if you wish as the process is reversible.

Also read: What are APK files? Why are they used?

How to enable GPU rendering on Android?

To enable GPU rendering, you need to enable developer settings. Follow the steps below to do that and then enable GPU rendering on your Android device.

  • Go to Settings > About phone> Build number. It’s mostly under About phone but can vary depending on the manufacturer. Once there, click repeatedly (about seven times) on the Build number. Doing this will enable developer options on your device.
  • Once you have developer options enabled on your device. Go to Systems > Developer options and turn on Force GPU rendering and Force 4x MSAA.

Enabling these two options will make your Android experience smoother as it takes the load of the CPU by using GPU for rendering images on the screen. MSAA makes the display look crispier by performing anti-aliasing.

If for some reason, your device starts to lag or stutter, follow the same steps above and switch off the toggle button besides Force 4x MSAA and Force GPU rendering.

Also read: How to take an encrypted backup of your Android device using ADB?

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