Intel has admitted that certain Alder Lake processors are causing Chromium-based browsers to lag heavily under specific scenarios and has published detailed steps to mitigate the problem. Chromium-based browsers are among the most popular in the world, with Google Chrome leading the way both on desktops and smartphones. Microsoft Edge is a distant second on desktops, surpassing Apple’s Safari. Mozilla’s open-source Firefox is the world’s fourth-largest web browser on desktops but lags a long way behind its newer competitors, Google and Microsoft.
Intel announced its 12th-gen Core desktop processors late last year, bringing six new CPUs that represent a sea change over the previous-generation SKUs. The lineup is led by the Core i9-12900K, which is a 16-core, 24-thread behemoth with a stock frequency of 3.2 GHz and a boost frequency of up to 5.2 GHz. The company has since launched the Alder Lake mobile chips for laptops as well, with impressive benchmark scores in a host of real-world applications. The Alder Lake processors come with a big. Thanks to Apple’s M-series processors, LITTLE design philosophy has made ARM so successful not only in the mobile space but also in computers.
According to documentation on the official Intel website, a bug in the UHD Graphics 770 drivers for the Alder Lake processors causes havoc with Chromium-based browsers under certain conditions. Not only does the bug make the Chrome and Edge browsers “lag severely,” but it also makes them behave like they are ‘semi-frozen.’ Intel describes the problem further: “Click response delay is 2 seconds, scrolling is severely delayed and choppy.” The issues often happen when many tabs are open at once or “scrolling and clicking around and using a mechanical hard disk drive.”
Thankfully, Intel has also offered a solution to mitigate the issue. First, update the browser and Windows to the latest versions from official sources. Next, clean and install the correct Intel graphics drivers offered by the PC/motherboard manufacturer from their official website. If that’s unavailable, then get the latest generic driver from Intel’s own Download Center. Next, disable hardware acceleration on the browser. Finally, if all else fails, switch to an SSD from an HDD to resolve the problem.
Intel’s advice to mitigate the problem is along expected lines. As this is a GPU issue, updating the graphics drivers to the latest available version is an excellent place to start. Updating Windows and the browser itself to get all the other patches and bug fixes should not hurt either. To turn hardware acceleration off in Chrome and Edge, go to ‘Settings,’ click on ‘System,’ and then switch off the toggle next to ‘Use hardware acceleration when available.’ Fortunately, the steps detailed by Intel are relatively easy to follow for most mainstream PC users.