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Browser Power Consumption Compared 274

Posted by timothy
from the read-it-for-the-pictures dept.
theweatherelectric writes "Over on the IE Blog they've posted a power consumption comparison of the five major browsers. They write: 'Power consumption is an important consideration in building a modern browser and one objective of Internet Explorer 9 is to responsibly lead the industry in power requirements. The more efficiently a browser uses power the longer the battery will last in a mobile device, the lower the electricity costs, and the smaller the environment impact. While power might seem like a minor concern, with nearly two billion people now using the Internet the worldwide implications of browser power consumption are significant.'"
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Browser Power Consumption Compared

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  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:17PM (#35660914)

    Use the HTML entity &gt; to get >, &lt; for <, and so on. Slashdot accepts most common HTML entities [w3schools.com], but alas—not unicode.

  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:18PM (#35660924) Homepage

    Since when could slashdot not show a greater than symbol?

    Um... when did Slashdot support greater-than characters in comments? Try the HTML entity, &gt; (>). You may also be interested in less-than (&lt;) and ampersand (&amp;). Others can be found here [w3schools.com].

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:24PM (#35660984)
    Actually, if you read TFA, on most (75%) of the their own tests, they're beaten by Firefox. One of the bits is particularly embarrassing - IE uses the most power of any browser when rendering about:blank. It seemed a bit unscientific (only four sites, one of which couldn't be run by Opera), but it's a blog, not the New England Journal of HTML Rendering.
  • Odd argument (Score:4, Informative)

    by MCSEBear (907831) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:35PM (#35661090)
    Since the same computer is MUCH more power efficient running Mac OS X than running Windows, this seems to be an odd argument for Microsoft to be making.

    Anandtech: [anandtech.com]

    Apple claims 10 hours of battery life for the MBP13 when running OS X, and Anand hit pretty close to that mark when testing it out with his light web browsing test. Now, we’ve shown before that OS X is more optimized for mobile power consumption than all versions of Windows, so going into this test the expectations were a fair bit lower.

    And for good reason; the MBP13 (running Windows 7) showed fairly similar battery life to some of the older Core 2-based systems. With it’s 63.5 Wh lithium polymer battery, the MBP hits 5.5 hours on our ideal-case battery test, and exactly 5 hours on the web browsing test. While this is decent for the average Core 2 notebook, it’s pretty woeful compared to the OS X battery life of the MBP. If you have no reason to run Windows (program compatibility, gaming, etc) you’re better off in OS X just so that you can get about double the battery life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:42PM (#35661162)
    The second comment makes a very good point about the bar graphs.

    For the record, the fact that you're using bar charts that don't line up zero means that those charts are in fact very misleading. Because the power consumption charts start at 10 W, differences as little as 5% look like nearly 100% differences. Int the about:blank example alone, it's scaled to show opera consuming over 93% more power, while the raw data and even the accompanying text show that it only consumes a little over 5% more than IE9. In the battery life chart at the end, the origin is 2 hours, which makes a 38% increase in battery life look like closer to a 150% increase in battery life.

    Sure, you could make the argument that people should read the accompanying text and data, but the entire point of using charts and graphs is to provide the data in a consumable way that doesn't require the use of the accompanying text. Someone skimming this article and moving on to other things is likely to be completely misinformed by these charts. I'm not sure if it's just a simple oversight, an attempt at making them more "interesting" or deliberate misinformation, but it makes me severely distrust the quality of the rest of the experiment over all. Poor form, Microsoft. Poor form.

    Possting anonymously not to whore karma.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:04PM (#35661342)
    1. They did not measure the power consumption of the screen, only the CPU, memory, GPU, GMCH, disk, NIC and "uncore", whatever that last one is. Only time I've heard the term was in reference to clock multipliers on certain Intel processors.
    2. LCD screens use constant power - you'd use as much power displaying all black as all white.
  • by dakameleon (1126377) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:07PM (#35661374)

    LCDs are slightly more efficient at white [scientificamerican.com]; in an LCD, the backlight is typically white and the pixels determine which colour is let through, so for black the pixels need to block the light coming through. The difference is only just passing statistical significance at 6%.

    Note however that this isn't true of AMOLED [wikipedia.org] screens.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:47PM (#35661704)
    IE9 currently is confined to Windows Vista and Windows 7, the two most bloated, power-hungry versions of Windows around. Maybe Microsoft should start telling the billions of computer users to ditch Microsoft Windows and move over to a more efficient, less resource-hungry, operating system.

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