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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 MojoRilla (591502) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:12PM (#35660870)
    If you can't compete on innovation, and you can't compete by bullying standards bodies, and you can't compete by leveraging your monopoly, and you can't compete on performance, and you can't compete on security....well, at least you can say you use less power.

    And yes, when you work for the same company that wrote the freaking operating system, one would hope that IE would use the least amount of power.

    Whatever.
  • They're right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:18PM (#35660920) Homepage

    When I'm on my netbook, I want a browser that gives me the most battery life possible. Unfortunately my netbook doesn't have meaningful GPU acceleration, so their comparisons don't do much for me. Is IE9's rendering anywhere near as power-saving with software rendering? They also don't account for the battery saved in FF/Chrome by blocking intrusive graphical ads and their related javascript/flash. They also don't test real-world Javascript-heavy web apps like Gmail, or having multiple tabs open/opening at once.

    The graphs also blow the differences out of proportion. The Chrome/FF/IE numbers are all within 15% of each-other most of the time, while the graphs make IE9 sometimes appear with a very wide lead of half the power usage.

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:29PM (#35661012)

    Wrong. If I write crappy software that hits your laptop's disc every 10ms, is the laptop the inefficient part? The hardware guys need to invent better speculative laptop disc caching technology? Of course software can consume too much power.

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CosmeticLobotamy (155360) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:56PM (#35661258)

    Hitting the disk every 10m incurs a performance penalty.

    Not necessarily. If nothing else is using the disk and you spawn a thread to do nothing but sleep 10ms, seek to a semi-random spot on the disk, and write "Hey, hard drive, what's up?" you will have no noticeable performance problems until something else needs the drive.

    You could do nonsense math in a loop in a background thread, which in a multi-core system would heat the processor up good and toasty without any real performance hit as long as the other 3 cores are idle.

    Neither of those would actually ever happen, but functionally equivalent operations implemented by incompetent boobs could do something similar. To a lesser extent, even a competent programmer, knowing that normally there's a ton of computational power to spare, might not give a dang that his function is sucking up 20% more CPU than it needs to.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @11:16PM (#35662348)

    It is on msdn.com. Can we consider this a partial and fair article? I'm asking, not accusing.

    Given how well Firefox fared then it seems that they have been fair with their reporting. Considering the tiny difference between IE9 and FF4 then you might as well choose between the browsers based on the features that you want.

    That said, this is an IE9 blog we are talking about. I doubt that anyone could consider them to be impartial. They posted this because they want to spruik their browser. But at least they did not try to hide this by paying for it to appear in an "independent" magazine or website.

    My only complaint is that I would like to know the system specs of their test machines. I would like to see this comparison on a netbook platform with a feeble GPU, because if you are seriously concerned with power usage then you probably already use a power-friendly processor like the Intel Atom.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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