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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 grapes911 (646574) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:08PM (#35660836)
    It is on msdn.com. Can we consider this a partial and fair article? I'm asking, not accusing.
  • by BitterOak (537666) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:35PM (#35661082)

    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.

    I wonder when the day will come when the government starts mandating energy efficiency requirements in software, much the same way they do appliances, cars and other things. I wonder if such rules would apply to open source, or other freely exchanged software.

  • Try Youtube (Score:5, Interesting)

    by omni123 (1622083) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:36PM (#35661604) Homepage

    They really should try flash heavy sites like YouTube.

    I can have my battery life cut in half when using Chrome 10 on YouTube; so much so that I actually have to switch back to Firefox for extended browsing when I'm on the road. It's pretty poor because even if the video has stopped and it becomes an idle page it can still sit at 10-15+% while doing absolutely nothing (so I don't see how they can claim rendering speed is the cause).

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex AT ... trograde DOT com> on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @11:42PM (#35662540)

    Since they're not the fastest, they're claiming their the most power-friendly.

    "We did it on purpose.. see?"

    Actually, I just got a new notebook with Windows 7 pre-installed. I immediately imaged the system, then installed Linux (dual boot). I do believe that MS's products use FAR less power than open source software like Firefox & Linux... bear with me...

    I used an external USB hard drive enclosure to transfer my over 21,000 songs ( not pirated -- I fervently support local indie / folk bands ).

    Linux was copying files faster than I was used to ( only 1h 40m est. time ), I attributed this to the faster hardware. When I checked back in on the copy process the computer was locked up. At first I thought that a flaky NTFS Linux driver was the problem, the caps lock key was flashing (usually means a kernel panic occurred)... so I re-booted into Windows7 and re-initiated the file transfer.

    After 1 and a half hours the estimated time till completion was still 2.5 hours. Thinking that was pretty strange for Windows7 to take over 150% more time than the Linux system reported, I tried again with my Linux install: wiping out the music partition and starting again.

    Sure enough, the files transfered almost twice as fast. The CPU usage went to 100% on both cores, and the fans went into high gear... Near the end of the transfer (98%) at 1h:33m the computer froze again with the same flashing capslock indicator...

    I completed the file transfer with Windows, and noticed that it only used 70% of one core to do the file transfer... Searching online led me to a hardware user guide for the system that said the flashing capslock meant that the CPU overheated. It wasn't a problem with Linux after all. I sent the machine back to the manufacturer and they stress tested the CPU, found it was weak, and replaced it with a new one.

    I purchased a cooling mat for when I use Linux -- I don't need it when running Windows: MS won't let me use the hardware to its full potential, so it uses less CPU gets better battery life and doesn't overheat.

    Of course, I can always adjust the CPU usage on Linux to achieve the same power consumption, but I can't make Windows use the full CPU power -- It won't let me.

    Without the multi-core aware Linux, I wonder how long it would have taken me to notice I had a weak CPU. If I had used only MS Windows, I probably wouldn't have noticed until after the warranty expired...

    I posit that most times MS software is getting better power consumption than their competitors -- It's because the routines aren't using multiple threads to get the best speeds... Which is just dumb if you ask me, multi-core machines have less power per core on average. Single threaded code on a 3ghz single core machine goes twice as fast as the same code on a "faster" 6Ghz quad core machine (1.5Ghz per core). If you're not writing multi threaded code you're burying your head in the sand.

    (Wooo! Lookit how much battery life you get with dumb single threaded code!)

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