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Does Chrome Burn Through More Power Than Firefox?

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  • Does Chrome Burn Through More Power Than Firefox?

    Phoronix: Does Chrome Burn Through More Power Than Firefox?

    With my recent work in tracking down Linux power regressions and looking at other areas of Linux power consumption, there's been a number of emails sent in by Phoronix readers concerning the power consumption of web-browsers. In particular, some users seem to think that Google's Chrome/Chromium web-browser causes the system to go through noticeably more power than Mozilla Firefox and other web-browsers. But how much is this really the case? Here's some benchmarks.

  • #2
    Thanks again for a nice test.
    I would appreciate similar tests for newer build of FF and Chrome to get a hint of what to expect from future releases


    • #3
      Real Sites

      Approximately zero users are complaining about battery performance while running benchmarks. PTS needs to be updated to visit real sites and interact with them and measure the results of doing that. In previous testing I have done like that you also need to test with an ad blocker otherwise nothing is repeatable.


      • #4
        How did you get Firefox?

        Was it a download from, an Ubuntu repository, or did you compile it yourself?

        I would have liked to have seen FF6 results since it is coming out on Tuesday.

        I also think you may not have been testing fully realistically. What happens when you just open a few websites in tabs and let it idle with a bunch of Flash ads playing? That's probably a more interesting test most of the time than just looking at how much power it consumes while running a js benchmark, which you would hope would max out the CPU most of the time leading to pretty similar power results.


        • #5
          id be interested to know about the power wasted by hidden tabs. as i type this i have several other tabs open in the background. some of these hidden tabs have active javascript checking for new messages or scrolling headlines, animation (gifs, etc). from looking at the CPU monitor it appears that some of this is still active even though no one is looking at it.

          firefox 5 set limits on javascript timeouts in background tabs which probably helps, but i am sure there is still some waste. i think gifs and flash still get rendered in a hidden tab.


          • #6
            This is a test, that might be biased, but uses real word loads:


            • #7
              ... and opera?

              srsly, I would be highly interrested in how they compete ... esp. as they use the same rendering core in opera mobile ...


              • #8
                This is from Microsoft's tests on the Windows platform.


                • #9
                  Dev builds

                  I'm a little confused on why you would be running a developmental kernel, developmental video drivers, and not developmental builds of Firefox and Chromium. I'm biased as a Firefox guy and there are noticeable performance gains upstream. They're just started in their rapid release system, but the Azure Direct2D backend for canvas is in version 7, Electrolysis is being implemented in the Nightlies as well as considerable memory reductions.

                  I don't feel like the test is an accurate measure of today's performance when the stable releases are months old (not to mention that Firefox 4 is obsolete). If anything, the test should have compared the latest stable AND dev versions of each respective browser.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by abral View Post
                    This is a test, that might be biased, but uses real word loads:
                    The MS tests are very interesting, but I'm not sure they mean much when it comes to Linux testing.

                    For starters, Firefox/IE9 are able to use the GPU much more on Win7 than Chrome is, which they claim is the reason for their lower power usage. That's not really the case on Linux since OpenGL layers aren't enabled and I think both should be using XRender (I know FF is, and assume that Chrome probably is). They are also using completely different toolkits, etc. on Linux which could cause big differences.