Browser Face-Off: Battery Life Explored

by Jarred Walton on 9/11/2009 6:00 PM EST


Back to Article

  • ProDigit - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    I just read the Intel senior vice president is called Anand Chandrasekher. I wonder if he has anything to do with Anadtech? Reply
  • Wwhat - Sunday, September 20, 2009 - link

    Adblock doesn't just help by blocking flash but also by preventing tons of scripts the adcompanies run I bet, you should test that by also trying it with flashblock instead of adblock if you want to be sure.
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, September 20, 2009 - link

    In progress... obviously, the impact of Flash/FlashBlock will depend on how many Flash ads are on a page as well. Reply
  • Starcub - Friday, September 18, 2009 - link

    I just installed Safari 4 a few days ago along side Explorer 8. Then I saw this article, and when I saw the large difference between IE8 and S4, I decided to test out how much processor usage they each used. So I closed out IE8 and loaded the article up in S4 and found that both cores on my T5500 CPU went from ~5% to over 20% usage on the same page.

    S4 pages seemed to look nicer than on IE8, and the performance seems a little better too. S4 also has a TSR spellchecking feature enabled by default, and puts borders around text boxes. All these things, and there are probably still more default processes, require CPU cycles to execute.

    I've decided I'm going to do my civic duty and use IE instead of Safari in order to reduce my carbon footprint (except on pages IE8 has problems with @!#%$!) :)

    Thanks for a very informative article!
  • - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    I'd love to see the different power usage differences between XP, Vista and Win7. Maybe you could test different OS's on older and new laptops, as well as older and newer desktops then compare the differneces. It could even be combined with different browsers, and see how each browser interacts with each different OS.

    I've heard someone say that actually XP is the most efficient power wise when they did an impromptu test of their own, but not sure whether it's really true.

    If web developers could develop more green friendly web sites on the server side, and consumers on the client side could make use the best combo of efficient OS, browser and plug-ins, it would be a step in the right direction.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    You're about one day early... I should have the results up for OS comparisons in the next day or so. Reply
  • Fanfoot - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    Thought provoking piece. Also enjoyed your many well argued riposts to the various trolls here. Nicely done. I quite enjoy the people who won't accept that IE8 is better at power saving than other browsers simply because they don't like it.

    Power management is obviously just one of many reasons to choose a web browser. Personally the only thing I learned is you really shouldn't install Safari on a Windows Laptop. I'm planning to continue using Firefox for now. I'm too used to it, and all the plugins I use to switch FOR THE MOMENT.
  • neogodless - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    "If there is interest, we may look at extending this testing two other laptops in the future" Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    Fixed, thanks. Bad speech recognition... BAD! Reply
  • strandbygaard - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    Interesting experiment. Unfortunately, the article does not help us determine which is the more efficient browser. Lowest power usage DOES NOT equal most efficient!

    "Work done per watt" is actually the metric we're interested in. "Work" being defined as the number of web pages you can load per watt (multiplied by the load time to get the power usage).

    Consider this. If IE8 lets you run 10% longer, but Chrome gets you 40% more page views during the total runtime, it's rather obvious that Chrome would still be the most efficient choice.

    What would be really interesting would be for AnandTech to redo the experiment while counting the number of page views, so we could determine the efficiency of each browser.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    The test is set to load the three test pages every minute -- it's constant "user speed" simulation rather than maximum web page rendering rate. So in this instance, if two browsers ran for four hours, they rendered the same number of pages in that time.

    If I wanted to test page views per Watt, I'd need to come up with a different test, and the results wouldn't be a realistic demonstration of how people use web browsers. You have to pause and read a page to know what's there; if you're just constantly reloading pages, you can make a battery life stress test but it is no longer anything approaching a realistic view of browser usage. IMO anyway.
  • erple2 - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    I suppose the only corollary to that is that the test assumes that every page takes (far) less than 1 minute to load. Otherwise the GP might have a point.

    If it takes longer than 1 minute to reach "steady state", then it might become more of an issue as to which browser is more productive.

    Perhaps to "truly" measure this, you would have the timer start at 1 minute after steady state is achieved, then count how many 1 minute steady state events exist. That would make for an oddly discrete number of trials, however. However, that might only really measure how much power each browser draws while rendering a page as a function of the total amount of time spent on a "trial". However, in keeping with the other benchmarks you've provided, it appears that the time of rendering is somewhat irrelevant.

    Whew! Glad I don't have to design and run meaningful benchmarks! That's hard!
  • postler - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    It would be interesting to compare Opera using all of its features (bit torrent client, chat, email client) vs other browsers with seperate programs for these tasks. I suppose Opera is more power efficient compared to other browsers+email client+bittorrent client running. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    I don't think the majority of people are going to run a bittorrent client on battery power. However, this is not a review of browsers in general; it's just a look at battery life using the same surfing test on each one. Personally, I'm a Firefox guy and this isn't enough to convince me to look elsewhere. Reply
  • yourwhiteshadow - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    What about battery life on the new macbook pros w/various browsers? Also, I went to test out a 13.3" MBP at the apple store, and ran peacekeepeer on it. The $1499 version with 4 gb ram, 2.53 ghz proc, and 250 gb hdd got consistently got a lower score than the $1199 version which had 2 gb ram, 2.26 ghz proc, and 160 gb hard drive. Both ran the same video chipset. Any ideas as to what is going on? I ended up buying the $1199 one obviously, but still I'm a little curious. Reply
  • Voo - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    I'm astonished everytime I read a article with several pages of big colorfull benchmarks in it and then see people asking for evidence to backup the "claims" made at the end of the article..

    Interesting article, though I knew before reading it that I wouldn't replace my FF. I'm just too customized to it - yep I know I'm ignorant, but after all the differences between the browsers are relativly small so I think I'll survive it ;)

    But yes just out of courtesy I'd be interested in the same benchmarks run under OS X. Would be interesting to see how IE would fare there (I think Raymond Chen said once that the IE is more or less a GUI wrapped around several core dlls, which shouldn't work for OSX)
  • coachingjoy - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    Well done.

    Appears IE8 is good for something.

  • araczynski - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    that was refreshingly, um, refreshing, and quite surprising, didn't think there'd be that much noticeable difference between the browsers in terms of battery life of all things.

    still hate that each of them has their own stupid rendering quirks that they seem to believe themselves above eliminating.
  • IntelUser2000 - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    "None of these laptops would qualify as high-end solutions, mostly because we don't think users interested in battery life are going to be looking at high-end laptops."

    That quote and this:

    "Please note that unlike our normal battery life tests, we set the laptop on the Vista "Power Saver" profile instead of "Balanced", with the hard drive set to power down after 3 minutes and the maximum CPU performance set at 50%."

    This is ridiculous. One of the most stupid and contradictory reviews ever seen on Anandtech. Sorry but please benchmark settings that people will use. Nobody is going to put "Power Saver" on a Core 2/Turion Notebook and enable "High" on a Atom Netbook. What's the point here? I mean you said the battery life difference was 6% for Power Saver vs. Balanced which isn't significant at all for performance sacrifice. Does it artificially inflate the score differences between browers? Have you tested to see if the positions change with different settings?

    Again, what's the point of this review? Normally I'm very positive to Anandtech. This article isn't one that would show that. You could have at least put both results.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I'm not sure what your beef with the first quote is supposed to be. Do you think people buying high-end laptops with discrete graphics care about battery life? I don't. If you have a Core 2 Quad laptop and GTX 260M graphics, your battery life will stink regardless of browser, so I decided to look at several laptops that offer reasonable battery life and see if the choice of browser mattered. Moving on....

    The "High" setting on the ASUS was not for the OS. That was set on "Portable/Laptop". The "High" setting is specifically for ASUS' Super Hybrid Engine, which underclocks the CPU and FSB if you leave it on "Auto". The CPU can still use SpeedStep, but it will stay on a 166MHz bus (667FSB) instead of SHE dropping it to 147MHz (588FSB). Mostly I did it to reduce the amount of time required to run the tests; at over seven hours per browser, running each twice, it already took more than a week of testing time. I don't have the 1005HA anymore (ASUS wanted it back), so I can't retest anything on it.

    As I also mentioned, using "Balanced" instead of "Power Saver" gives you an extra 6% battery life - since that's what we're looking at for using different browsers, I figured it was a useful bonus. Also, I was running some of those tests for use in a future article, so I didn't want to repeat testing any more than necessary. Regardless, using Power Saver is hardly "ridiculous", and the comparison wasn't between AMD and Intel and Atom. That's why those results are on separate pages.

    If you want apples-to-apples on browsers on each laptop, that's what I provided here. If you want to compare identical settings between different laptops, that's what I've always done in the standard notebook/netbook reviews. As far as I can tell, the power saving setting does not influence the individual browser results, though to be sure I would need to run every single test again with different settings. That's not something I really feel is necessary.

    And FWIW, the "50%" setting in the advanced power options doesn't mean the CPU runs at half the maximum clock speed. CPUZ tells me otherwise. I've seen some laptops set that to "20%" or even "0%", and yet the systems still run. All I know for sure is that I used the same power settings on both Gateway systems. Since the 1005HA runs XP instead of Vista, there's already an inherent difference. I'll be looking at XP, Vista, and Win7 shortly, though, so stay tuned.
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    Again, you posted the reason I replied in the very first place. It's not my "beef" that whether people care about battery life on high end or not. It's that you put different settings on two kinds of portable devices for no reason(the Notebook and the Netbook). Why not keep them both on "Balanced"(or something equivalent).

    "As far as I can tell, the power saving setting does not influence the individual browser results, though to be sure I would need to run every single test again with different settings. That's not something I really feel is necessary"

    Then you should have tested with "Balanced" just like on the Atom Netbook. Because that would be the most common setting. Unlike "Balanced", "Power Saver" has a bit of performance to be sacrificed(I'm not arguing about the %ages).

    I don't know why you did the "Power Saver" in the first place. As you say, its not 50% reduction(actually its even greater), but its some sort of performance reduction, and the possibility of that changing browser ratings was there.">
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    I do have "Maximum Battery" results for certain tests on the 1005HA, which I'll discuss in a different article. I'm not denying that "Power Saver" can impact performance, but your link is to tests of gaming on different power settings. Typical gaming performance is HORRIBLE on battery power, even on high-end notebooks, because the GPUs have to run in reduced power modes. The batteries simply can't provide enough juice to run everything at maximum performance.

    Since "Power Saver" isn't always the same among laptops - you can customize a lot of settings - I don't know what was being tested specifically on that forum post. Was Max CPU at 50%, 20%, or something else? What about the GPU setting -- if ATI or NVIDIA GPUs are set to maximum battery, of course gaming performance is reduced. It could very well be that the problem with reduced FPS in those tests is from the GPU running slow rather than the CPU. Regardless, if you have the AC adapter connected, you can tweak the "Power Saver" AC settings to allow full performance while still giving maximum battery life when unplugged. For Internet surfing, the different power modes aren't as big of an impact on browser speed.

    Anyway, it's an interesting test to look at, but with only so many hours in a day I have to pick and choose what to run. In this case, I ran the ASUS on the standard XP setting while I let the two Gateway setups get a boost in battery life.

    Update: Okay, so I looked at the power numbers again, and it turns out that Power Saver can do far more than 6% increase on Vista, but the Max Battery option in XP didn't help out as much. Assuming I have all the settings correct, the NV52 improved by a whopping 30% by switching to "Power Saver", and the NV58 likewise improved by an impressive 25%. The ASUS 1005HA on the other had only showed an improvement of 7.5%. The 6% figure is for disabling the Super Hybrid Engine underclocking of the FSB, but I got it confused with the other scores. Sorry.
  • jasperjones - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    You state:

    First, the margin of error between runs is around 3% because of network issues, website content, and fluctuation in battery discharging rates. That's why we ran each test at least twice, so the results above should be accurate to within around 1%, for the best-case results.

    Assuming you base the margin of error on a 95% confidence interval, then a margin of error of 3% implies a standard error of roughly 1.5%. It then is utterly impossible mathematically to have accuracy within 1% when taking averages over two runs, considering the standard error is the population standard deviation over the square root of the sample size. (In plain English: to cut the standard error--and at the same time the margin of error--in half you need to go from 1 to 4 runs, as sqrt(4)=2.)
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I did not average the runs, which I suppose creates some of the confusion, because averaging assumes that all runs are representative. Instead, my statement is based off of performing the tests several times for certain configurations.

    The difference from highest to lowest time is around 3%, but I found that out of four runs I would usually get something like 156, 161, 160, and 159. Thus, if I'm only looking at the best-case result (161) the margin drops to around 1%. (i.e. 161 vs. 160 or 159).

    Statistically, it may not be the best way of doing things, but I prefer focusing on a best-case result instead of running four or eight iterations of a test -- especially when each test run can take anywhere from 3 to 10 hours.
  • ProDigit - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    There's also the browser's loading speed.

    The test does not show which pages where loaded.
    Loading facebook, loading games in facebook like farmville, loading sites that show lots or little of flash based commercial,or gifs.

    There are too many variables... A second thought to prove that these measurements are invalid...

    I hate IE, don't use it, so you'll need to put up a lot more evidence and info for me to prove IE8 will be better than Firefox!
    Numerous sites cited that FF is better than IE, loads faster, runs with a lower footprint, etc..
    You telling the opposite need to spend more energy convincing the people.
    As far as I see it now, indeed anandtech is payed by intel to get IE8 out... So not a single word of this article will I believe until I see more proof!
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Honestly, I was surprised that IE8 had better battery life in most cases than the competition. But then, that's the whole point of the article: to investigate something people may not have considered. Despite criticisms of IE8 for being slow, it does manage to provide better battery life under stressful Flash browsing scenarios.

    Saying a test is "invalid" because you disagree is not only pointless, but it misses the whole introduction where I explain upfront that the testing is only looking at one particular stressful scenario. There were no Flash games, but there were plenty of Flash advertisements on all three web sites used. If I had used the Google home page, it would be less strenuous. As stated, one site was AnandTech, which appears to have 2 to 4 ads on the home page. The other sites were similar in that they were news-based sites. AnandTech was set as the active tab in all cases.

    If you'd like, send me a list of three pages and I can run one or two tests to see if your list is more or less stressful. But then I don't know why I should spend energy on someone who is already convinced these results are invalid, simply because he disagrees with the measured results. Tell you what: go download and install this list of browsers and do a test that proves my results are wrong and we can talk more.
  • ProDigit - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I think these results are invalid!
    Simply because it's been proven on chippy's website that on netbooks, the adblock definitely adds battery life to Firefox!
    Second,adblock often blocks ads that are flash based,which internet explorer 8 will show regardless (IE does not have many good 'free' adblockers).

    So in other words,simple logic tells me these benchmarks are invalid.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Your "simple logic" is a bit too simple. You can see that Firefox with AdBlock does indeed improve battery life on the two faster laptops, but IE8 still comes out ahead. As stated, it appears IE8 being tied into the OS at a lower level helps them to use less CPU time... or perhaps it's just the Flash ActiveX version instead of whatever Flash setup Firefox and other browsers use. Obviously, Flash is a very weak point for Safari 4 under Windows.

    As for UMPCportal proving this is "wrong", I assume you mean">this post -- which is actually a reference to">a different site. SecTheory tested using a Kill-A-Watt meter, and that's not the same as testing battery life. I've noticed that when you switch to battery power, it does more than just use the same amount of power that you measure through a Kill-A-Watt unit. (It's something I show in every laptop review.)

    Ultimately, your simple logic falls short because it was too simple. Logically, I'm sure there are other ways of improving battery life not investigated (yet). AdBlock Plus is rather heavy when it comes to processing HTML, since it has at present several hundred regular expressions/pattern to check. However, it's also the easiest way to get comprehensive ad blocking and it takes no effort to set it up. If I made a custom filter and only blocked ads from the three test sites, things would be better, especially on netbooks where the Atom CPU had to work really hard processing the ABP list.

    In other words, the benchmarks aren't "invalid"; they just show that you should check your assumptions at the door, and they show that AdBlock Plus may not be the most power efficient means of blocking ads. If you have suggestions on some better alternatives (preferably something easily configured), I'm more than happy to hear them.
  • ciukacz - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    you could try"> Reply
  • JumpingJack - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    :) There are fanboys and then there are fanboys, but fanboy's for web browswers? What is the world coming to :) ....

  • trochevs - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I was wondering what is the impact of the fact that IE is build into the OS. There are several libraries that are part of the IE (ActiveX and HTML rendering DLLs) that are running at all time. So when you test Firefox you are actually running Firefox + part of IE. Can we come with test that shows the impact?

    Also instead of reloading the same page, can we just load new page? That seem more realistic browsing pattern.

    Best regards,
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Technically the test starts the browser with the browser configured to load the three test web sites. After 60 seconds, it kills the browser process and waits a bit before starting it again. I tried Firefox with "ReloadEvery" enabled and found that it got worse battery life, so I stuck with the method described for all the browsers. It's also more strenuous than a test that cycles through a set series of pages I'd imagine, because of the starting/stopping of the browsers, though all of the necessary data is cached after the first loop so it probably doesn't make that much of a difference. (All the browsers restart almost immediately.)

    As for testing with IE ripped out and the DLLs disabled, I'm not quite sure how to accomplish that. Suggestions?
  • trochevs - Saturday, September 19, 2009 - link

    I have played with different test scenarios, but finding practical one proves to be impossible. The only test I can come are only for academic research and most likely will raise more questions then answers.
    scenario #1: I have read several articles on the Internet that using tool nLite you can remaster Windows XP CD and remove the IE, but I think we are going to test crippled and practically useless OS.

    scenario #2: I don't know about IE8, but IE7 could be installed under WINE on Linux. Repeat the same test without Safari. The problem with this test is that result could not be compared with your current test because:
    1. Impact on power usage by the entire OS will be bigger then the browsers.
    2. IE will be in disadvantage position by default because will run under WINE. Although there could be some surprises here. In some very specific cases some Windows programs run faster under WINE compared to Windows. Also we can test Firefox running under WINE as reference.

    Of course all this is pure academic research. On the second thought repeating this test under Linux could give some real answers how Linux is compared to Windows.
  • fsardis - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    why is it that on this site the authors cannot get this expression right? it is annoying. when you say something is anything but, you mean that it is anything except. so if the browser wars seemed anything except ended, why do you go in the next sentence and describe the opposite?
    Learn basic english first, then write articles. Even Anand got this wrong on his latest SSD article. Bloody irritating every single time.
  • andrihb - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I thought "anything but" meant exactly the same as "anything except". Reply
  • fsardis - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Yes, it does mean "everything except". So tell my why the author writes: "Seven years ago, the browser wars seemed all but ended",
    which is defined by Oxford Dictionary as "The browser wars seemed all except over" and then proceeds to explain: "AOL bought out Netscape, Microsoft Internet Explorer dominated the market, and the era of browser-based exploits began", which in simple words translates to: "The competition is dead and IE won".

    So tell me, how i it possible for the war to be anything except over and in the next sentence to explain how the war is actually over?
    And you got the idiot below trying to defend it when I live right in the centre of London and I am holding the bloody dictionary in my hands. (And that one is for the retard who said I am a hillbilly).
  • erple2 - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    So your argument is hinging on your notion that:

    "Seven years ago, the browser wars seemed all but ended."

    means the same thing as:

    "Seven years ago, the browser wars seemed anything but ended."

    ? If not, then I don't understand the first sentence in your second paragraph:

    "So tell me, how i it possible for the war to be anything except over and in the next sentence to explain how the war is actually over?"

    Jarred didn't say that the war is "anything except over". That was you that misinterpreted what was said. In fact, it is quite clearly:

    "all but ended"

    Which according to previous posts, you correctly surmise that the expression means the same as "everything except ended". But certainly not "anything except ended".

    You are therefore, incorrect in your statement. Accept it and move on.
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    You need to read your dictionary a bit more closely. You say it means "everything short of" but then you misunderstand what that means. Everything short of ended would mean it's nearly over. You keep using phrases that mean the exact opposite of that. "Anything except" and "everything except" are not synonyms, they're antonyms -- certainly not in the US.

    I wouldn't go to a UK based site and try to make them conform to US English, but if you like picking fights go right ahead. People in the US use the phrase as I used it. Sorry if that offends you, but if you're that easily offended by my use of the English language I would guess you have bigger issues to deal with.
  • whatthehey - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Forewarning: The following is a rude response. Why? As the saying goes, "when in Rome...." I figure if you're going to talk to a troll at all, you need to use their language. Yes, I kicked the chastising up a notch, if only because someone had the gall to post a comment criticizing a writer when in fact they are 100% in the wrong due to a lack of reading comprehension skills. With that disclaimer out of the way....

    There's nothing like being wrong whilst screaming at the top of your lungs, eh fsardis? Instead of being a stupid twit, why don't you do a bit of research. And speaking of annoying, you can't even use proper capitalization and have the balls to complain about the writing of Jarred and Anand. Bloody hypocrite! Okay children, time for class....">

    Oops... look at that: you're wrong fsardis! You'll find that the phrase "all but" is a synonym for "almost", "just about", "nearly", or even "well-nigh". You probably think the last is also incorrect, just because you've never used it, right?

    What's truly amazing is that you rip off a post like yours complaining about Jarred's use of a phrase, but then you make a mistake and don't even copy the phrase properly! Look at the first sentence (which you managed to quote in the subject at least): "The browser wars seemed all but ended...." You then lambaste Jarred for saying "anything but" which means the exact opposite. If you had paused to reflect for a minute why he would describe the exact opposite after that opening statement, or maybe even tried Google, you could have saved yourself some embarrassment. In 2002, the browsers wars were most certainly "nearly ended" or "all but over" or "practically finished". That's what the introduction used as a starting point, and all you could do is get hung up on a phrase your puny little brain didn't grasp.

    Maybe you should have paused to think for a minute before acting like a stupid troll, but I don't suppose trolls are good at thinking. Perhaps you ought to try learning to read/write English at something approaching the level of an educated adult before critiquing people for not dumbing down their text to a sixth grade level. I'm probably being too harsh, as phrases like "all but ended" aren't encountered much in the backwaters of hillbilly communities. It's probably hard for someone who's never left Essex to understand, but...oh, never mind; I'm done.
  • fsardis - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    oh by the way, "anything but" and "all but" mean exactly the same damn thing you inbred redneck. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    No. No they don't. Does "anything" mean the same as "all"? Does "everything" mean the same as "anything"? I'll give you the use of "except" in place of "but" for this phrase, but to suggest I replace a two syllable phrase with a 5/6 syllable phrase (assuming you want to be snobbish and pronounce "everything" as ev-er-ee-thing instead of ev-ree-thing) is at best a stylistic difference of opinion and at worst flame bait. Living in London doesn't actually make you a master of the English language.

    If you want to prove me wrong, you're going to have to do it with links that show how my usage is improper rather than vague statements like, "I have an Oxford English dictionary in my lap and I'm in downtown London, so I bloody well know what I'm talking about!" Right now you've given nothing other than your own opinion to show you're right, along with claims of references that support you. At least whatthehey had some links to some site, but of course your "superior" opinion is that the linked site is wrong as well. So far, I haven't even seen anything that supports your opinion -- not even with the help of Google.

    Here's a US reference to support my cause." target="_blank">Definition: "all but". Merriam-Webster supports my usage as meaning "nearly", and indeed in 2002 the browser wars were nearly over. The only usage I've heard for "anything but" is in a phrase like, "Please don't cry - anything but that! I can't take crying." Obviously, that usage isn't anything like "all but" or "nearly". "Anything but" conveys a message of being far from something. "This vacation has been anything but fun, what with the bad weather, car problems, and trolls running rampant in the forums."

    Now quit the trolling and keep things civil and we can all get along.
  • whatthehey - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    Well said Jarred. With every response fsardis only proves more completely that he's a complete asshat.

    "I first saw this misuse of the expression on the internet and it seems there are many places it is incorrectly explained." Clearly you're not well read, as the phrase has been around for a hell of a lot longer than the Internet!

    "The entire UK uses the expression 'all but' as a way to say 'all except'." Congratulation to the entire UK, except that we're discussing "all but" and you started saying "anything but", you stupid twat. Go back and reread your post. Even better is this:

    "Oxford Definition of 'all but' is as follows straight from the book: 'all but: everything short of'." Exactly. Do you not even know how to understand your own dictionary? Let's try this: "Seven years ago, the browser wars seemed everything short of ended." See, right there it's just as if he had written "nearly" in place of "all but"! You're putting your foot in your mouth so hard, it's a wonder you can breathe!

    "Now if it means 'anything short of', then saying 'all but over' means 'anything short of over', which means it is not over at all if it is anything in the whole world apart from being over." You're right, but once again you're making a huge mistake because you just changed the bloody Oxford English definition from "everything short of" to "anything short of". Damn you're thick in the head! Are you such a cursed moron that you don't know that "everything" and "anything" have completely different meanings? Even in the UK, they mean different things.">">

    Stop substituting words that aren't equivalent and you'll avoid digging the hole you're in any deeper.

    And the coup de grace: "And you got the idiot below trying to defend it when I live right in the centre of London and I am holding the bloody dictionary in my hands." That's like trying to say you're smart because you're from New York (lots of dumb people there as well, considering the millions that live there). Thanks for letting us all know that there are people in London with a bloody dictionary in their hands, and they can read it, and yet THEY STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT SAYS!

    Even a poor online translation to another language gets it right. In German, Bablefish suggests "Vor sieben Jahren, alle schienen Browserskriege als beendet." Close enough for our purposes. Put that back into English and you get: "Seven years before, all browser wars seemed as terminated." That's closer than your silly "anything except ended" mistranslation.

    Perhaps I'm the only one that's reminded of a recent Dilbert comic. Who know that the English forum trolls could also be PHBs?"> "BE WRONG FSARDIS! JUST BE WRONG!" And you are definitely wrong, whether you admit it or not.
  • Pirks - Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - link

    Yeah, fsardis is a total fuckup cockoo type of guy, don't pay attention to him. Very well known troll he is ;) Gooood to see this stupid fsardis twit pwned thoroughly here, hehehe :)) Reply
  • fsardis - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    You are a total idiot. Learn english. The site you linked is just as wrong as you are. Just to enlighten you of your own idiocy, the entire UK uses the expression "all but" as a way to say "all except".
    I first saw this misuse of the expression on the internet and it seems there are many places it is incorrectly explained. I suggest you pick up a real dictionary on paper written by some people at Oxford and open up your eyes before you go and ridicule yourself on the internet by linking sites that are anytihng but intelligent.

    Oxford Definition of "all but" is as follows straight from the book: "all but: everything short of"

    Now if it means "anything short of", then saying "all but over" means "anything short of over", which means it is not over at all if it is anything in the whole world apart from being over.
    Or is this way too complicated for your shoe size IQ?
  • jojo4u - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    IE8 is beste because the Flash ActiveX Plugin is the most performant. The other browsers under Windows are still ok, but with OS X and Linux this bites you hard. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I suspect, but have no numbers to prove that Chrome uses more battery because it is faster. I have been using Firefox previous to Chrome at least close to when it came out. Lately, I have been using Chrome 2, and now that it works with the websites I frequent it is noticeably faster. Sites with lots of images load a lot faster, and the browser just seems more responsive. I have given consideration to trying Firefox mobile though. This could be a different story.

    Chrome does also seem to have its own flaws, but from what I have been seeing lately they are small. One would be the DNS pool cache problem I have read that Firefox also exhibits. A simple ipconfig /flushdns while elevated seems to do the job though. Between the two, I of course pick Chrome, because performance is what I am after.

    IE has not even been a consideration in my book for a very long time, and I would rip it out if I could. Especially a browser that is *still* integral to the OS, which I am scratching my head as to why this is legal( again ). Maybe I Need a German licensed copy ? Oh well.

    They all look fine to me though. Aesthetically. Well at least the top 3.
  • blackshard - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Hi, maybe Chrome is compiled with some atom optimizations. I mean, common x86 processors have enough horsepower for anything, instead Atoms are still not so powerful, so *maybe* Chrome could have been optimized to help the "weaks", since the stronger processors don't need such help.

    I still like firefox, as it is a multi-platform software and still has very optimized code. It's really not common seeing such an optimization grade in multi-platform software.
  • yyrkoon - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    This is not using an Atom based system, this is on a T3400 based laptop with 4GB of RAM in Vista Home Premium. Also did some comparisons on a much older P4 2.4Ghz laptop I had as well. Even more noticeable on the P4, but still a big difference of time on both systems. Nothing was done "scientifically", but a person would have to have no concept of time not to see the differences. Think of the differences between nearly instant vs. several more seconds.

    Now, this noticeable difference was a few months ago, so maybe things have changed more recently. However, it seems to me that the graphics rendering routines are more optimized, or were in Chrome. Having done some development with graphics myself, I could see this happening, but can not say for sure that this is actually the case.
  • llongbourne - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I run Portable Firefox from a RAM disk. I'd like to believe that it increases battery life through reduced HDD use, but of course I'm not equipped for any kind of rigorous comparison.

    I'd be interested to see this setup included, not least because it improves the speed of a number of browsing actions too. (I've written briefly here with the details.)
  • llongbourne - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Sorry, link didn't embed. It's here:">
  • Nihility - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I guess IE8 can still be good for some things (besides being the only browser that displays my bank's website properly).

    I'm also surprised by how big of an impact web browsing (heavy) in general has on power usage. Maybe we can make a push for leaner "green" websites. Sites that use a minimal streamlined design without too much eye candy (not just basic html).

    This was a good article.

    I wonder why you didn't benchmark Chrome 4.0 and Firefox 3.6. Yes they're betas (alphas/pres) but they're generally stable an a large chunk of the enthusiast community is using them. And if they show any improvident over the previous versions I would expect even more to migrate to them.
  • RamarC - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I've never found browser speed really that important. There's a point when it's fast enough and saving 0.5s doesn't really matter to me. I generally use IE8 and Chrome and can't really say that one is faster than the other but it's reassuring to know that neither is needlessly shortening my battery life just to win 'performance' bragging rights. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I started testing this a few weeks back and just went with the major releases. Opera was the exception, where I tested 10b3. I don't have the 1005HA any more so I can't test that, but I can run some tests on the two Gateway setups. I'll try to do that this weekend and add results. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Does the Power Saver profile really save battery life for bursty web browsing? I thought CPU's are most efficient when they can clock up to 100% to quickly finish the task and go back to sleep. At 50% they could be taking 50% longer but at a lower voltage than max? (Probably more complicated depending on multiplier and voltage ratios). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    My tests indicate that the battery life improved by about 6% with "Power Saver" instead of "Balanced". That's only on three laptops, but it was consistent so I ran all of the tests under that mode. I would assume the cause may be that web traffic doesn't really need 100% CPU most of the time. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I have Opera 10 + flashblock on by default on my laptop since I don't care to have flash waste my processor cycles (and battery) unless it's something I specifically want to see.

    I understand it's a lot harder to benchmark this scenario (perhaps you could turn flashblock on then off for 50% of the test via a script to emulate selective flash loading), but I am curious to see how it shapes up. Anecdotally, I find I get 20-30 minutes more battery life on my thinkpad X300 with flashblock on, but then I'm doing more than just browsing on the laptop in this time.
  • neogodless - Monday, September 14, 2009 - link

    "If there is interest, we may look at extending this testing two[/] other laptops in the future" Reply
  • Googer - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    These tests leave out Opera's ad filtering and thus leaves out a directo comparioson/competitor to Firefox+Adblock Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I would assume not having Flash at all (or not playing it by default) would improve battery life by a fair amount. I'll see if I can do some tests with no Flash (or a Flash blocking plug-in) to see if it makes a difference. If it moves the content more to the "Light" end of the spectrum, that could make for a difference of up to 33%. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I'd be really interested to see the impact of using a modified HOSTS file would have on battery life:">
  • Granseth - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Opera 10 has something called turbo mode to accelerate netsurfing on a slow connection. Could be interesting to know if that would help or hinder batterylife too Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Could you do comparative tests of browsers under OS X? If I can save 10% power while forced to use my battery I’ll likely do it based on your results. Also, do using plugins like ClickToFlash in Safari on OS X have any overhead that negate any power savings from turning off Flash? Reply
  • orthorim - Thursday, September 17, 2009 - link

    YES, please test Mac too. I run OS X so the tests on Windows are meaningless to me. Presumably, Safari on OS X will be much more optimized than on Windows, and Firefox will be totally different as well.

    I'd like to see Safari + ClickToFlash because that's what I am running every day. And Firefox with and without Flashblock

    Flash should make a huge difference on OS X because it's so poorly implemented by Adobe. Even simple Flash animations use lots of CPU on OS X, whereas on Windows they are hardly noticeable. I want to see how much ClickToFlash/Flashblock help, and which browser is the best.

    Chrome Beta
    Opera (?!)

  • ltcommanderdata - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    If you do run browser battery life tests in OS X, can you make sure to try Safari in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes? I don't expect the browser itself to affect battery life that much between the 2 modes, but 64-bit Safari is capable of playing Flash content. I believe 64-bit Safari is still using the standard 32-bit Flash plugin, but as a separate process, giving crash stability, and using InterProcess Communication to connect the 2. I'm thinking the IPC link in 64-bit mode may use more CPU cycles reducing battery life. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Talk to Ryan and Anand - they're the Mac OS X people. I don't have a Mac at my place, or I'd be happy to run the tests. :-) Reply
  • GeorgeH - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    If Anand or Ryan decides to run browser tests on a Mac, they might also want to redo the test where Anand found that OSX 10.5.7 had vastly superior battery life to Vista. Given how poorly Safari under Windows did here, the methodology of that test becomes suspect.

    In that article Anand found that Vista running Safari offered ~75% of the battery life of OSX running Safari. Here you find that Safari under Windows offers ~75-80% of the battery life of IE (and most other "typical" Windows browsers.) Given the similarity of those numbers, perhaps Anand should have concluded that Safari/Vista is inferior to Safari/OSX, and not that OSX was the superior OS in general.

  • solipsism - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I think that when doing OS comparisons that IE8 on Windows v. Safari 4 on OS X, then the same version of Firefox on each OS would be the most apt. Reply
  • foolsgambit11 - Sunday, September 13, 2009 - link

    Maybe not. It's difficult to tell how optimized FF would be for each platform, while testing each OS maker's proprietary browser would ensure they've both done their best to ensure maximum optimization. Of course, ideally, the benchmarks would also test FF to see how well it does on each platform. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    Anand's testing didn't use heavy Flash content, and that appears to be the primary issue with Safari 4 under Windows. If I switch to static images and text without Flash, as you would expect CPU usage drops to nothing after the pages finish loading. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    That's a very valid point, but doesn't quite address what I was trying to get at.

    What I was trying to say is that by simply using "poorly optimized" (or however you want to phrase it) software on Vista, your battery life can drop significantly. Anand tested OS battery life by running two programs that were designed for OSX, not Vista, and found that the Vista performance deficit was almost exactly the same as the one you found by running "poorly optimized" software.

    That the cuplrit in your case was almost certainly Flash (which Anand didn't run) is relevant, but doesn't address the idea that by running software in an environment that it wasn't designed/optimized for it is possible to significantly impact your battery life. To quote myself from the other article:

    "I doubt it will make much difference, but in the interest of fair play I too would like to see the tests [OSX v. Vista] redone [using standard Vista programs]."
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 12, 2009 - link

    I would agree. Given time I'm sure Anand will get to it. However, even though results under Vista may improve, my testing with Vista laptops tends to confirm the poor battery life he measured. I mean, at idle in Vista I still get worse battery life than OSX got surfing the net (granted not on a MacBook). Reply
  • orthorim - Thursday, September 17, 2009 - link

    I use the Mac but if you are testing Windows, test Windows 7. Who cares about Vista? It's going to be replaced in less than a month. Reply
  • eiko027 - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    ASUS Eee PC 1005HA and ASUS Eee PC 1000HE , which is better Reply
  • eiko027 - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link Reply
  • eiko027 - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link Reply
  • cavin - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now