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  • Way69 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I seriously question the validity of even including Safari in this test. Safari for windows hasn't been updated since 2012.

    Either exclude safari or actually test the OS X version (at least that would make for an interesting read).
  • manuroc - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    And why on earth exclude a modern browser like Opera while keeping outdated Safari.

    In addition, since there is a curious performance degradation across Chrome versions, why not test dev version 38?
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Stephen originally tried testing Safari, and felt the issues were at least worth mentioning. We forgot to remove the "non-result" from the chart but that is now fixed.

    As for Opera, it's something to look at in a future update, but that will require additional testing/scripting to get working properly. The major browsers are IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (admittedly, it's really only for OS X and iOS), so that's where we started.
  • SanX - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    I'd support in future testing Opera for PC ver. 12 maximum but not touching yet newer Opera ver. 20+ which is just in development and so is a total mess

    Opera for ARM mobiles is very good by the way, I keep 20 tabs ON all the time and see literally zero consumption
  • sluflyer06 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    The answer to that probably lies within the fact that Opera is a statistically insignificant browser. Their market share is down to .87% in the desktop/laptop scene. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    You do realize that 1% of the worlds internet users is 28 million people right? While the percentage may seem small, it is far from insignificant. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    It is insignificant to anyone that writes software for the web. Even large multi-billion dollar companies often do not bother to test _any_ version of Opera with their web applications. Same logic applies for someone spending time scripting battery life tests. Do you want to add another 20% to your time/effort to get this working for something that less than 1% of your readership cares about (even if browser stats for Anandtech have a higher slant toward Opera than the rest of the averaged web, it will still be far below the others). Reply
  • easp - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    On the other hand, *if* Opera was significantly better than others at something as significant as power efficiency, it would be rather unfortunate if a site like Anandtech didn't highlight that fact. Reply
  • soccerballtux - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    thats a good point Reply
  • sluflyer06 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    *if* it was much better than it is, then naturally the market share would increase and it would be statistically significant to cover in the first place. Reply
  • leminlyme - Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - link

    Well it uses Chromium, and is falsely reported as Chrome by many statistic pulling websites. I know this from experience, I'm always labeled Chrome when I exclusively use Next and 20+ versions of Opera. Opera performs almost exactly like Chrome except that it has different design features, and it was the pioneer of speed dial, something I give it a tonne of credit for as it is my single most used and useful browser feature ever. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    The majority of Opera users are in Europe, and that is a statistically insignificant region of the world.

    USA F-Yeah!
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Europe has over twice the population of the USA, so how does that work? Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    you don't get jokes do you Reply
  • seapeople - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    He's probably from Europe. They don't have enough of a population density there for jokes to take hold. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    As a resident of Europe, I resent tha...

    Ohhhh, I see what you did there
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    While that is true, since they chose Safari ON WINDOWS, they should take in to account Safari+Windows market share. I'm sure it is miniscule, since Apple hasn't updated Safari for Windows in years. (The latest version is from 2012, and has received *NO SECURITY UPDATES* since.) They are testing Safari 5.1.7; Safari on OS X is up to version 7.0.5. It would be like them testing IE 9. While still technically the "current" version on Windows Vista (much as Safari 5.1.7 is the "current" version on Windows,) it's still very much not a competitor.

    Again, if they were going to test Safari, they should have tested it on OS X. Period.

    A proper comparison would be a MacBook Pro, booted natively to OS X 10.9.4 and Windows 8.1, testing each latest browser version. That would show difference between Firefox and Chrome on Windows vs. OS X that would be a baseline for comparing Safari and IE, as well.
  • Morawka - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    safari on mac has so many jerry rigged optimizations it would be totally unfair to compare it to windows based web browsers which have to be used on a huge variety of hardware, unlike safari on ios and osx. Reply
  • xype - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Ugh, do you seriously think IE and Chrome don’t have optimizations? Do you think the IE team be all "Well, it has to run on at least TWO Windows versions, let’s just keep it all unoptimized, yeah?" Reply
  • mtbogre - Monday, August 25, 2014 - link

    They aren't "Jerry Rigged" optimizations any more than Windows using GL to render IE are "Jerry Rigged". The browsers are optimized for the underlying OS, that's a good thing.

    The bigger point here is that Safari on Windows is relevant to almost no-one. They might as well have tested out the AOL browser or thrown Netscape Navigator into the mix.
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    as sad as it makes me feel, I have to admit that Opera market share is really small - and shrinking.

    it's a shame such a creative company get eaten by big marketing companies: Opera was the first to launch a number of innovations that later got integrated into other browsers or even OSs. but right now I don't even know if they will survive another couple years... sad...

    PS: multiple tabs in one window, mouse gestures, live preview, speed dial, extremely customizable navigation (ie, turning off scripts, overriding font sizes, desktop client on mobile devices). some of these feats are unmatched even today. mouse gestures were available on Opera for almost a decade before Windows 7 would implement something similar. well, thats life.
  • Johnmcl7 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I agree entirely about Opera, I've used it for many years and I don't think it gets the recognition it deserves for innovating many of the current browser features. I'm concerned their change to the Chromium base is the beginning of the end though, the developers are claiming it's increased Opera usage but I find that hard to believe as the current Opera release doesn't seem to offer much away from Chrome and they've decimated the old Opera with few of its user favourite features implemented in the new version.

    I plan on using Opera v12 until it's too unreliable/incompatible/insecure and then unless they've made big improvements to the new Opera, switch to something else. On W8 touch systems I have to admit I'm keen on the Modern IE as it's very quick and responsive which is amusing as the reason I originally started using Opera was because Internet Explorer 6 was painfully slow on an XP PC with 128MB RAM.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    same. sticking with 12 as long as possible, no desire at all to use the new one. They killed themselves for me trying to chase after average users, and I'm not sure they actually attracted any. At the very least they can be sure more websites work with their browser even if no one tests against Opera (thanks to using Chromium), but I really wish they'd considered switching engines but keeping their UI Reply
  • Lerianis - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    They already have made many improvements to the new version of Opera. In fact, all it is missing compared to Opera v12 is support for saving pages in .mht format, something that I still rely on Opera v12 for.

    The new Opera can OPEN .mht files, it just cannot SAVE in that format. Which seems kinda weird but eh...
  • Blisse - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    I switched from Opera to Chrome 2 years ago. Opera started crashing inexplicably and I found a replacement for gestures on Chrome. I loved how forward thinking it was with its features and skipped Firefox because they blatantly copied Opera's menu button design, but I can't say I'm missing Opera now. The stability of modern browsers is just so much better than Opera was and I was sick of Opera specific problems. I loved the bookmarks tab though. I'm almost at the point where I'm going to try IE again versus Chrome and this article helped me stick around on Chrome a bit longer. Reply
  • furnace51 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Given opera has the ability to 'mask' it's self and pretend to be IE and other browsers, I wonder how many false counts exist.. my guess is Opera is better represented than statistics suggest.

    I have my Opera set to mask as it prevents idiot websites presenting me with inane popups saying my browser is out of date, just because Opera did not present it's self as the latest version of IE, Chrome or Firefox.
  • Morpheusx3 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    For the record, this was addressed in the article. Safari was excluded because of numerous issues.

    Regardless, an OSX battery life test would undoubtedly be interesting to read. I'd be down for that too.
  • Wixman666 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    They can't test safari on OSX since the rest are tested under Windows. They'd be comparing apples and oranges. As far as Opera is concerned, does anyone actually USE opera anymore?? Reply
  • BC2009 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    They could test all the browsers on OS X with the exception of Internet Explorer.

    Both Safari and Internet Explorer are OS-specific. The only cross-platform browsers are Firefox, Chrome and Opera.
  • lightsout565 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I'd also love to read an OSX battery life test. I'd be interested to see how optimized Safari is for power usage compared with Firefox/Chrome/Opera. Reply
  • easp - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Yeah, and given that Mac market share is better among individual consumers who get to choose their computers and the browsers they use, it would be useful to a lot of people. Meanwhile, how many Windows users have zero choice? It is almost cruel to dangle this in front of them :) Reply
  • pius - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    Agree - that would be interesting. I always use chrome on mac os, but if there is a battery price to pay, I might switch. Reply
  • littlebitstrouds - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I love the way people criticize free information. An air of arrogance mixed with contempt. Reply
  • Rexyl - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I love the way people think they are above criticism when publishing/posting information online. An air of holier-than though mixed with self-righteousness. Reply
  • Homeles - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Please explain what straw man argument was used in any part of the chain of posts that you are replying to. My contention is that there was no straw man here and that you're just throwing out the term because you don't like the arguments but don't understand why. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    The type of people littlebitstrouds described exist and have posted comments on this AT article and other AT articles. The type of people Rexyl described do not exist and no such qualities have been exhibited by AT employees. Straw man.

    If they are both describing broad categories of people from any given corner of the Internet, then both of their comments are completely irrelevant to this article and its comments.

    Annnnnnnd I've wasted my time.
  • easp - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Not actually free. We pay with our time/attention, which is then resold to advertisers.

    So, guess what, if you get to express your ill considered opinion, why shouldn't everyone else :)
  • edlee - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I seriously question the idle power numbers, cause I have a e3-1235 (similar to i7-2600) that idles at 21 watts.

    And I have another system that used an i7-3770k, that idles at 35 watts, but has more drives and add in cards.
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Those were just example numbers pulled from here: Reply
  • ernipiggy - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Right. Specially since suspending not visible tabs is a new Safari feature in the upcoming release. Reply
  • jonthanfielding - Saturday, September 06, 2014 - link

    It is rather silly, in my own tests on OS X Chrome uses twice as much power as Safari so if I am out and about I use Safari Reply
  • Schwebbz - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Why no Opera this time? It's more alive than Windows Safari, judging by the rate of updates. Reply
  • Nexos - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    The Opera that is getting updated is the Webkit based one, which would probably perform similarly to chrome, so there is little point in doing a separate test on it. The last bespoke version of opera is 12.17 which is 6 months old now and probably used by a tiny fraction of net users. Reply
  • medi02 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    "Would probably perform" - eh? Why test Safari then? Isn't it WEbkit based? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Even before the official forking (celebrated by Google and Apple by deleting millions of lines of the others code from their repos); Safari and Chrome had many major differences in implementation. Different javascript engines was the biggest but far from the only one; IIRC their rendering code used different sub-pixel smoothing rules too. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    At the moment, Opera still looks and feels much like a reskinned Chrome even though it's a year in now. I was hoping by this point we'd have something that looked and behaved like Opera but using Chrome's better supported rendering engine but it's nowhere near that stage and the updates from the developers are not promising. The features they were boasting about in their latest release are additional themes (which are little more than different backgrounds) and when people complain about the features missing from the previous versions of Opera, they're directed to use extensions instead.

    Obviously other browsers have worked fine with extensions but one of the reasons I liked Opera was because it didn't need extensions, it worked well out of the box with a good range of features. As it stands I don't see the point in using a slightly reskinned Chrome rather than just use Chrome itself and I'm doubtful we'll ever see a proper Opera again. Would love to be proved wrong on the latter though.
  • ct909 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Opera 23 (current) is based on the Chromium 35 rendering engine and the V8 JavaScript engine. It would likely produce different (even if similar) results to Chrome 36 (current). Reply
  • SanX - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Current versions of Opera are based on the concept "Written by retards for retards" Reply
  • sluflyer06 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Like I mentioned earlier, Opera has hardly any users so it really isn't signifigant to include. Opera marketshare is only .87% Reply
  • SanX - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Linux market share was below 1% for almost two decades. Reply
  • fokka - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    i find it slightly worrying that firefox is tied last in this test. ff has been my browser of choice for years and using anything else than my nicely customized setup makes web-browsing less comfortable than what i'm used to. but getting an hour more battery life out of my aging laptop when away from the socket wouldn't be bad either.

    maybe i'll give chrome (or one of its derivatives) another chance and try to set it up to my liking as good as i can. we'll see.
  • CaedenV - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Mozilla has not managed to put out anything good recently. The last few years they have been playing a 'me too' game with Chrome, to the point now where they even look similar. Outside of that FF has gotten slow, fat, and buggy. Unless you have privacy concerns or pet plugins that only work with FF then it is time to move on to Chrome or IE.
    And the issue is not limited to their browser. I mean look at the FF Phone and some of their other recent projects... sad to see a traditionally good company flounder like this.
  • edzieba - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    You could also try something like Palemoon, which is essentially firefox's core but with some of the more dubious UI decisions removed or reversible and a lot of legacy crud cleared out. Reply
  • asmian - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    +1 for Palemoon!

    After reading this post I was curious. I just transferred, migrating my Firefox profile with the tool available to Palemoon with absolutely no issues, and apart from some minor preference tweaks to the toolbars it's a virtually identical browsing experience but I can immediately see and feel the difference in faster page loading. All my extensions and stored passwords work right including FireFTP and site logins. And I'm now running 64-bit, unlike FF. Awesome. ;)

    Since the major principle of Palemoon is to cut unnecessary code from the stock FF source to speed up page rendering, it is exactly the sort of alternative browser that should have been included in this test for comparison, since it is now so divergent from official FireFox. Especially since the prevailing logic seems to be "Chrome wins, but sucks for privacy" and Palemoon, from my reading and so far happy experience, doesn't compromise on either.
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I find your results rather interesting. So I have a question please.
    Which GPU was primarily active during your tests for hardware accelerated browsers (like IE) vs Chrome? IE is significantly more hardware accelerated, and therefore GPU intensive, than any other browser (on Windows). So it would be interesting to see if the dGPU was taxed during the test.
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Sorry, forgot to note one more thing. When hardware accelerated rendering is disabled in IE, I noticed a significant reduction in GPU load % VS enabled. I have the same CPU as the test in this benchmark (Core i7 4702MQ, but with an AMD dGPU), and strangely, even CPU power is reduced when GPU rendering is disabled. This wasn't the case in my previous laptop's case (Core 2 Duo), but it's interesting to note. The better your CPU, the less more inefficient GPU rendering becomes. Reply
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    the more inefficient**
    (please add an edit button for our posts...)
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    All browsers used the integrated (Intel) GPU Reply
  • BillBear - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Since Apple made power efficiency a headline feature of the current version of Safari on OSX Mavericks, I would like to see how that tests out in the real world.

    Run the same test on a Retina Macbook Pro.
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Our test script uses windows API calls to move mouse, click, scroll, type, etc... so it will take some time for us to make an OS X version Reply
  • PhilipJM - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I just ran the powercfg /energy command you suggested and noticed that both steam and spotify set the request period to 10000 in the same way as chrome, (version 37.0.2062.68 beta-m 64-bit) on my machine. I hope you can inform them :) Reply
  • The_Mantis - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    If you uncheck "Enable Hardware Acceleration" (both of them) in Spotify's Preferences, then it will not speed up the timer resolution. Reply
  • lucas1024 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    The Hardware Acceleration setting did not have any effect on the timer, I also checked other potential culprits like the Flash plugin. I didn't find any setting or plugin that correlated with the timer. If it is an extension that's causing this, it is not something obvious. Reply
  • lucas1024 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Never mind, wrong post, and I can't delete it!! Reply
  • Klimax - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    IIRC Steam uses Chromium. That could explain that. Reply
  • Flying Goat - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    I didn't know that, but looking but looking at the command line steam's subprocesses use, you're absolutely correct. Learn something new every day. Reply
  • a1exh - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    This would have made for a more interesting read had it been about Android browsers.

    Although a critical bug in Android Chrome and Android Chrome beta has users leaving in droves!
  • johnny_boy - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I too would have liked to see similar testing done across various oses. Reply
  • johnny_boy - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I would like to see similar testing done on linux and os x. It would make this article massively more interesting. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I suspect there would be major technical challenges in doing so. IIRC the standard browser tests just cycle loading a series of pages; this can be done in browser using a bit of javascript; making it easy to do cross platform. This test included things like opening/closing windows that need to be done outside the browser; and which makes me suspect it was done by recording and playing back user input. That would require a cross platform, OS level, UI testing tool. I'm not aware of anything capable of doing that on the market. Reply
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Exactly Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Thanks for this test!

    I'm not surprised Firefox came in almost last. I like it, but simply having a few tabs open (with adblock and flashblock active) and just leaving the browser minimized consumes a constant 2-3% CPU. That's 16 - 24% of one logical core of an i7 3770K @ 4.1 GHz!

    I also encourage you to pepeat this test with a regular display. Remember that by now there's just a tiny fraction of high-DPI displays out there. The differences between those 2 tests could sheed some light onto the practical cost of running high-DPI displays.
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Good points. If there is time (this type if testing takes days and days) I hope to do a follow up using Opera and comparing Chrome 36 & 37 at 1600x900 Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Honestly, forget opera, nobody cares other than the two whiners who post here.

    But I do agree about running a normal resolution display - it's just not fair to benchmark blurry crap against crisp high res fonts and give a performance or battery life number that favors the blurry crap. That's like comparing fps between a laptop running 768p and 1440p and saying that the 768p laptop gives you better performance.

    Ok, I somewhat apologize to the opera users. But seriously - it's 2014, get a normal browser. And not Safari on windows, obviously.
  • furnace51 - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    <emerges from the shadows> I agree, forget Opera, This is not the browser you are looking for <retreats back into the shadows> Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Yeah I have to say I think we'll be waiting a long time still for those super display sizes to filter down to the 'regular price' brackets.

    I bet this time next year most laptops will still come with 1366x768 screens. Yet my new $200 7" tablet will have a 4K screen on it.
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I will be oh so sad if that is true :-/
    and.... not surprised
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I doubt we'll see them on race to the bottom laptops this side of the 15" 1366/768 panel being discontinued by manufacturers. With demand from tablets/phones pushing high volume production of high DPI panels though; I think the main barrier in the way of them being standard in $1000+ laptops is the number of windows apps that still don't play nicely with highDPI/the roughness of Windows scaling options. Reply
  • zodiacsoulmate - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Chrome always eat up my battery when watching youtube @ 720p/1080p MP4, however IE11 works just great...
    Please test video play back ! and audio playback!
    I was hoping for more testing for this matter, chrome have been quite disappointing these days
  • zodiacsoulmate - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Also where is the CPU load graph? would love to see it ! Reply
  • NatePo717 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Could we see some numbers for Pale Moon? Reply
  • BillBear - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Safari is already scriptable using OSX's built in Applescript scripting system, so you don't have to invent anything new. At worst you'll have to pick up a bit of a new scripting language.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how Apple's claim that they spank the other browsers on energy efficiency pan out..
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    There is also a program called Automator. Reply
  • mabellon - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Could you clarify the following please: "Additionally, the browsers are all run in private browsing mode to prevent local content caching from interfering with reloading our limited set of server-cached sites."

    Don't most browser have one big session for all in-private tabs? So there will be caching across tabs and sites until you close every instance?

    Please consider using a more standard laptop in the future. A quad core 37W CPU seems incredibly unrealistic. Something more along the lines of a 15W/17W CPU would make sense. The power profile of an ultrabook will likely be vastly different to this beast. That would seem to matter a lot more given the trade off in rushing to idle, and the cost of idle wakeups will vary by CPU by some amount. Just my 2c.
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Good question. The automated test does open up several private browsing tabs but it closes them all (and the entire browser) between iterations.

    Intel power gates unused cores so there shouldn't be too much difference between a dual core and a quad core for idle power. I agree it would be interesting to test other hardware as well. Unfortunately these tests already take days, so using an even lower power laptop will make it take a really really long time and would probably just exacerbate the differences we already observed even more.
  • KhalidShaikh - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Great write up. Reply
  • lucas1024 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Bad news - I checked the timers with Firefox on two different machines and on both Firefox is maintaining a 1ms timer. Reply
  • linj - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    I can confirm this. Tested Firefox with a new profile (no extensions), and navigating to most websites (but especially Flash-enabled ones) will ramp up the 1ms timer. Closing down to even a blank page doesn't release it. Reply
  • Stephen Barrett - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Strange. I did not see that in my testing. I wonder what the difference was. Reply
  • asmian - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    Please note - the Pale Moon developer states that it does NOT use 1ms timers, and since this is directly based on FF code (and he does not state that he has changed that part of the code) it is unlikely that FF does either. Maybe there is another app causing this behaviour. Reply
  • lucas1024 - Thursday, August 21, 2014 - link

    And yet in reality it DOES use a 1ms timer, even when all plugins and extensions, as well as hardware acceleration, are disabled. powercfg reports the timer requested by mozjs.dll. Reply
  • rhughesjr - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Often beta software will not have all optimizations enabled in order to more easily debug issues. I wonder if that is the case, and would be very interested in seeing this revisited once Chrome 37 comes out of beta. Reply
  • Freakie - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Would have been kind of interesting to compared 64bit Firefox (Nightly) to 64bit Chrome, just to see which 64bit version is the best for battery. Would be humorous if Firefox was.

    I use 64bit Waterfox myself, which even though it is a build of the latest version of Firefox, just compiled as a 64bit program. It's compiled using specific optimizations that the Firefox team doesn't use, so it wouldn't be fair to use a 64bit off-shoot version of Firefox, unfortunately.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Yes, I was wondering why Chrome was tested for 64-bit but not Firefox. However, one might say that Mozilla has been less supportive of the 64-bit variant than Google has been of its 64-bit Chrome variant. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    I like Pale Moon over Firefox. No UI BS to deal with. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    It would've been interesting to see how OSX+Safari would compare to Windows+Chore on the same MacBook Pro. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Any chance of running these tests for both osx and linux (fedora, preferrably as they tend to be amongst the most vanilla [least amount of changes from upstream] of the major distros)? Linux, at least, also supports various levels of timer coalescence (timer_slack), and attempts to wakeup as little as possible when not under load. I'd imagine osx does the same.
    Also, firefox has beta, aurora, and nightly that are easy to get ( , ,, and chrome has the same.
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Firefox is definitely an underrated browser. It's amazing how it still gets such a bad rap from a few crap versions from years ago. Firefox has been an especially superior browser, in my opinion, since the customizable menu center released earlier this year. Reply
  • xype - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    This is kinda stupid. Compare Firefox, Chrome and Safari on OS X and Firefox, Chrome and IE on Windows, if you want to get a good idea of the differences between browsers. Eventually Chrome and Firefox on Linux, too, if you have too much time.

    As it is, the Safari "part" is meaningless, and without Safari you don’t even have a "Browser Face-Off". And having Firefox and Chrome compared between Windows and OS X (and Linux) would at least allow people to get a good idea of how much of a difference the operating system makes in these tests.

    I expected a better article, but then, this is still better than no article (and no information), so thanks for it anyway.
  • normadize - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    This had the opportunity to be a very valuable test but as it stands, it isn't.

    First, excluding Mac OS X (and Linux) is a big negative - at least it could have had a less misleading title, e.g. add "under Windows" to be fair.

    Secondly, and more importantly, the testing methodology is very vague and doesn't state how often the requests, scrolls etc are made. It also does not say how many tabs were open and what kind of content was browsed (static vs dynamic/animated ratio at least?), which websites?

    The most important aspect is that it seems it does not replay an actual user session of 10+ hours exactly as it happened, with large pauses between clicks and scrolls.

    There is a huge difference between actual idle/low usage and this article's seemingly rushed simulated idle/low usage. An actual idle/low usage spans a lot longer time scale, during which the user is reading (or away) and the browser is taxing the battery due to timers/IRQs of animated GIFs / Javascript / Flash / etc that keeps running in the background and in other tabs. Different browsers behave VERY differently in this scenario. The critical aspect is that this is the state the browser spends most time in.

    As it stands, although I commend the effort, this test is of little use to me, and in my opinion it should not be taken seriously due to the poor methodology and its reporting.

    A true test that lives up to the current (misleading) title would be a replay of an actual real-world browsing session, exactly as the user "played" it.
  • dstarr3 - Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - link

    Surely IE would give you the best battery life, as it would rid you of any desire to use the internet and make you pocket your phone. Reply
  • wantthefun - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    I am on Surface Pro 2 and I find Chrome reduces my battery life more than IE. I have almost quit using Chrome, because of this reason (switched to IE metro). I wonder if the extensions, or running it in a non-simulated environment with all the sync and programs installed makes a difference, else it could be the use of flash... Not sure, but does not agree with my 8 months of experience with this computer, had to make an account to chime in. Thanks for publishing this! Reply
  • hallstein - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Safari for Windows was discontinued several years ago and should definitely not be included in this article.

    I thought this would be super interesting, especially as Apple have made a big fuss about Safari’s energy efficiency, alas it was windows-only. For mac, this could have been a really interesting contribution to the safari-chrome-firefox debate.
  • janawatson - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    I keep seeking for new fighting games. Can anyone provide me some new links? Thank you Reply
  • Heavensrevenge - Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - link

    Then explain this: I set my power plan to "Power Savings and start Chrome AFTER setting to the power savings power plan and here: to see chrome NOT requesting the higher timer WHILE running sunspider twice during the recording period
    AND!thBUCKCT!RxVWNSEbw0b_-tCJCdrc... is the entire energy report that shows all the details of more chrome.exe processes vs just that single screen shot with 1 entry + the timer resolution to show u chrome doesn't ONLY request the high resolution timer no-matter what.
  • djsvetljo - Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - link

    Chrome has huge issues with utilizing graphic card acceleration for videos. It does NOT work on certain pro cards, such as NVIDIA NVS series, as well as certain Intel GPUs. As a result, a video that is a piece of cake for a GPU struggles to play with CPU only resulting in super high CPU usage, which results in high power consumption. I have 3 machines that suffer from the same issue, some don't - it depends on the GPU model. Same machines tetsed with FF or IE and CPU load is times less. Reply
  • darwiniandude - Sunday, August 24, 2014 - link

    Can you test Safari Firefox and Chrome under OS X? And the others under Windows / Bootcamp on the same hardware? Would be good to test and challenge the 'OS X gets better battery life' rumor/myth Reply
  • mtcn77 - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - link

    Could this Micro-trololo article EVER be biased by any outside variable unbeknownst to the almighty editor? Something other than the new kid in town, the Google? No! ABSOLUTELY NOT! Microsoft Windows is the best engineered piece of hardware and this is an issue for Google to fix (only for Windows). Reply
  • John.S - Sunday, August 31, 2014 - link

    This article is a bit miss leading, in future you may want to consider that these browsers all run differently on different OS. Run these tests again on OSX or Linux and you will find different results. I point this out because you put in Safari due to the "OSX / iOS crowd". This is a "MS Windows" , "browser face-off", not an overall "best browser face-off" Reply
  • Aarodynamics - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    Leaving Chrome 39 x64 out of this test doesn't make a ton of sense. Chrome has made massive progress on Windows since from 36x86 to 39x64. Reply
  • marcelgs - Saturday, October 11, 2014 - link

    How on earth do you get 7.5 hrs of battery life from the XPS 15? I get around 5 hours of light use (browsing, word editing) on a fresh install of WIndows. Reply

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