Internet Explorer trumps Chrome, Firefox, Opera in battery test

By on April 6, 2012, 7:30 AM

Internet Explorer isn't the fastest or most featured-packed browser around, but it might be the most power efficient. Hoping to determine which software would give his aging desktop replacement the longest battery life, Ciprian Adrian Rusen put IE9, IE10, Chrome 18, Firefox 11 and Opera 11.62 to the test, and both of Microsoft's offerings had a clear edge on competitors.

All of the browsers were benchmarked with Peacekeeper in their default state on a fresh copy of Windows 7 -- except the IE10 beta, which is only available for Windows 8. The machine in question is a two and a half year old HP Pavilion dv7 2185dx with a 2GHz Core 2 Quad Q9000, a Radeon HD 4650 and 6GB of DDR2 RAM. It was configured to run on a power saver profile.

Many use Chrome for its minimalist design and snappy performance, but it proved to be the worst at conserving battery life. Rusen noted that most of the tests he conducted failed one way or another -- either the browser crashed or Peacekeeper didn't record the results. It also caused the laptop's screen to become active at random intervals, as if the input devices were being used.

Although it was 126% faster than IE10, Chrome 18 only offered 85 minutes of run time. By comparison, IE10 provided 21% more life at 108 minutes, longer than any other browser tested. This could be a testament to the power savings touted by Windows 8. IE9 followed in second place which lasted 104 minutes, while Opera 11.62 ran for 100 minutes and Firefox 11 lasted 92 minutes.

Rusen concluded that users seeking a balance between speed and autonomy should use Opera, which was 78% faster than IE10 while getting only 7% less battery life. We'd like to see Chrome's results without extra power draw from the display waking up, but at least one user validated the results with his own tests, which pegged Chrome three hours and Opera at three and a half.

And before you ask, Ruse noted that there isn't a parallel between performance and longevity: "Peacekeeper runs its tests in a loop until the battery dies. The browsers which lasted longer went through more test loops, not fewer. For example, Chrome went through 17 iterations while Internet Explorer went through 23. The tests do not take less or more depending on the browser."




User Comments: 22

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yorro said:

You'd sacrifice 21% more battery life over 126% speed.

Guest said:

When speed is not critical and needed (~99% of daily visited websites), IE is my choise on my labtop :)

Guest said:

I totally agree, the time IE10 spent processing websites would have used up the time they gained anyways.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

If Chrome 18 is 126% faster, doesn't it mean that it has more than twice the amount of information to process during the same time as IE10 has? This means IE10 lasts longer because more than half of the time of activity in Chrome IE stays idle, because it is so much slower. Which means if IE 10 were to match the speed of Chrome 18, its battery life could be hypothetically eaten up to 108 / 2.26 = 60 hours of life time.

In all, if you are doing the same web browsing in Chrome as in IE, then Chrome will live much longer than IE 10, unless i miss here something...

Arris Arris said:

Good old Opera.

Guest said:

Conclusion, Chrome is damn fast.

baroquer said:

Opera is really amazing.

howzz1854 said:

i guess IE has got to be good at SOMETHING.

Guest said:

I relish the hatred towards ie. I've tried ALL the browsers extensively in a gamut of scenarios and found ie to be superior accross the board despite shortcomings in isolated areas/scenarios.

Opus Opus said:

The last time I used IE was with IE 5.0 (Windows 98 & NT) after that, it was so much targeted by malware that it forced me to switch to Netscape. Since then I have tested Opera, Safari, Netscape, Firefox and Chrome, and in my view the Kings of the browser industry are Opera and Firefox. But King of the Kings title goes to Chrome (undoubtedly the best browser).

Arston said:

@howzz1854 lol, agree

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Smoke and mirrors. IE10 should not be in the mix at all. Comparing one browser that was tested in a completely different (and, as noted, more power efficient) operating system setup to the rest just makes no sense. Honestly, with all of the optimization and efficiency work they've been putting into Windows 8, I would have been absolutely shocked if the native IE10 performed worse than the others - after all, it also has a distinct advantage of the inside scoop on the OS code as it is being created and finalized. So, that just leaves IE9 vs the competition, with IE9 squeaking out better battery life while displaying terrible speed.

I'd be much more interested in seeing a true "apples to apples" comparison, with all of the browsers running in Windows 8. Gotta wonder if IE10 would maintain its power efficiency advantage on an even playing field?

Chazz said:

Vrmithrax said:

Smoke and mirrors. IE10 should not be in the mix at all. Comparing one browser that was tested in a completely different (and, as noted, more power efficient) operating system setup to the rest just makes no sense. Honestly, with all of the optimization and efficiency work they've been putting into Windows 8, I would have been absolutely shocked if the native IE10 performed worse than the others - after all, it also has a distinct advantage of the inside scoop on the OS code as it is being created and finalized. So, that just leaves IE9 vs the competition, with IE9 squeaking out better battery life while displaying terrible speed.

I'd be much more interested in seeing a true "apples to apples" comparison, with all of the browsers running in Windows 8. Gotta wonder if IE10 would maintain its power efficiency advantage on an even playing field?

But you gotta realize IE10 was only 4 minutes better than IE9. That's not a lot and people also need to realize 126% speed increase for using chrome is miliseconds.

The conclusion is and should always be, use the browser that you like.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

VitalyT said:

If Chrome 18 is 126% faster, doesn't it mean that it has more than twice the amount of information to process during the same time as IE10 has? This means IE10 lasts longer because more than half of the time of activity in Chrome IE stays idle, because it is so much slower. Which means if IE 10 were to match the speed of Chrome 18, its battery life could be hypothetically eaten up to 108 / 2.26 = 60 hours of life time.

In all, if you are doing the same web browsing in Chrome as in IE, then Chrome will live much longer than IE 10, unless i miss here something...

From the post:

And before you ask, Ruse noted that there isn't a parallel between performance and longevity: "Peacekeeper runs its tests in a loop until the battery dies. The browsers which lasted longer went through more test loops, not fewer. For example, Chrome went through 17 iterations while Internet Explorer went through 23. The tests do not take less or more depending on the browser."

Guest said:

In my testing IE used zero battery. Guess why?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Guest said:

In my testing IE used zero battery. Guess why?

U were gazing at a static picture?

Guest said:

I love Internet Explorer 9. Gets the job done and I have no issues with malware as I use Microsoft Securit Essentials and do not pirate. Other than that if you name it I can do it with Internet Explorer 9 without any issues.

EEatGDL said:

So sad about Firefox, almost as inefficient as IE and that's saying much. Maybe Firefox will have for sure a destiny like Netscape [again overwelmed by the current biggest company -back then it was? Microsoft].

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

EEatGDL said:

So sad about Firefox, almost as inefficient as IE and that's saying much.

Is this article talking about IE's inefficiency or efficiency?

Sunny87 said:

I gave up with Opera when they realised 11, I had massive issues with youtube videos not streaming smoothly, went back to standard safari (Mac pro user) never had the problem again.

Guest said:

Well, having less features DOES consume less battery, right? :-D

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, having less features DOES consume less battery, right? :-D
No, one feature if programed to constantly run can use more power than 100 other features. The number of features has nothing to do with power consumption. It's the way they are programmed and when they are called to run that use power.

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