Chrome 57 Reduces Desktop Power Consumption By Throttling Background Tabs

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Version 57 of the desktop Chrome web browser includes a new CPU throttling feature that Google says will lead to 25 percent fewer busy background tabs and help reduce overall power consumption.

    Charges that Chrome is a battery hog have long dogged Google's browser, leading the company to make efficient power usage a key pillar in its long-term development strategy for the software. Throttling background tabs by limiting Javascript timers is the latest attempt by Google to improve the browser's reputation.


    Javascript timers are often used by news sites and social media networks to update web page content in tabs, which uses up valuable CPU cycles. From version 57 of the browser, Chrome will delay timers in individual background tabs if their power usage oversteps the mark. Tabs that play audio or use real-time connections won't be affected, however.
    According to Google, the new throttling mechanism leads to fewer busy background tabs, which typically consume a third of Chrome's power usage on desktop computers. In the long term, Google aims to fully suspend timers in background tabs and instead rely on new APIs to do the work instead.

    Chrome 57 is available to download for Mac users now. Existing users can update by selecting Chrome -> Preferences via the menu bar and clicking the About section. Users downloading Chrome for the first time will automatically receive the updated version from the Chrome download page. An update for the iOS browser app has also been released with a new Read Later option.

    Article Link: Chrome 57 Reduces Desktop Power Consumption By Throttling Background Tabs
  2. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    Sounds that they only apply a bandage without actually fixing the problem of high power consumption. Perhaps they should remove all the spy-ware from the browser :).
  3. Christoffee macrumors regular


    Jul 26, 2012
    What's your browser league table, and why?

    On Mac and iOS safari gives me no problems so I use them. At work on Windows I use Chrome. What am I missing out on?
  4. Nozuka macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2012
    they have to optimize in every corner (which they seem to be doing, looking back at the last few updates). there is not "one single power consumer" they can get rid of.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    Personally it's Safari on iOS/macOS and Firefox on Windows.

    Chrome on either if I need to use a Flash website.
  6. Eddy Munn macrumors 6502

    Eddy Munn

    Dec 27, 2008
    As a web developer, I've always preferred the developer tools for Chrome. As a result, it has essentially become my main browser on Mac OS, though I still only use Safari on iOS.
  7. 69Mustang macrumors 601


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Chrome across the board. It travels nicely no matter the device or ecosystem. Makes my life easier.
  8. runeapple macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2010
    On Mac and iOS I use Roccat as it's generally fast and has many cool features. Thankfully I don't use Windows, but in the very rare occasion I do, I use Chrome.

    All browsers seem to use a decent amount of memory and CPU - Chrome and Firefox being the worse culprits, will be interesting to see what Chrome 57 is like, will give Chrome another go and see.
  9. MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Nov 30, 2012
    So does this mean less collecting of your data?
  10. Kajje macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2012
    I'd love to Chrome and if it weren't for the battery issues I'd use it as my main browser.
    Having Google actively addressing this issue since 56 eventually they'll get it right.
    Trying out now.
  11. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2010
    Pittsburgh PA
    So chrome is a battery and resource hog. Gmail is a battery hog. Android is a battery hog.

    I'm noticing a trend here. Does Google not know how to optimize code?
  12. darcyf macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    What about throttling its memory hogging issues. I have to use chrome at work and with 16GB of ram I still get out of memory warnings on my Mac. There are dozens of "helpers" running in memory at 100-600MB a piece. How is that ok?
  13. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604


    Oct 13, 2008
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    To solve these long term issues, Google has to scrap the current code and start over.
  14. dmylrea macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2005
    Maybe if they re-compiled it into 16-bit code, it would only use 1/4th of the power? ;)
  15. 6836838 Suspended

    Jul 18, 2011
    That's pretty standard. Unfortunately even the latest version is still using high performance graphics on my MBP Late-2010.
  16. adamjackson macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2008

    I gave up on Chrome a long time ago. It's really fast but my MBP battery would crap the bed with it open.
  17. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
  18. thingstoponder macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2014
    Chrome is a disaster on Mac. So clunky and I get random hangups every time I do a keyboard shortcut. Chrome is great on ChromeOS, I just don't know why they can't make it decent on Mac.
  19. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    You're kidding, right? The problem many people see with power-hungry background tabs is the fault of the pages, not the browser. There are a lot of JavaScript-heavy web pages (and webapps) that still consume resources when in the background--although in defense of these types of pages, it's often not the actual site itself but rather ad/content network they decide to use/include. The browser is just trying to not waste power doing things you probably don't care about.

    This behavior also isn't entirely new. They had previously been limiting background JS timers to a maximum of one per second; now they're limiting total background runtime to 0.01 seconds per second (or 0.01 seconds per CPU core, it sounds like). This should definitely be enough for most legitimate uses of background Javascript, like Gmail changing the window title when you review a new unread message, and their exclusion of tabs playing live audio and whatnot should take care of cases where you really do care about background tabs, like YouTube or Pandora.

    Can't wait to see how ad networks try to get around this, like playing a zero-volume sound to trick Chrome into thinking it shouldn't be throttled (hope I didn't just give someone any ideas)...
  20. guzhogi macrumors 68020


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    I find Chrome tends to be a memory hog. Where I work, a lot of people get kicked off AirPlay (if they could get on it in the first place) due to too many Chrome tabs open. Really frustrating considering AirPlay is very important where I work (school district).
  21. rGiskard macrumors 68000


    Aug 9, 2012
    Ok, now fix sync between desktop and mobile Chrome so I don't have to reboot my tablet and relaunch Mac Chrome and wait five minutes and finally drill through a few menus to access tabs from other device.

    Then fix color gamut management so Chrome works with wide color gamut monitors.

    Until those fixes Chrome is a toy browser.

    Safari needs better site compatability but the sync between iOS and macOS Safari is masterful.
  22. mkeeley macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    Rubbish, no way you're running out of memory with normal use unless something else is using most of it to start with.
  23. madrag macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2007
    For me Firefox is even more RAM intensive than Chrome or Safari, I cannot leave it open (even with an empty page!), otherwise it sucks a lot of RAM.

    I try to manage the tabs in Chrome so that it doesn't use too much RAM, but even Safari sucks a lot of RAM if I have more than 5 tabs (depending on the content).

    So there you go, all browsers are RAM intensive.

    Does anyone have the same RAM issues with Firefox?
  24. GucciPiggy macrumors regular


    Oct 1, 2014
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2017 ---
    This is either a lie or you need to reinstall Chrome. I run Chrome just fine on a Macbook Pro with only 8gb RAM and my wife runs Chrome just fine on her Macbook Air with 4gb RAM
  25. bobdobalina, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017

Share This Page