Chrome 57 Reduces Desktop Power Consumption By Throttling Background Tabs

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.
Chrome has focused on improving the user experience by throttling tab performance for many years. Like many browsers, Chrome has limited timers in the background to only run once per second. Via the new throttling policy, Chrome 57 will delay timers to limit average CPU load to 1% of a core if an application uses too much CPU in background. Tabs playing audio or maintaining real-time connections like WebSockets or WebRTC won't be affected.
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
 

Nozuka

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2012
2,482
3,296
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 :).
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.
 

Eddy Munn

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2008
298
161
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.
 
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runeapple

macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2010
652
96
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?
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.
 
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Kajje

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
721
956
Asia
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.
 

6836838

Suspended
Jul 18, 2011
1,536
1,325
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.
That's pretty standard. Unfortunately even the latest version is still using high performance graphics on my MBP Late-2010.
 

thingstoponder

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
421
398
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.
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,220
215
Iowa, USA
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 :).
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)...
 
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guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,108
977
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).
 

rGiskard

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2012
1,798
956
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.
 

mkeeley

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2007
444
878
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?
Rubbish, no way you're running out of memory with normal use unless something else is using most of it to start with.
 

madrag

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2007
360
72
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?
 

KidAKidB

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2014
285
884
Toronto
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 :).
:rolleyes:
[doublepost=1489596388][/doublepost]
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?
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
 
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