AnandTech just published an interesting set of test results that shows the browser you pick can have a significant effect on your portable computer's battery life. Author Jarred Walton tested 5 major browsers on Windows:
- Firefox 3.5.2 (with and without AdBlock)
- Chrome 2
- Opera (versions 9.64 and 10.0b3)
- Safari 4
IE8 provided the best battery life overall on the two Intel and AMD laptops tested, and second best (behind Chrome 2) in the netbook test. But the real surprise was how badly Safari 4 performed. On the AMD notebook, using IE8 increased overall battery life by a whopping 33%. Jarred wrote:
"Outside of Safari 4, which was clearly the worst browser choice for battery life under Windows, the major browsers offer similar battery life."
Poor Safari performance is being blamed on either a bad implementation of Adobe Flash, or inefficiencies in the code that does HTML parsing and rendering. Safari developers have not yet responded to the findings.