After widely rolling out an Energy Saver mode, Google has made four optimizations to Chrome for Mac that allows the browser to match the battery life you get when using Safari.

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Google conducted testing on a MacBook Pro (13”, M2, 2022 with 8 GB RAM running macOS Ventura 13.2.1) with Chrome 110.0.5481.100 in February of 2023. It showed that you can “browse for 17 hours or watch YouTube for 18 hours.”

For comparison, Apple touts up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing, and up to 20 hours Apple TV app movie playback.

Testing conducted by Apple in May 2022 using preproduction 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M2, 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 8 clicks from bottom. The Apple TV app movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 8 clicks from bottom. Battery life varies by use and configuration.


Meanwhile, Google uses this open-source benchmarking suite to run tests, and says that users will also “see performance gains on older models.” Four changes from waking the CPU less often to tuning memory compression are specifically credited:

  • Eliminating unnecessary redraws: “We navigated on real-world sites with a bot and identified Document Object Model (DOM) change patterns that don’t affect pixels on the screen. We modified Chrome to detect those early and bypass the unnecessary style, layout, paint, raster and gpu steps. We implemented similar optimizations for changes to the Chrome UI.”
  • Fine tuning iframes: “…we fine-tuned the garbage collection and memory compression heuristics for recently created iframes. This results in less energy consumed to reduce short-term memory usage (without impact on long-term memory usage).”
  • Tweaking timers: “…Javascript timers still drive a large proportion of a Web page’s power consumption. As a result, we tweaked the way they fire in Chrome to let the CPU wake up less often. Similarly, we identified opportunities to cancel internal timers when they’re no longer needed, reducing the number of times that the CPU is woken up.”
  • Streamlining data structures: “We identified data structures in which there were frequent accesses with the same key and optimized their access pattern.”

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