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We all love Chrome. The statistics prove that it has grown to be the most popular browser in the world (roughly 64.8% of all internet visits are on Chrome). But it’s got a dirty secret: it’s devastating to your laptop battery life.

TL;DR; If you’re a MacBook user, you’re losing an average of 1 hour of total battery life by using Chrome. Firefox is a little better, but Safari is the clear winner. You’ll want to use Safari if you want to get the most battery out of your laptop.

The sub-story

Everyone at our office is a MacBook user, and over the past while we noticed one guy consistently getting more battery out of his MacBook – Nick. He’s always been happy with it, while everyone else complained. He swore that everything started getting better after he switched over to Safari from Chrome. Being the geeks we are, it had to be investigated. So we modified one of the testing systems we use to collect data on BatteryOS to instead monitor power consumption on a MacBook, and set to figure out what was happening.

We measured the power consumption of watching videos on YouTube, browsing Reddit, streaming on Netflix vs Putlocker, creeping on Twitter and FaceBook, composing emails on services like Gmail and Hotmail, and searching for stuff on Google, Bing (yup, surprisingly, it’s still used), and DuckDuckGo. We used a factory-restored MacBook Pro Retina 13” to test each website on one internet browser at a time. No programs other than the browser were open.

The results

Averages copy

Averaging data from all websites tested, Safari won first place with 6hours 21min of total usage, Firefox second with 5hours 29min of usage, and Chrome last with 5hours 8min of usage.

Basically, if you simply switch to using Safari instead of Chrome, on average you could get an extra 1 hour of usage from your battery life. It’s actually a pretty good browser, and now has a fair amount of extensions available.

Below is the data we collected for each website and browser – as it turns out, most websites have a browser they work the most efficiently on.

Use Safari instead of Chrome, and get an extra hour of battery life.Click To Tweet

 

Breakdown of data from websites by category

 

Composing and Sending Email2

 

 

 

Music Streaming

 

 

 

Enterainment

 

 

 

General News

 

 

Tech News copy

 

 

YouTube

 

 

SocialMedia

 

 

Search Engines2

Testing philosophy and raw data download

The MacBook was connected to an Agilent N6700 power system using N6781A module. For each website, the procedure was as follows:

  • Operator begins the program under test (i.e. Firefox running CNN.com)
  • The data capture automatically begins on the Power Supply Module (voltage and current is recorded with a step of 1.024ms)
  • After the 1 hour test time, data capture ends
  • Test program integrates Power curve (P=V*I) over time to find energy consumed using Matlab trapz function

Raw data link

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