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Google Chrome is still an annoying battery drainer on Apple’s new MacBook

Google Chrome is still an annoying battery drainer on Apple’s new MacBook

by AshwinApril 13, 2015

Google Chrome may be the most widely used browser in the World.


But that doesn’t make it flawless.

Is there any software which is flawless? Of course, there isn’t.

Okay, so just how bad is Google Chrome on the new Retina MacBook? Well, according to some tests done by The Verge, it is absolutely terrible.

Want to improve your MacBook’s battery life?

The solution is incredibly obvious. Avoid Chrome, seriously. Use Apple Safari instead. The test results from The Verge also says the same thing. Their MacBook made it through 13 hours of usage with Safari, while Chrome could only manage 9 hours and 45 minutes. So, the fact that the machine is giving up three hours below Safari’s benchmarked time, proves that something is amiss here.

Here is how their test scenarios looks like.

First scenario: Browsing until the battery is drained.

They set the brightness of the machine’s screen to 65 percent, and used it to browse several websites. This is done, until the laptop’s battery runs out of juice.

Second scenario: SunSpider Benchmark Test.

Both Safari and Chrome underwent the popular SunSpider benchmark test, to test the speed of the browser. Chrome scored a time 203 ms, while Safari scored 144ms, about 30% better than it’s rival. Further tests using YouTube were conducted. And if you think YouTube is Google’s own service, there is no chance Chrome would have issues on its own playground, allow me to hold a sign which reads “Ha! You’re wrong.”

YouTube’s 40K videos which run at 60 fps, were not playable on the MacBook, using Google Chrome. Apple Safari on the other hand had no hiccups in performing the task.

It is easy to point the finger of blame at Google for not optimizing the Mac version of Chrome. But we have to consider an important factor here. Yes, I’m talking about Apple, and their home built browser, Safari. The Cupertino company prefers that its own browser is used on its devices, so obviously Safari is going to be optimized better than Chrome can ever be. Still that’s no excuse for Chrome’s terrible performance, given the huge difference in the time the laptop stayed alive when Safari was used in the test.

Google has to optimize Chrome for Mac, not out of fear that its users will switch over to Safari, but because a lot of people depend on using Google’s services. Safari isn’t the best browser either. So why can’t users have the best of both worlds?

Many of my friends use Chrome, and the one complaint I often hear from them is that it uses tons of resources. Even in Windows, things aren’t better. If you have just one tab open, you will still see several instances of Chrome running in the Task Manager.