Internet Explorer 9 emerges the winner in the Browser Power Consumption Test

Microsoft, along with the platform engineering teams at Intel Corporation, have conducted a study on the power consumptions of each Browser and has posted its finding on its blog. Internet Explorer 9 emerges a clear winner!

How a browser uses the underlying PC hardware has a significant impact on power consumption. The components used in modern PC’s are power conscious and have the ability to conserve power through techniques such as putting idle hardware to sleep and coalescing computation. Browsers need to take these behaviors into consideration to efficiently use power.

The more efficiently a browser uses power the longer the battery will last in a mobile device, the lower the electricity costs, and the smaller the environment impact. While power might seem like a minor concern, with nearly two billion people now using the Internet the worldwide implications of browser power consumption are significant.

Here are a few pictures of the machines Microsoft used to measure power:

To ensure Internet Explorer 9 is achieving our goals, we measure power consumption across six scenarios. These scenarios cover both todays HTML4 based Web and the HTML5 based Web applications of tomorrow. We allowed each scenario to run for 7 minutes and look at the average power consumption over that duration. This allows us to see multiple power cycles and ensure statistically accurate results.

The scenarios Microsoft looked at were:

  • Windows 7 without any browsers running (provides baseline).
  • Browsers navigated to about:blank (power consumption of the browser UI).
  • Loading one of the world’s most popular news Web sites (common HTML4 scenario).
  • Running the HTML5 Galactic experience (representative of graphical HTML5 scenario).
  • Fish swimming around the FishIE Tank (what test is complete without FishIE).

Results of Power Consumption.

For many customers, battery life is the most important gauge of power consumption. A typical laptop uses a 56 Watt hour battery, which means the laptop can consume 56 Watts worth of energy for one hour before running out. The fewer Watts the browser consumes the longer the laptop battery will last. Where’s how the battery life works out across these scenarios for a standard 56 Watt laptop.

Microsoft used an equal weighting for each scenario, meaning each would be run the same about of time. So the power consumption and battery life of a 56Wh battery is as follows:

For a full read, visit the IE Blog.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. bthegeek

    Battery life is crucial for customers who use laptops, otherwise there are other benchmarks as well, while comparing different browsers.

  2. Mike G

    The news site is probably far more representative of typical Web browsing for most users. I believe giving equal weighting to HTML5 heavy Galactic and FishIE skews this test and is the only thing keeping IE9 from coming in dead last.

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