Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Holy battery eater!

I've been using Firefox for quite some time as my browser of choice.  It all started with Mozilla being the only decent browser for Linux, but I soon found that even on Windows machines I preferred the speed and features of Firefox over Internet Explorer.  So I've always just installed it by default on any machine I've had.

Recently, however, I've noticed it seemed to take a lot more CPU 
time on my Mac than perhaps it should.  While I had a few plugins on Firefox, it was nothing significant.  So I decided to switch back to Safari (the default Mac browser) and see what happened to my battery life.  I was getting just over two hours when disconnected from power while m
ostly surfing the web via Firefox.  With Safari I'm seeing around 6-8% CPU usage typically and am over three hours of battery life!  I guess it pays to try different things.  Hopefully Google gets Chromium released for the Mac soon so I can try that.


blizzard said...

Do you have specific tabs that you leave open all the time? I've found that certain sites are worse than others. For example bit.ly just sucks down CPU. Not sure why.

We've also talked about having session-save/restore for specific tabs to help with some of those problems.

Donnie Barnes said...

Yeah, but the problem seems to be the CPU use grows and memory footprint just keeps growing over time. Leaving wral.com and my.yahoo.com open in tabs will definitely accelerate this process.

But I should have updated this as I posted before testing Safari over a long period of time. It's doing exactly the same thing. Seems to start out a good bit more svelt, but it still grows inexplicably and must be restarted.

blizzard said...

Yeah, it's probably just leaks, I/O and history building up over time. When I get on a plane I usually shut firefox down and use the session restore stuff if I need something in one of the tabs. It eats CPU. But a lot of that might just be the web.

Donnie Barnes said...

So is your desktop a Mac, too, or are you just talking Firefox generalities? I'm guessing the former, but it could be the latter since Firefox doesn't seem to have changed much in the leak regard since I used it on Linux a year or year and a half ago (and I thought the 2.x to 3.x upgrade might fix some of the leakage, but doesn't appear to).

blizzard said...

Main traveling machine is a mac, yeah.