New Chrome 57 Reduces Power Consumption for Background Tabs

With the release of Chrome 57, Google’s own web browser has gotten a slew of new features such as support for CSS Grid Layout and the addition of the new "Media Session API". However, perhaps the most useful addition that comes with Chrome 57 has to be its power management system.

Beneath the hood of Chrome 57, Google has improved upon the browser’s ability to throttle individual background tab performance. Previously, Chrome limited background timers to only run once every second.

With the new throttling system in place, Chrome 57 will now delay timers to "limit average CPU load to 1% of a core" in the event that an application uses too much CPU in the background.

google task manager

There are exceptions to the tab throttling mechanics of course. This system would not apply to background tabs that are playing audio or maintaining real-time connections like "WebSocket" or "WebRTC".

According to Google, this new throttling mechanic has lead to 25% fewer busy background tabs. This allows Chrome 57 to be more power efficient, which directly translates to a longer battery life for laptops that utilise Chrome as their main browser.