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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Browsers suck - How Websites Steal Your Machine's Resources

    Gabe Knuth
    05 Jun 2017

    I had the opportunity to attend E2EVC after Citrix Synergy a few weeks ago, and there are a few takeaways from the show that I wanted to share with everyone. If you're not familiar with E2EVC, it's a conference that has been around for many years, run by a guy named Alex Cooper. It started in Europe as PubForum, which was just a bunch of people that got together at the pub to talk about desktop virtualization. As people started attending, Alex decided to rename the show to E2EVC (Experts to Experts Virtualization Conference) so that it didn't sound like a conference about drinking. (Though…you know…what conference isn't about drinking at least a little?).

    My first experience came in Lisbon in 2007, and the conference hasn't changed much since. In a charming way, the (usually) single-room conference never completely adheres to the agenda. Certain sessions rile up the crowd more than others, so more time is spent on those topics than was originally allotted. After a week of the highly polished dog-and-pony show that is Synergy (or any other corporate event), E2EVC is kind of refreshing.


    Browser Performance

    Helge Klein presented a session called How Websites Steal Your Machine's Resources – Browser Performance Analyzed in which he detailed individual browser performance comparisons in given scenarios like video playback.

    Those tests revealed that Firefox uses the most CPU, Edge uses the most RAM (followed closely by Chrome and Firefox), Chrome uses the most disk, and Firefox uses the most GPU. The clear winner in every category was good old Internet Explorer, which is surprising only because of how much attention Chrome gets these days.

    Helge also tested different video sites and found that, to no surprise, DailyMotion was the worst performing video site in almost all categories, while YouTube and Vimeo performed the best. Consider how many listicles and random websites feature content from DailyMotion, and you can imagine the aggregate impact of that on your environment.

    Finally, Helge detailed the effects of ad blockers in Chrome. He compared AdBlock Plus and uBlock against stock Chrome and noted that AdBlock Plus does nothing to decrease CPU utilization while actually increasing RAM. uBlock reduced both CPU and RAM by around 25%, while also signifcantly reducing the number of connections per browser tab.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Comparison: CPU & GPU usage of 4 browsers running animations

    Helge Klein
    June 27, 2016

    How do popular browsers differ in compute footprint when running animations? In this article I am comparing the CPU as well as the GPU utilization of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. To make things more interesting I tested GPU performance on Nvdia and Intel.

    The Test Scenario

    All those four browsers did was render an animation involving fading images on

    Test Environment

    All four browsers were running simultaneously on a Lenovo W540 equipped with Intel HD Graphics 4600 and Nvidia Quadro K1100M. Nvidias Optimus technology allows the user to control which applications have access to the Nvidia GPU. All other applications, including Desktop Window Manager and other OS components get the Intel GPU.

    Browser versions used (latest at the time of writing):

    • Chrome 51.0.2704.103
    • Edge 25.10586.0.0
    • Firefox 47.0
    • Internet Explorer 11.420.10586.0

    Measuring CPU and GPU Usage

    All measurements were taken with our user experience and application performance monitoring product uberAgent. uberAgent determines GPU utilization per process, which is perfect for this kind of analysis. All I had to do was have the four browsers concurrently run identical workloads and look at uberAgent’s dashboards afterwards.



    The following table shows the CPU and GPU compute utilization per browser while each browser was configured with the Nvidia GPU.

    Browser CPU (avg. %) GPU compute (avg. %)
    Chrome 1.1 6.2
    Edge 0.5 22.1
    Firefox 1.0 7.7
    Internet Explorer 0.8 23.0


    The following table shows the CPU and GPU compute utilization per browser while each browser was configured with the Intel GPU.

    Browser CPU (avg. %) GPU compute (avg. %)
    Chrome 1.0 4.6
    Edge 0.5 10.7
    Firefox 1.0 26.7
    Internet Explorer 0.9 10.1

    Intel vs. Nvidia

    The following table shows the combined CPU / GPU compute utilization of all four browsers.

    GPU CPU – all 4 browsers (avg. %) GPU compute – all 4 browsers (avg. %)
    Nvidia 3.3 59.0
    Intel 3.4 52.1


    There is no clear winner, rather we can observe different strategies being used by the four browsers’ developers. Edge offloads the largest part of the workload to the GPU, but that comes at the prices of high GPU utilization. Chrome, on the other hand, requires about twice the CPU resources, but in return uses GPU resources economically.

    Whether it is better to use CPU or GPU resources first depends very much on the situation at hand. With laptops a deciding factor would be overall energy consumption (which I did not look at in this article).

    CPU utilization is not affected by switching the Nvidia for the Intel GPU. Interestingly, the GPU utilization per browser changes significantly. Even though the Nvidia GPU nominally is much more powerful Edge and Internet Explorer need more than twice the GPU resources compared to the Intel GPU. With Firefox it is the other way round. Apparently the efficiency of the browser vendors’ GPU implementations depend more on the driver and the type of optimization than on raw hardware power.

    Please bear in mind that these results are valid only for this one test case. With a different workload the numbers might be very different.

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