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Can You Guess the App That’s Killing Your Laptop’s Battery?

by Brandon Russell | July 17, 2014July 17, 2014 11:00 am PST


Google has acknowledged a bug in Chrome for Windows that has been significantly affecting battery life on laptops. The issue was brought to light by Forbes earlier this week, and found that Chrome uses more power than any other browser available; the problem, according to Forbes’s Ian Morris, centers on the “system clock tick rate,” which determines how often an OS like Windows reacts to events that need attention.

Chrome apparently adjusts this interval rate to 1.000ms, waking the processor about 1,000 times per second; the default should be 15.625ms, which is about 64 times per second. The higher tick rate could be increasing power consumption by up to 25-percent, Microsoft said, and could actually be bogging down your entire Windows system.

With the higher tick rate, Chrome for Windows doesn’t allow the system’s processor to run in an idle state, so if your Windows laptop is just sitting there not connected to a power source, it’s draining much quicker than if another browser was being used. Internet Explorer, meanwhile, only raises the tick rate when processor-intensive tasks are taking place.

The Chrome bug has allegedly been around since as far back as 2010, so it’s not like Google hasn’t had a chance to fix it. But the search giant has only just acknowledged user complaints, and is promising to rectify the situation. If your Windows laptop isn’t getting the battery life promised by the manufacturer, consider switching to a different browser.

In a quote to PC World, Google said the Chrome team is working to fix the bug, and has been assigned internally as priority.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...