back to article Opera claims 50 per cent power savings with browser update

Browser minnow Opera may have less than two per cent of the market, but thinks the 50 per cent boost to battery life it's baked into a new browser will help it to do better. "Modern processors do an amazing job in saving power by taking tiny naps multiple times per second, and what our development team focused on was writing …

  1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

    I've always liked Opera, well the non-WebKit version. Good enough reason to look again. And yes, Chrome is a 800# hog.

    1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Was just wondering why the 'net seemed so SLOW today, and found that Firefox was using 1.5 gigs of RAM and 100% of one CPU core. (of 4 and 2 respectively)

      Even allowing for a couple dozen tabs open, that seems ridiculous.

      (Changed to Firefox last year because Chrome had become even worse!)

      1. Ole Juul Silver badge

        "Was just wondering why the 'net seemed so SLOW today, and found that Firefox was using 1.5 gigs of RAM and 100% of one CPU core. (of 4 and 2 respectively) Even allowing for a couple dozen tabs open, that seems ridiculous."

        Without NoScript I still only had about 25% CPU usage on FF, so you probably have some other condition. Perhaps a rogue web page with crazy coding. When I started using NoScript it seemed to cure the problem. With roughly 200 tabs, I'm only at around 4-6% CPU and 3GB ram now. I do think that FF wasn't actually designed to scale though. The comment below here by @-tim seems to suggest the solution, and that is to not have Javascript and the like be active on non-active tabs and windows.

        1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

          I have to askm. W T F are you needing 200 tabs for.

          Most i ever have open is MAYBE 25 (across 3 browser windows)

          I think much more than that and my Firefox would explode.

          I haven't tried on my new lenovo P50 laptop but on my nearly 6 year old Toshiba (i7 dual core with HT). I was forced to restart firefox after maybe 1.5gb of usage. It would just slow to a crawl (64 bit of course). I do have a very old user profile (about 10 years worth of data)

          So im sure that is part of it. I don't want to lose the history or cookie access lists (12k+ sites). I know firefox retired the cookie feature i use so not sure what I will do when i get around to upgrading

          Even with gigs of free memory. Oh and this is on Linux mint. Maybe it works much better on mac or windows. I have a windows VM but web browsing is generally limited to work related things on it.

          I don't use chrome. But if firefox continues to go full retard I may as well switch(to chromium ) because they will be chrome.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            I think much more than that and my Firefox would explode.

            It probably wouldn't but it's pretty inefficient. Firstly, cognitively you can't keep 200 items in the stack. I think the magic number is 10 to 13. (I'm with you on the total number of tabs I have open across browsers) Secondly, it's probably quicker to use bookmarks to load the pages than switch between tabs – many of which may be swapped to disk. Still, it seems a lot of people like to work like this.

            That said, I have seen Firefox get into trouble when using it with Selenium for crawling. I have to spawn a new instance every 100 sites or so.

            1. Ole Juul Silver badge

              Different ways of working for sure. I run the tabs down the side and wide enough to read them. That gives space for 36 fully readable tabs on my screen. Second, put thumb and forefinger on Alt and Tab so as to cycle through stacked windows. (only works for right handed mouse users) Chose a window for a subject or theme. No need for a lot of clicking on bookmarks which I find bothersome. Anyway, my opinion is that a browser should scale to any number of tabs or windows across as many desktops as I chose. My choice of working style shouldn't be dictated by the program. Ya, I'm dreaming. But really, it's time that developers caught up with the capabilities of the hardware.

              (ps: I'm not the one that downvoted you guys.)

            2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

              "Firstly, cognitively you can't keep 200 items in the stack"

              (TL;DR at the end)

              I'm guilty of keeping hundreds of pages open at a time. Right now I have 4 windows with 214, 180, 158 and 102 tabs. In my defence, I'll say first that it's not a stack. It's more like a serialised/flattened tree (or actually, a forest). When I middle-click a link, the new tab opens next to the referring page so the flattened tree structure is maintained no matter how many pages I open.

              Most of the pages that I have open relate to some particular search topic that I've been interested in following up on. The easiest way to do that is to speculatively click on a bunch of promising-looking results from a search engine, scan some pages and then either refine the search or drill deeper within existing search results or the sites that I've already opened.

              I don't think that using bookmarks is a very good way for dealing with this kind of ephemeral collection of pages, although if the browser had a feature to bookmark (or pop out into a separate windows) a range of tabs, I would definitely use that. Instead, If I want to jump back into a particular search tree, I just go to the address bar and type some relevant keyword and use the "switch to tab" feature to find where I was when I went off to do something else. This is much easier and less work than using bookmarks or trawling through the history (which is basically unusable in Firefox) to try to recover the state of my search trees.

              Every so often I do a sweep of open pages, starting from the most recent (rightmost) tabs. It's usually easy to spot a range of tabs and delete them all (individually; again, a "delete range" function would be brilliant) without needing to scan the contents. If I remember that there was something in that tree that I might want to come back to again, I'll find the best links and note them in some way (in a bookmark folder or in a wiki that I use for note-taking) and then close all the tabs. If I know that I haven't finished some search, I'll skip that range and deal with it in a second sweep.

              So anyway, the TL;DR: if you have enough RAM to be able to keep loads of tabs open, it makes for a very easy and lazy way of keeping on top of tons of disparate islands or pockets of information that you're interested in. You probably want to scale back on doing this sort of thing on a work machine (find some other way of reminding yourself of things to check out later) but it's nice in the comfort of your own home.

              1. mdava

                Re: "Firstly, cognitively you can't keep 200 items in the stack"


                I have often wondered why people want to keep hundred of tabs open in their browsers and yours is the first explanation for keeping 200+ tabs open that actually makes any sense at all to me (even if I probably won't take to doing it myself).


  2. -tim
    Thumb Up

    Its a start

    How about a few more options such as no javascript in non-active windows or tabs or no animation in gifs at all? I don't need the browser burning up cycles with tracking software as the mouse quickly goes over an background window.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Its a start

      Gif "animation" doesn't use much power and already doesn't affect non-visible windows.

      Read the article (and some of the older ones) for more information on what Opera found to be chewing cycles.

  3. redpawn Silver badge

    Opera puts me to sleep too

    I save on power by browsing 50% less.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Opera puts me to sleep too

      "I save on power by browsing 50% less."

      You could also just close one eye.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Opera puts me to sleep too

        If you blink really quickly, you'll save power and your browsing experience wouldn't lose a dimension.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm getting old..

    .. I totally forgot why I stopped using Opera and was looking at Vivaldi instead.

    Oh well. Let's grab it again and see what it does, but FF + NoScript + uBlock Origin + Ghostery seem to be doing most of the good work already.

  5. Ru'

    200 Tabs

    There are help groups for these sorts of pron habits...

  6. Draco

    Of course it is (humanly) possible to keep track of 200+ tabs...

    Like Frumious, I easily keep 200+ tabs open. His explanation is brilliant of what is going on in my mind (and my browsing habits) and he has some wonderful browser suggestions.

    Those tabs can usually be broken down into clumps of 15-20 tabs on a particular topic, this means that 10 to 15 different (or possibly related topics) going at the same time. It is not hard to remember those topics, nor is it hard to remember the fanout under a particular topic. Though, I will grant that remembering all of them at simultaneously would be a stretch for me.

    If I could propose another browser optimizations: we should be able to group a collection of tabs into a "tab group" and clicking on the tab group would expand the 15 or so tabs I have open under it. This would make the number of visible tabs much more manageable.

    As with Frumious, I find bookmarks not really usable. Sometimes I use them, but mostly they are a pain.

  7. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Hey... uhm...

    They also claim to be able to speed up this page: (No images, no Javascript, only optional CSS)

    by 11%

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