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Google is making a concerted effort to stop Chrome from being such a drain on your system resources. And it’s starting by throttling tabs running in the background. Google’s ultimate aim is to suspend background tabs completely, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

It’s been known for some time that Google Chrome can put incredible strain on system resources, burning through your battery quicker than it should. It’s why some people have switched to using newer browsers These 5 New Browsers Show You the Future of Web Surfing These 5 New Browsers Show You the Future of Web Surfing What does the future of web browsing look like? Let's take a peek with some of the most advanced and innovative browsers you can start using from today. Read More instead. However, the latest version of Chrome alleviates this particular issue.

Throttling Background Tabs

With the launch of Chrome 57 this week, Google’s web browser will treat background tabs differently. Google claims background tabs “consume a third of Chrome’s power usage on desktop,” which means throttling them to reduce their CPU load is a significant step.

The throttling of background tabs means that once you’ve installed Chrome 57 you should notice Google’s web browser putting less strain on your CPU. By how much? As Chrome 57 will “delay timers to limit average CPU load to 1% of a core,” the results should be noticeable.

Google is throttling background tabs by “limiting the timer fire rate for background tabs using excessive power”. Thankfully, Google is exempting tabs which are playing audio in the background, and tabs which are maintaining real-time connections like WebSockets or WebRTC.

Stopping Chrome From Sucking

Chrome is now the most popular web browser in the world, with a 58 percent share of the market. Google will desperately want to hold onto that lead over Firefox and Microsoft Edge The Firefox-Lover's Guide to the Microsoft Edge Browser The Firefox-Lover's Guide to the Microsoft Edge Browser Putting prejudice aside, is Edge any good? I decided to pit it against my personal favorite web browser, Firefox, to see how it compares. Here's what I found. Read More . Which is why it’s working so hard to stop Chrome from being such a resource hog.

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This is just the beginning too, as Google eventually hopes to completely suspend tabs running in the background. First in 2018 with an opt-out available, and then in 2020 with the opt-out removed altogether. And on that day your battery will likely let out a huge sigh of relief.

Do you currently use Google Chrome? What keeps you using Chrome over the other web browsers available? Have you noticed Chrome draining your system resources? What do you think of Chrome now throttling background tabs? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Frankieleon via Flickr

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  1. Ben79xp
    March 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    No mention of the impact of Chrome on Mac...