Browser efficiency comparison - Webdriver

Windows 10 Creator's Update

Methodology summary

The Microsoft Edge team measured the average power consumption of the CPU, GPU, and Wifi antenna while Microsoft Edge, Chrome, and Firefox ran a representative set of user activities in each browser, automated through WebDriver.

These tests were done on four Surface Books running the Windows 10 Creator's Update (build 15063) and connected to the Internet through Wifi. Actual power consumption of the CPU, GPU, and Wifi antenna were measured using onboard Maxim chips, and read through Windows Performance Recorder.

Results summary

The total CPU, GPU, and Wifi antenna power consumption was measured on the same workload using Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, running on the Windows 10 Creator's Update (15063). Based on an average of at least 16 iterations per browser, Microsoft Edge used:

Methodology details

Computer setup

The test was performed on four separate Surface Book laptops running the Windows 10 Creator's Update (build 15063). These computers were configured to the following settings, to increase consistency between measures and reduce tasks that may start during the measurement and interfere with the results, while still representing a realistic user setup:

OS and browser versions

OS Windows 10 Pro 15063.0
Microsoft Edge Microsoft Edge 40.15063.0.0
Chrome Google Chrome 57.0.2987.133 (64-bit)
Firefox Firefox 52.0.1 (32-bit)


Processor i5-6300U @ 2.4GHz 2.5GHz
Memory 8G
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 520


Each browser was automated using WebDriver, a cross-platform tool designed for automating web browsing, and implemented by the major browsers. While the power draw was being measured, WebDriver executed the following activities:

Note that pauses are included throughout this workload, but are not included in this description for simplicity.

  1. Open the respective browser
  2. Navigate to
  3. Log in to Gmail
  4. Open and then close several messages in the inbox
  5. Open a new tab
  6. In the new tab, navigate to BBC News
  7. Click on one of the top stories and scroll through it
  8. Navigate to Yahoo, and then click on "News"
  9. Open a story and scroll through it
  10. Open a new tab
  11. In the new tab, navigate to a video on "Microsoft Design: Connecting Makers"
  12. Watch the video for 90s
  13. Navigate to
  14. Log in to Facebook
  15. Scroll through the feed on Facebook
  16. Open a new tab
  17. In the new tab, navigate to
  18. In the search box, enter "Game of Thrones" and press enter
  19. Click on "Game of Thrones Season 1"
  20. Scroll down to the reviews
  21. Navigate to the Wikipedia article on "United States"
  22. Scroll through the article
  23. Navigate to
  24. Search for "Seattle"
  25. Navigate to
  26. Scroll through the homepage
  27. Navigate to
  28. Scroll through several of the publicly promoted tweets on the homepage
  29. Navigate to the Instagram page for the "New York Public Library"
  30. Scroll down to, and click on, the "Load more" button
  31. Scroll through several pages of the infinite list
  32. Close the browser

The code used to execute the test can be found on Github.

For each browser, a minimum of 16 iterations were recorded, and the average between all iterations reported. Iterations for each browser were approximately spread between all four devices to ensure fair comparisons.

Measuring power

Power was measured on the Surface Book because it has integrated hardware instrumentation that's able to measure the real power consumption of the CPU, GPU and Wifi antenna while the automation is being executed. This is done using the Maxim 34407 Power Accumulator chip. The results of the Maxim chips were read using the tool "Windows Performance Recorder". Windows Performance Recorder was configured to independently measure the instantaneous power consumption of the CPU, GPU, and Wifi antenna, and record periodic measurements in a trace file.

Results details

Avg CPU Avg GPU Avg Wifi Avg CPU+GPU+Wifi
Microsoft Edge 1383 368 106 1857
Chrome 57 1924 571 185 2680
Firefox 52 2572 542 192 3306