CPU performance in IE9 beta
Internet Explorer has always been known as a CPU hog; although there were some improvements in IE8, it was still the slowest browser out there, and was losing market share, partly because of the speed. It consumes a lot more resources than other browsers running the same websites and activities. Is Internet Explorer 9 beta any different? The speed of IE9 beta has jumped - is it using even more CPU resources to get that speed in the new features?
I went looking for a process monitor application to check this out. I found a couple, and thought that Process Explorer seemed most useful. Using it, I set up two situations on two different computers.
I ran Google Chrome on each one, with around 15 tabs open on each laptop. (They are both running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.) On one laptop I had not installed the beta, so I opened a IE8 browser with the same number of tabs. In each browser, I opened a YouTube video, and started it playing, for maximum effect on graphics and processing.
I opened Process Explorer and looked for Google Chrome CPU usage, and then found the same for IE8. Not to my surprise, both browsers were using well over 10% of resources each. The YouTube video seemed to play at the right speed in both, and had no trouble loading. However, Internet Explorer 8 was using a significantly higher percentage of the resources - 27.7% to Google Chrome's 15.4%.
On my other laptop, where I had installed IE9 beta, I opened up the same number of tabs as I had open in Google Chrome. Instead of YouTube, I opened one of the web sites which Microsoft points you to for content optimized for IE9 in both browsers, and went to the fly the kite page. Google Chrome can play this, so it seemed like a good comparison to see how CPU usage compared.
Looking at Process Explorer, I found the CPU use percentage for Google Chrome and for IE9 beta. The results were significant. Google Chrome was using a noticeably higher percentage of the CPU than IE9 beta was using, and when I looked at the FPS comparison on the kites page, IE9 beta had a FPS which was much higher than that of Google Chrome. Google Chrome kites looked a little jumpy at times at 19 FPS. IE9 beta had a FPS of 42. Internet Explorer 9 beta used 15.6% of CPU power to do this, and Google Chrome used 22.8% CPU resources. An impressive change form IE8 to IE9.
It seems that by handing graphics processing to the graphics card, rather than using the CPU, Internet Explorer 9 not only was very fast, with an impressive FPS rate, but was consuming much less of the CPU while doing this.
I am giving IE9 a 5 of 5 for this, as it is using significantly less processor power than IE8 needs, is much faster - and used significantly less CPU processing power than Google Chrome did, while keeping a higher FPS.