Microsoft’s Chromium-based browser is notorious for its high battery consumption, to which the company have now proposed a solution.
The explanation is as follows: adding media content to the HTTP cache when streaming media causes the disk to be active, and so its constant usage prevents the operating system from entering low-powered modes.
Therefore, the proposed solution to this problem is to prevent media content from being cached to the disk on a PC wherever possible. This can be done with content that is played with minimal seeking.
Currently, recent content is held in the memory, so you can instantly scrub back and forth a few seconds; but any longer, and the video will be fetched from the network again.
Microsoft tested the solution by playing back unencrypted 1080p media 5 times for 5 minutes on a laptop with implementation turned on and off. While the implementation was turned on, the disk write activity decreased by 309KB/sec.
Once connected to a power source, the prevention of caching is disabled to once again provide standard optimal performance.
Microsoft said that the feature will be a “net positive” for “power consumption for mainline scenarios”. Hopefully, this means we’ll soon see a battery-saving mode make its way to the Chromium browser.