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New Chrome throttles tabs

by on15 March 2017

Saving processing power

Starting with Chrome 57, Google has started limiting the amount of resources background tabs can use.

Chrome 57 will temporarily delay a background tab's JavaScript timers if that tab is using more than one percent of a CPU core. All background timers are suspended automatically after five minutes on mobile devices.

The suspension will halt resource consumption and cut down on battery usage. It means that those who have hundreds of tabs open, because they never know when they will need them, will no longer have their PC go sleepy bye-bye under the pressure.

Google hinted in late January that it would limit JavaScript timers in background tabs, but nobody expected it to happen as soon as the recent Chrome release.

JavaScript timers are count-down and count-up timers implemented in JavaScript and are used on websites that deal with real-time content.

Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Slack, YouTube, Evernote, and many other sites rely on JavaScript timers to update content in the user's browser.

Google claims that developers have abused timers, which often continue to work and consume resources even when the user switches to another tab.

By throttling JavaScript timers in Chrome 57, they've achieved "25 percent fewer busy background tabs".

Sadly, it will not stop background tabs playing loud audio at you until you go through all of them to find which tab it is and shut the bastard down. Maintaining real-time connections like WebSockets or WebRTC won’t be affected by the one percent CPU usage limit.

Last modified on 15 March 2017
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