The results are below.
|Average across entire Alexa 100 in Internet Explorer 7.0
|Average across entire Alexa 100 in Firefox 3.0.4
|Average for top 10 power abusers in Internet Explorer 7.0
|Average for top 10 power abusers in Firefox 3.0.4
|Average for top 10 power abusers in Firefox 3.0.4 with NoScript and Adblock Plus
“Given that the normal idling power consumption was between .36 and .39, the fact that Firefox with NoScript and Adblock Plus scored .382 Amps (45.076 Watts), it showed how significant dynamic client side technologies and advertisements are to overall power usage of the average consumer,” says Hansen.
While Hansen admits that this isn’t scientific research — only one computer and a limited set of web sites was used, and variance in the amperage over time makes the measurements in exact — he does feel that it provides “enough evidence to point to clear areas of power consumption in every day web applications.”
According to Hansen, there appears to be a way to surf the web more “greenly” by employing client side software meant to block the bits of web pages that consume the most power. “Reducing the amount of client side scripting that runs within the browser, returning the browser to a static page while not viewing the page or closing the browser when not in use, and using power save modes built into the operating system” are clear ways to reduce power consumption while surfing, says Hansen. Though, he reminds users that unplugging devices when not in use is the best way to conserve power.
Hansen hopes that his paper will serve as a starting point for more rigorous scientific inquiry into how to “green” web surfing.
Given Google’s commitment to the environment this could just be one more reason for adding extensions to Chrome. Google specifically tagged Adblock as one of the extensions it hopes to add to Chrome, even though it makes the majority of its revenue via ads.