Well, a thorough reader pushed me to do some tests with the Clevo P650RS-G which I have reviewed lately (here). It has an I7-6700HQ, 2x8GB DDR4 RAM, 1080p IPS display and a GTX 1070 8GB GPU. All my youtube battery/power consumption tests are executed with the latest Google Chrome browser, which is known to be less efficient for videos as of now, compared to the new Microsoft Edge and even the MS IE 11. This is probably due to better marrying of hardware and software, as MS has access and understanding of the inner workings of their OS Windows software. I’m not sure that’s the case with general browsing.
I think that with the new Google VP9 format on youtube and better decoding hardware (like the one in the Kaby Lake CPUs), the power consumtion will get a lot lower even for Chrome, but for those who don’t have Kaby Lake and/or VP9 support (like most of the people), the consumption will probably be similar for an I7-HQ.
Well, so, I did some small test which is consists of the same three youtube videos I always use to check youtube power consumption (1080p, 1080p 60FPS, 4K). There was only one tab open in both the browser with no other software intentionally running. The P650RS-G was set to the “Hybrid” mode which means Optimus is running.
Videos and configurations:
- 1080p video (30FPS), H.264. “power saver” power plan in Windows 10.
- 1080p 60FPS. “power saver” power plan in Windows 10.
- 4K (30FPS), H.265. “power saver” power plan for Edge, “Balanced” for Crome (wasn’t smooth with “power saver”).
Let’s see the configurations and results:
It is quite clear that “Edge” has the advantage here, and as more computation power is required, so is the difference goes up. The 4K youtube video requires around 8.5W/h more power, and the 1080p 60FPS around 3.0-4.5W/h. Actually, with Edge, the 4K video playback was smooth even with “power saver” mode. It was not the case with Chrome (never), even with a CPU like the I7-6700HQ.
Additionally, it is important to mention that the minimal power consumption I could record on the P650RS-G (with its current bios), was around 13-15W/h, so “Edge” really doesn’t adds much more above the baseline, unlike Chrome.
I think it is also important to say that a more power efficient CPU like the I5-6200U would require less for the same job (The E5-575G with an I5-6200U requires only around 7W/h for 1080p youtube video). Plus, some laptops with an I7-6700HQ are more efficient than the P650RS-G.
So, I guess that at least for now, I’d recommend going with Edge when watching youtube stuff, especially high quality 4K stuff. Some Kaby Lake tests will come soon enough!