Microsoft is testing out a new performance mode for its Edge browser. The new mode is available to some testers using the Microsoft Edge Canary version of the browser, and others can enable it manually with a flag. “Performance mode helps you optimize speed, responsiveness, memory, CPU and battery usage,” says Microsoft. “Performance improvements might vary depending on your individual specifications and browser habits.”
It’s not clear exactly how the performance mode changes Edge, but it does affect the Sleeping Tabs feature. If you enable performance mode then the Sleeping Tabs timeout will be locked to five minutes. Microsoft introduced sleeping tabs in Edge earlier this year, allowing the browser to automatically release system resources for inactive tabs when you have a number of tabs open, which helps new tabs run better or stop the browser from hogging memory and CPU resources in the background.
Performance mode in Edge will likely prove most useful for laptop users, as browsers can often have a big impact on battery life. Google has also been working on improving Chrome performance and battery usage over the past six months. An update in November significantly improved CPU usage, and an update earlier this year improved RAM and GPU usage.