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Future update gives better view of Chromebook CPU usage

Chromebooks have been able to show system performance through the Task Manager in the Chrome browser, however a future update is showing a new way to view a Chromebook’s system performance. Currently, on the stable build for Chromebooks, going to the chrome://power page allows users to view battery performance over time in the form of a chart. However, the Beta channel shows not only battery performance on this page, but CPU performance over time, too. This view gives Chromebook users a better idea of Chromebook CPU usage. (The Beta channel is one of Google’s early release channels, where users can receive future updates early, though they can be unstable.)

The chrome://power page is divided into three sections: Battery Charge, Idle State Data, and Frequency State Data. Each has two graphs displaying different statistics for the computer. The Battery Charge section shows the battery’s current and previous charge in the first graph, and the second graph shows the rate of discharge or recharge in watts. Idle State Data shows the CPU’s state while being idle, each graph showing one of the cores of the CPU. For instance, my HP Chromebook 14 is a dual core, so there are two graphs showing each core’s performance. Lastly, Frequency State Data shows the CPU’s activity, again one graph for each core.

Screenshot of the Chromebook's chrome://power page

Screenshot of the Chromebook’s chrome://power page

Using the chrome://power page, users can determine how much power specific programs use, and how fast it drains the battery. For example, I want to know much of my CPU Netflix uses, and how fast it drains the battery. So I bring up the chrome://power page, then start a movie on Netflix. On the chrome://power page, I can see how fast my battery discharges, how much of my CPU is being used, and how much of my CPU is left. I can then determine how long I can watch Netflix on battery power, and how much my Chromebook can multitask with Netflix running. This is just one example of how this page can be used on Chromebooks.

As before mentioned, on Chromebooks running the stable channel, the chrome://power page only shows information on the battery. However, this other information being added in the Beta channel means it will not be long before it makes it way to the Stable channel.

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Source: François Beaufort

Joseph Hall

A research addict with a lot of free time, Joseph always is looking for the “next big thing.” He is homeschooled and proud of it, and continues to learn in his free time through online resources. He does not like Windows but cannot afford an Apple Macintosh, so he saw Chromebooks as the way to go. He now uses his free time showing people why a Chromebook can be used as a Windows replacement, and why living “in the cloud” is so freeing.