JS: Improve performance when starting IE using Visual Studio

  • When developing web sites in VS, I always start IE by pressing F5 or by right-clicking on the HTML page and clicking on "View in Browser".
  • Recently, I was experimenting with HTML5 code to copy the frames of an MP4 video, reverse the frame data and render it back on a canvas.
  • The code uses requestAnimationFrame to process the frames and also displays the achieved frames per second (fps).
  • This is what I got:


  •  Only 4 fps. To analyze the cause, I used xperf as follows:
    • Open a CMD window with admin rights.
    • Set environment variables:
    • Open the web site using IE.
    • Run:
      • xperf -on base
      • ... profiling occurs here, let it run for a few seconds ...
      • xperf -d trace.etl
      • ... trace file gets saved ...
    • Open the trace file in the viewer:
      • xperf trace.etl
    • In the viewer:
      • Click on "Trace --> Load Symbols"
      • Open frame: "CPU Sampling by Process --> iexplorer.exe (Thread ID that shows high CPU usage)"
      • Select graph area with high CPU usage, then right-click on it and click on "Summary Table"
      • Wait for symbols to load and window to appear:


  • Sort the table by clicking on the Weight column.
  • The screen shot shows that 40.57% of the CPU capacity was spent in the jscript9.dll (Chakra, IE's JS engine) and 15.24% making function calls to "Js::InterpreterStackFrame::ProcessWithDebugging".
  • "ProcessWithDebugging" indicates that debugging is taking place, thus adding an overhead to the execution.


  • To test the JS code in IE in "release mode", you cannot set the VS build to "Release" as it will make no difference for the client code.
  • Instead, keep the IE window open and just pause the JS execution, e.g. by pressing some button that you can add or pausing the video.
  • Then open a fresh instance of IE: On Windows 7 or 8, right-click on the IE icon and then click on the Internet Explorer icon on the context menu.
  • Copy the URL of the first IE window to the fresh window and see what happens:


  • Now the code reaches 54 fps (of 60 fps max.)!
  • Taking a look at the trace of this fresh window shows that the JS execution time is now almost insignificant:

  • Instead, most of the time is now being spent in the canvas doing matrix operations:


IE started from VS
array.length: 5881
len: 4678

Math.floor: 6537
| 0: 4566

document not cached: 6452
document cached: 2831


Fresh IE started outside of VS
array.length: 786
len: 664

Math.floor: 869
| 0: 714

document not cached: 3729
document cached: 44


Summary: When doing something that needs JS performance, start a fresh IE and your code may run up to 100 times faster!