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This might not be the best solution, but something that could definetely work is to run a virtual machine, there you could specify all hardware specs as long as they are lower than you real machine.
Look at this post
I would use a VM and just limit it’s resources. If you are not a fan of virtual machines, then I would go find an old machine at a yard sale, thrift store etc. and use that as a testing platform. You can never patch it, fill it up with crappy malware laden programs and then it will be just like the experience for an “average user.” 🙂
Run [email protected] in the background to eat up the CPU.
If you have a multi-core processor, use Task Manager to limit IE to a single core, and perhaps also limit some CPU-intensive applications to the same core.
Virtualisation is the answer!
You may use VirtualBox, it’s free.
You can simulate a slower machine with it
Easier than a virtual machine i believe will be some kind of a tool that can slow down selected apps (in your case the browser process).
Well you can always try setting the priority of your browser process to the lowest value.
Additionally you can try one of these tools. They are basically meant for slowing down the system/specific-apps so old games can be played on new systems. Will probably fit your test case.
You can also try to throttle down your CPU via Power management settings in your OS. For example for Win 8 you can go to something like “Control Panel\System and security\Power management\Change you power scheme->Change advanced power settings->CPU power management->Max CPU frequency level” (sorry, this is translation from non English Win8 UI, but I think it is not hard to find the settings). This helps in some degree.
I made this and within like a minute my firefox was sucking up all my memory. You could prolly slow the overload by changing the setTimeout() to something higher. Pretty much made everything run slow, switching tabs and other page loads too.
I don’t know of anything you can depend on or control, but you might try installing two antivirus programs (or at least as many as the number of CPU cores you have), starting a full scan on each and testing with those full scans running.
Use Fiddler – its free – allows you to simulate the connection speed. dialup, ADSL etc.