Chrome eats RAM because

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nice gif


I am currently using FireFox’s Developer Edition (40.0a2 (2015-05-21). According to Win7’s Task Manager it is using 281Mb and its plug-in container is using another 258Mb, making a total of 539Mb. Out of 6Gb that I have onboard. Chrome can keep their lame-ass excuses, I’m sticking with FireFox.


FWIW (data point): Sitting at idle, my Chrome is using 750Mb of RAM. Most of it is extensions I’ve installed, the biggest consumer being Adblock. I hear that µBlock is a lot more frugal with resources, so I might give it a shot. This all on Mac OS, 64bit.

My FF is currently up to 800MB - 9 tabs open. Many days I find it over 1.2GB (and then I kill it).

And that article is BS. The only situation where it would be good that Chrome used as much RAM as it can get its hands on is when you don’t run any other programs on your computer - you never switch away from the browser, never try to print anything, never try to open another program: nothing but Chrome. If you only run Chrome then, sure, no problem. If you want to run anything else, one program that wants to consume all your RAM is a serious problem.

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I don’t use chrome often (preferring FF) but when I do, I use a tab suspender plugin. If I’m using chrome much I tend to have it in the background as much as the foreground and suspending tabs that aren’t active makes a big difference to memory usage. It does impact on performance a bit if you’re the sort of person who spends more time switching between tabs than on any give thing but it seriously improves memory performance.


I can’t even tell how much memory Chrome is consuming. It seems to have dozens of helpers, all consuming their own amount.

That said, here I am sitting with 41 tabs open in one window and 25 tabs open in another, for a nice total of 66 tabs, and I don’t notice any slowdown at all. … that may be due to my 16 GB of available memory, though.

I could stand to close some tabs…

I’ve been using The Great Suspender which seems to help, at least a bit, YMMV.


Modern programs use more ram because computers can support it. Having it and not using it is kind of a waste. I don’t use chrome though. just a preference.

OSX uses up free RAM and CPU for background tasks whenever it’s available. It adjusts on the fly depending on program needs. Freaked me out when I started updating users to Mavericks (I think that’s when it started).

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The memory usage in Chrome for this page I’m posting a comment to is about 5 times higher than anything else I have open. Most static pages are around the 50MB mark, and this tab is sitting at 270MB.

So it’s not only on the browser, it’s modern web design.

It doesn’t really bother me because I max out ram in my machines, and Chrome still outperforms the other major browsers and that’s the most important part. If the usage manages to get too high somehow, I just close the browser. Problem solved!

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[quote=“jmcgarry, post:8, topic:58072, full:true”]I’ve been using The Great Suspender which seems to help, at least a bit, YMMV.[/quote]Great scott! I was looking for something like that for Chrome and was convinced it didn’t exist. Firefox can use the delightful Bartab Heavy, without which I would be lost.

I have to agree that Chrome is generally much more responsive than FF. Reportedly browsing in separate processes was contemplated for FF at one point, but it seems that idea was dropped a while ago.

My impression is that Chrome hogs memory, but Firefox has a problem with processes and wants to ransom my CPU.

RAM has been incredibly cheap for so long even in mainstream laptop configurations (8 GB seems to be everywhere and not ludicrously marked up) that I just don’t get what the problem is. The RAM isn’t there just to be idle, and even with forty tabs open (god help me) and a dozen applications running stuff never gets paged to storage.

Maybe I’ve got first world/lower-middle-class blinders on?

Maybe people are packing it full of extensions and apps and whatnot? I know I recoil in horror when I look at young relatives’ browser extension habits. I checked just now and a new instance of Chrome and all its derivative processes uses 547 MiB of RAM (43.0.2357.65-1 on Linux Mint 17 with six extensions and no apps). As I spool up the tabs it behaves just fine and seems in line with Firefox. I use Windows frequently too and it seems fine there. Don’t do Mac much.

is that a movie?

a documentary


It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on the browser wars. The last time I did, Chrome fans were mocking Firefox for hogging memory.

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Addons and plugins take a huge amount of resources too, but I’m considering those to be separate from the browser and a user choice on how functions vs. performance.
Right now I’m using an older machine that only has 2G of memory, it runs Photoshop, Office, Portal2 all fine. But when I am going through my news feeds on Feedly and have a bunch of boing boing windows open it maxes my memory. I don’t consider the ‘throw more hardware at it’ as a real solution if it’s just covering for not wanting to have better code.
I just ran a profile on this page to see why chrome needs 300MB to run.
The biggest thing is the use of Inline Functions (closures). They are an extremely powerful feature of Javascript, but is basically just hiding a hardcoded function deep in the code. And worse, it will allocate all the memory it needs even if that function is never ever used.
On this page there are 62,341 closure functions that take up 50% of the memory needed for the page. It’s not even doing much, just updating the thread, the editor, and analytics. It’s likely just in all the external script files. I also don’t mean any offence to your developers, the site is great, I’m just showing some stats on a older machine.

How this is all handled and run is dependant on the JS engine the browser is using. Right now Google has bloated theirs out and it sucks bad. Firefox is definitely better. Unfortunately, I like Chrome so I deal with the memory constraint, and wait for Spartan.


Mad Max: Fury Road

From our not to distant future…

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