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Make Google Chrome Take Less Memory

Google Chrome: I liked it at first but … its memory usage is ABSURD!.

Update: I am retracting my statement that Chrome takes huge memory and saying that Chrome takes huge memory by default. But you can change that by changing settings. See the update on Make Google Chrome Take Less Memory

There has been a huge ripple in the web since Google released the Chrome browser. At first I really liked chrome, specially its speed and ease of use. As a developer I work on Microsoft technologies and I like the services that Google provides. When Google and MS competes it is a win win situation for me, the consumer.

I am sure you have read many blog posts by now hearing praises of Chrome, and I would have sung praises too … but its memory usage is absurd.

My favorite browser is opera and I use a custom hand written configuration of Opera and I also use the Flock browser beta with the Firefox 3 engine. After using for a day or two I was kind of  thinking that Chrome would replace my use of Firefox.

I have a habit of of going through my daily list of articles in the Google reader and opening the new articles in different windows. By the time I am done selecting the items to read I have about 50 tabs open which is very easy in Opera. Unfortunately I was amazed at Chrome’s irresponsible memory usage. For each single open window or tab it at least has a process running.

Think again … one process for one tab. Are you nuts!!

Here is a screenshot of the tabs I had opened ( only 4 tabs )


Now take a look at the processes and memory usage by chrome


There are 7 processes running for those 4 tabs and taking 161 MB of RAM. I feel scared to even think about how much memory it would have occupied if I had opened 50+ tabs like I usually do.

Unless Google changes this model, I would stick to my good old Opera and Flock for heavy browsing.

kick it on


Bob Saggett

I think that it is quite funny how sometimes companies get caught up in how clever they are being without thinking of the consequences.

After reading the Google Chrome comic strip I was left wondering what the effect would be of the clever use of processes - one per tab. I was certainly concerned.

Following my usual process of not installing beta products on my production or dev machine, I installed Chrome on a Virtual PC. I opened about ten tabs before hitting 200MB usage. The test VPC had 512MB RAM on Windows XP. This is a small amount of RAM but not unheard of in the field. I certainly would not expect a browser under low use conditions to be using nearly 40% of my RAM!

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