Saturday, February 26, 2011

Web browser memory comparison

That title may sound more detailed than it is. I just want to compare memory allocation from 3 popular web browsers I have installed on my machine: Internet Explorer 6 (a little out of date), Mozilla Firefox 3.02 and Google Chrome 0.2.
All of them ran under the same machine (Windows XP Professional). In order to be fair, the same web pages were loaded, chosen randomly: (A local news paper) (facebook? what's that?)

I have to say before comparing those applications that Internet Explorer was the slowest browser followed by Firefox. The fastest one, chrome, but I have to say that I just installed it so there are no historic information, cookies, plugins, etc.
Facebook did not run flawlessly in Chrome if you can verify, try to send feedback. The "Send Feedback" link does not work in Chrome.
Aesthetically (although I think is somewhat subjective) Chrome has the best GUI, it's clean and simple. Unfortunately, Firefox is the ugliest one (I think this is because of its relationship with Linux. I love Linux, but it's ugly).

Now let's see what Task Manager has to say

The two screens above show the number of processes and memory used by the applications:

Chrome: 21,620k
Chrome: 28,588k
Chrome: 16,136k
Chrome: 21,140k
explorer: 31,044k
explorer: 32,664k
firefox: 56,952k

4 processes for Chrome? hm there's something to explain here... Indeed, Google created a booklet to explain us, the mortals, why this memory eater software does what it does: [chrome]. Do you think they need to explain us that? Maybe I am wrong so I encourage you to post your opinions. Chrome will open a 20mb process for each page you want to visit. Anyway, my system didn't seem to complain about that.

I didn't want to add Internet Explorer because this version is not Tab Based but I will keep it just as a comparison.

Firefox looks just better when checking the memory allocated for that process. It's smaller than Internet Explorer and there's a lot different with Chrome (is it ok if I sum 21mb+28mb+26mb+21? It looks like a lot of memory).

Now, I will close each application:
                                This is performance before closing

After closing chrome

                                             After closing internet explorer

                                          After closing Moxilla firefox

Chrome PF Usage: 1.17 - 1.10 = 0.06GB
i.e. PF Usage: 1.10 - 1.06 = 0.04GB
Firefox PF Usage 1.06 - 1.01 = 0.05GB
You can also check the Total Commit Charge (That is, the virual memory used by the processes)

From these numbers, I can say that Chrome uses more memory than the other two applications and, therefore it may slow your computer if you don't have enough physical memory. Maybe this can be a trade-off between program stability and memory consumption. As you will know after reading the booklet, separate processes won't crash the whole browsing experience. Only the tab implicated may fail.

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