The “appetites” of modern browsers are great: a running program with a couple of tabs takes 0.6-1.1 GB of RAM. We will tell you how to reduce the consumption of RAM, and whether there is an ideal, not particularly “gluttonous” browser.
How browsers work
Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Chromium-based browsers (Opera, Edge, Yandex.Browser …) function roughly the same. All of them use multi-process mode – they create a separate process for each tab, extension, plugin. You can look at the current processes in the “Task Manager”.
Processes separately require more RAM than the overall process would take. In addition, the pages have a lot of interactive elements, especially when it comes to YouTube or some social network.
Multiprocessing improves download speed, security, and stability. If an error occurs on any page, it will not close the browser.
So how much RAM do browsers need?
Typically, the browser uses no more than 1 GB of RAM. When 30 tabs or more are open, consumption approaches 1.3–1.5 GB. If free memory becomes low, the browser interferes with the work of other programs and unloads old tabs from RAM – when you return to such a page, it will reboot. Agree, it’s unpleasant.
It is customary on the Internet to make fun of the “always hungry” Chrome. It not only clogs the RAM, but also “squeezes” the laptop battery and loads the central processor. Microsoft’s Edge, for example, is much more efficient.
Although Chrome has been chosen for its speed, Google has reduced its voraciousness in recent years. Check out a mini experiment by makeuseof.com that launched Twitter, BBC Sport, YouTube and Facebook pages in Edge, Opera, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. The most “insatiable” was Safari, and Chrome is located in the middle.
Let’s continue the topic of experiments: American blogger Jonathan Morrison found out how much RAM Chrome will take at the limit. Morrison opened 6 thousand tabs – Chrome “ate” more than 1.4 TB of Mac Pro RAM.
How can I reduce my browser’s RAM consumption?
Here are some tips:
- disable useless extensions;
- block ads with Adblock Plus;
- enable browser auto-update;
- do not leave the pages you want to return to later open – add them to your bookmarks;
- Install The Great Suspender extension in Chrome (or its equivalent in another browser). It “freezes” processes on inactive tabs.
Otherwise, you will have to buy additional RAM.
Finally, we note that the “appetite” of Chrome does not prevent it from remaining the most popular browser in the world. According to statistics for January, the share of Chrome in the world market is 64.1%. They are followed by Safari (17.21%) and Firefox (4.7%). In Russia, the top three are Chrome (58.52%), Yandex Browser (15.04%) and Safari (9.26%