Chrome 55 will drastically reduce RAM usage thanks to updated JavaScript engine

By Jos · 16 replies
Oct 10, 2016
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  1. Chrome has received several updates ever the past year to cut down on memory usage, but the ubiquitous browser is still notorious for being somewhat of a resource hog. Well, more enhancements are on the way, with Google Chrome 55 bringing new changes that dramatically reduce the amount of RAM used by up to 50%.

    The claimed improvements come courtesy of an updated JavaScript V8 engine, which reduces the heap size and zone memory. The improvements are said to benefit not only low-memory devices but beefier mobile and desktop machines too — although the impact of the update will be less noticeable if you already have loads of RAM available. The company also made improvements to Chrome’s 'garbage collector' feature that cleans out unused memory.

    The reported improvements are in comparison to the current version of Chrome (53) and were measured by visiting websites like Imgur, Reddit, Twitter, The New York Times and YouTube. The Chromium team is hoping to release more memory-saving updates in the future, specifically focusing on low-end devices with less than 1 GB of memory.

    The stable build of Chrome 55 is scheduled to go live on December 6th, there’s always the Chrome Beta channel if you want access to the improvements a few weeks earlier.

    Be sure to also check out our recommendations for keeping Chrome’s memory usage under control, which cover things like manually closing processes, going on an extension diet, and switching on a handful of Chrome’s experimental features.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2016
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    As a Node.js developer I can appreciate this twice :)
    madboyv1, Reehahs and stewi0001 like this.
  3. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    My old HP Slate 4200 Plus only has 1GB RAM, Chrome was basically unusable.
    Not knocking Chrome it was a super cheap tablet (just got it for games anyways) but this is nice news to hear for mobile devices and tablets that only have 2GB-4GB RAM.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 859   +874

    "current version of Chrome (33)"

    The current version of chrome is 53, not 33.

    Either way, good to hear they are focusing on RAM usage. Especially in enterprise, where 4GB of RAM seems to be the norm, chrome's RAM appetite causes multiple complaints of slow machines every week. And tablets and laptops with soldered RAM are more common now then ever. Reduced RAM usage will hopefully give them a few more years of life.
  5. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 174   +68

    It's about time. Really glad they are working on RAM utilization. It was really the only issue I've had with Chrome as much as I love using it.
  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,656   +1,095

    Now they have to fix the performance issues with video. Even Youtube works many times better in Edge than google's own browser. (and let's not even mention the abysmal twitch playback performance)
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,336   +1,984

    AMEN brother!
  8. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    4GB of Ram and Chrome on a Windows 10 x64 PC isn't great for multi tasking or multi browser tabbing .

    OTOH 8GB or more is much better . I finally have all 5 Windows 10 PC here at 8 GB or more of ram and this new Haswell Core i5 has an SSD *and 8 GB of ram but a slimmer memory Chrome will be a real good thing all around .☺
  9. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    right Chrome struggles with a lot of web videos or wont load them at all and Edge often plays those fine (1080p Netflix too where Chrome is only 720p Netflix ) .

    OTOH Chrome is generally OK with You Tube here with 8 GB of ram or more and so is my (slower) Sony XBR Android TV that can play or stream almost any 4K video.
  10. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Forgot to add 4K You Tube plays fine on this Haswell Core i5 /8GB ram PC and I can push it out to the TV @4K as well but the TV can also play 4K You Tube and 4K HDR but the PC browses Netflix ,You Tube ,etc. a lot faster so I build my playlists on the PC and often play them on the Sony Andoid TV apps .
  11. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    I think I'll pass on a browser you actually have to follow recommendations in order to use in a "Controlled" manner. I do use chrome but for specific tasks due to the hog it is.
  12. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 820   +344

    About damn time
  13. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Chrome a hog (true) but the latest version is much better and 8 or more GB of ram and a decent CPU/HDD/SSD is golden , without any "controlled conditions" ......4GB and or slow PC and or low bandwidth not so much .

    F/F is real decent as an alternative in any circumstance but Edge could be more stable and half the features you would expect a browser to have are missing from Edge or don't work ☺
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  14. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Evangelist Posts: 646   +89

    There are a couple of Extensions you can use to limit the amount of RAM Chrome uses (I believe I found them here actually) and they are heaven sent. Even with 4 GB of RAM my laptop would struggle to keep Chrome running efficiently.
  15. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Addict Posts: 174   +126

    Cool. Now...if only the Chrome people would finally add the 'You're about to close multiple tabs' warning feature, like every other decent browser has. Why they keep avoiding this is a mystery of the universe.
  16. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Right 4 GB of ram and Chrome on windows x 64 and moreover windows 10 x64 is not the spot for much beyond a few tabs OTOH 8 GB of ram is way better without sweating so much and any decent Windows 10 PC today is going to be 8 -12 GB of ram anyway and an SSD is even better than rusty metal with 8 GB on win 10 like this Haswell Core i5 -8GB/Ram SSD/HDD PC .
    My Core i7 HP Elitebok with 8 GB of ram does OK on Chrome also but it isn't a low budget laptop either but in any event Chrome slimming down far to excessive resource use is something they should have done a good while ago anyway . ☺
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  17. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    12.06.16 To repeat my last posting in another thread,
    On windows 10 x64 I'm using ~ 1.28 GB of ram with 20 Google ver.55 browsing tabs open ( *for all the Google processes ) so it's not taxing this Haswell Core i5 PC with 8 GB of ram so much as before it's a pretty large improvement here from some prior Chrome versions but windows 10 x64 needs 8 GB of ram or more anyway .

    Firefox with the same 20 tabs open is also using ~ 1.28 GB of ram all by itself ☺

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