Google’s Chrome

When I first tried it last week, I was very impressed by its incredibly speed. But now all I’m impressed with is it’s extremely piggy memory footprint (lipstick or no).

I browse my daily blogs in a set of 16 bookmarked tabs, and Firefox tends to bog down with that, using up to 128MBs of RAM. Depending on what’s in the pages (Flash, Java applets, badly written Javascript), it can really bog things down terribly and lead to awful paging slowdowns (I’m working with a memory-poor machine, WinXP with only .5 GBs of RAM for now). So, I thought maybe Chrome would address that.

I really should have known better than to think that! It was clearly announced that Chrome launches separate processes for each tab, but it didn’t occur to me that this would incur a huge penalty in duplication of code and vastly up the memory requirements. When I first tested the 16 tabs in Chrome, it killed my system before I killed Chrome when it exceeded 300MBs of total memory usage.

But I still thought there was a place for Chrome for running problematic pages that often bring Firefox (and WinXP) to a standstill. One of those is Air America steaming live broadcast feed, which has been very problematic (it’s bad enough in having connection blocking problems which I’ve only been able to fix by killing its connections through my software firewall, but also occasionally goes into the bad memory spiral, causing Firefox to just increase and increase its memory usage), and I thought that perhaps running it in Chrome would be the answer.

Well, at this moment, the only thing running in Chrome is, yet, here’s a screenshot of Task Manager showing Chrome’s memory usage:

Task Manager

There are THREE Chrome processes just to support one window with one tab, and it’s using 89MBs of RAM!!! Firefox is currently running with 3 windows with 14 total tabs open, and it’s using only one process and 144MBs. If I want a memory-hogging browser with process separation, I’ve already got one in IE! Why do I need another one?

Updated: And I forgot about the GoogleUpdate process that the Chrome installer puts in the Run key of your registry so that a useless process is always running, insuring that you are always going to be annoyed whenever Google decides to nag you about updating their software. I removed the Run item so it doesn’t load at boot, but then noticed yesterday that GoogleUpdate loads if you run Chrome. So, I changed the permissions on the GoogleUpdate executable to DENY access 100% for everyone.

It’s sad that Google thinks they need to do this and opt everyone into automatic updates by default, but sadder still that they don’t allow any form of opt out unless you are something of a computer guru. If Google really does believe in it’s putative “do no evil” mantra, they aren’t demonstrating it with behavior like this.