Web Browser Grand Prix VIII: Chrome 16, Firefox 9, And Mac OS X

Memory Usage Efficiency Benchmarks

Light Load

IE9 uses the least amount of memory to display a single tab under Windows 7, just under 50 megabytes. Apple Safari comes in second place, using just over 50 megabytes, followed closely by Opera. Chrome places fourth, consuming nearly 65 megabytes, while Firefox uses the most memory (90 megabytes), placing last.

Safari leads in OS X at just under 60 megabytes, followed by Opera at just over 70. Firefox overtakes Chrome to place third by using 120 megabytes, while Google's browser uses the most memory (140 megabytes).

Heavy Load

Under a heavy load of 40 tabs, Safari for Windows uses the least amount of memory (just 725 MB). Firefox comes in second at 910 MB, followed closely by Opera at 925 and Chrome at 995. Microsoft's own IE9 uses the most memory (1.75 GB).

Opera is the only competitor to use less than a gigabyte of memory in Mac OS X. Safari comes in a close second, eating just over 1 GB, followed by Firefox at 1.25 GB. Chrome reports a whopping 2.3 GB of usage with 40 tabs open, which is significantly more than any other browser.

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    Top Comments
  • twztechman
    Been using Firefox for years - it works best for me.
    21
  • Anonymous
    Nobody else seems to have noticed that this article tries to rate browsers by speed differences that are far less than the blink of an eye. A browser is a tool - just use the ones you want and stop bothering people about their own choices. (I keep two or three loaded on my machine in case one of them has an issue with a particular webpage)
    10
  • Other Comments
  • twztechman
    Been using Firefox for years - it works best for me.
    21
  • shiftmx112
    This makes it worth putting up with the constant updates on Aurora. :)
    -1
  • Anonymous
    The best part is I'm quite sure that this is using an out of the box build. Using a PGO compiled nighlty build, with about:config properly configured, and addons like Adblock/NoScript blocking things from ever loading Firefox is significantly faster than these benchmarks state.
    9
  • frost_fenix
    I have use firefox and chrome interchangeably for a few years now. I enjoy chromes streamlined design but have recently discovered the noscript addon for Firefox and have since favored Firefox. I have also found Firefox to be more compatable with school webpages and application pages. Still either firefox or chrome is better than IE.
    2
  • pharoahhalfdead
    Good point Stoof. I have IE9 and the newest FF, and with the FF add ons, it blows IE out of the water. The majority of IE pages like yahoo video links, boxingscene etc take 6 or more seconds to load, whereas FF is only a fraction of the time.

    I think add ons are much easier to find with FF, and there seems to be a wider variety. Then again I do realize this article wasn't about browsers with add ons.
    4
  • hardcore_gamer
    The only one thing I hate about firefox is that it takes a lot of time to launch.
    4
  • adamovera
    stoofThe best part is I'm quite sure that this is using an out of the box build. Using a PGO compiled nighlty build, with about:config properly configured, and addons like Adblock/NoScript blocking things from ever loading Firefox is significantly faster than these benchmarks state.

    Yes, we're using everything stock. There is no one-size-fits-all combination of plug-ins to standardize on, and every browser might not have the exact same plugins available. So that throws out a fair comparison between browsers - wouldn't work for the WBGP. Perhaps an article concentrating specifically on Firefox (or another Web browser) with and without various plug-ins would clear that up?
    6
  • Anonymous
    Please use Firefox's latest logo, the one with the shiny orb in Mozilla's press kit! The one they're using now is the old one. http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/brand/identity/
    6
  • nevertell
    Chrome is the easiest to use if you've got lots of tabs open. Scrolling through them with mouse is a breeze and tab management is just excellent.
    -2
  • soccerdocks
    frost_fenix. I enjoy chromes streamlined design but have recently discovered the noscript addon for Firefox and have since favored Firefox.


    Why do people seem to forget Chrome has this built in. All you have to do is go into the options menu and disable JavaScript.
    -9
  • de5_Roy
    Firefox!!! oh yeah. i use ff and the new one kinda feels snappier. the addons are awesome.
    i know i know, chrome is faster, has market share, ie 9/10 are coming up, blah blah. but ff can still fight. google's benevolent (read: to antitrust-pacifier) fund injection should help ff. besides, chrome is a sneakware bundled with numerous softwares. ff has scriptblockers that block statcounter. :D
    0
  • Anonymous
    Nobody else seems to have noticed that this article tries to rate browsers by speed differences that are far less than the blink of an eye. A browser is a tool - just use the ones you want and stop bothering people about their own choices. (I keep two or three loaded on my machine in case one of them has an issue with a particular webpage)
    10
  • adamovera
    Mozilla-fanPlease use Firefox's latest logo, the one with the shiny orb in Mozilla's press kit! The one they're using now is the old one. http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/brand/identity/

    Thanks for the feedback, and good catch. I must have goofed and started making the graphics with an older file when I already had the newer one. Doh! It's all fixed now, and it should update momentarily.
    2
  • arcus_doom
    Google Chrome basically sucked after they removed the Side Tabs option.
    -4
  • arunloveshacking
    Have you ever noticed that Firefox hangs up whenever you switch tabs while attaching a file? Or is it only for me?
    2
  • Anonymous
    Dear Adam, you might want to remove the html5.com test as it represents nothing but a checklist. In no way does it test the correct implementation or functioning of html5 features.
    6
  • bodyknight
    I haven't read the name Soyo in a review since a decade ago...
    2
  • MCstrick
    nevertellChrome is the easiest to use if you've got lots of tabs open. Scrolling through them with mouse is a breeze and tab management is just excellent.


    Firefox can do the same with tab mix plus. I couldn't live without scrolling though my tabs.
    1
  • freggo
    Firefox wins, yet Chrome is #1 in usage.
    Just like VHS vs Beta, NTSC vs PAL or Gasoline vs Electric... just because the public likes something does not mean it is the best solution.
    2
  • mayne92
    Great review Adam...as usual! Awesome work. A good read with my morning coffee! :)
    1