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Immediately After Closing 39 Tabs
After immediately closing 39 of the 40 tabs, Chrome for Windows drops down to 140 MB, which is just over twice its single-tab total. Opera places second at 415 MB, followed closely by Safari using 453 MB. IE9 only drops down to a half of a gigabyte, earning fourth place, while Firefox 9 retains more than 600 MB to place last.
In OS X, the order remains the same, though the totals are substantially higher than in Windows 7.
Two Minutes Later
Waiting an additional two minutes sees Internet Explorer drop down to only 57 MB, just 10 MB more than its single-tab total. The extra two minutes don't help Chrome's memory usage, although the browser retains second place. Firefox releases another 400 MB to Windows, taking third place. Safari lets go of another 100 MB to take fourth, and Opera stays at around 400 MB, finishing last.
In OS X, the additional two minutes does nothing to shake up the finishing order. Chrome still hovers around 140 MB and Opera hangs around 575 MB. Safari drops 200 MB to an ominous 666 MB and Firefox sheds another 300 MB to stabilize at just over 700.
Interestingly, throughout memory testing, the OS X-based browsers use a substantially greater amount of RAM than their Windows-based counterparts.