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On this page we'll be looking for memory usage. We record the amount of system RAM allocated to the browser being testing using the GNOME System Monitor (Ubuntu's version of Windows Task Manager). Readings are taken after five minutes of the page(s) being fully loaded.
The Google homepage was used as the test page in the Single Tab test.
In Ubuntu, Firefox uses the least amount of system memory with only a single tab opened. Opera comes in a distant second, using nearly fifteen more MB than Mozilla. Chrome is right behind Opera with less than one more megabyte of RAM utilized. Firefox uses only two megabytes more in Linux than in Windows, while Opera uses two megs less in Linux. Google Chrome, however, used significantly more memory in Linux than in Windows. Twenty megabytes more. Not quite double, but close.
The rest of the 40-tab test pages are made of the next 39 (after Google) most popular Web sites; according to Quantcast.
With the top 40 Web pages loaded, Firefox once again uses a fraction of the memory of the other contenders. Although Firefox for Linux uses seventy megabytes more than Firefox for Windows, the Linux peak usage is still way lower than any other Web browser on any platform.
Opera takes second place with almost 850 MB, which is about 175 MB more than in Windows 7.
Chrome's memory usage with 40 tabs fully loaded is nearly off the charts. Google's RAM usage in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is double what the search giant's browser uses in Windows 7. It's nearly a half gig beyond Safari's terrible showing in Windows! Needless to say, Chrome tanks the usage tests, but will its legendary memory management come through to save it in Linux?