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Benchmark Results: Memory Management

Web Browser Grand Prix 2: Running The Linux Circuit
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On the last page we looked solely at memory usage, both with a single tab, and with a large load of 40 tabs. Now we're going to close the 39 tabs we opened for the 40-tab test. After five minutes we record the new memory usage totals. Finally we wait an additional five minutes and record a final number just to see if the usage drops over time.

-39 Tabs

After closing 39 of the 40 tabs from the last test, we're again left with the Google homepage in a single tab.

When returning to a single tab from 40, Google Chrome once again demonstrates almost OS-like memory management. Google's browser goes from almost 1.5 GB back down to just over 60 MB, just 15 MB more than before the additional 39 tabs were opened.

Firefox is a close second with just under 100 megabytes. Mozilla manages not only to beat its Windows 7 -39 tab usage by 10 MB, but it only holds onto a third of the 40-tab total. In contrast, it only gives back half in Windows.

Opera, on the other hand, has a big problem with memory management in Ubuntu. After closing 39 of the 40-tab load, Opera still hangs onto 800 MB of system memory, only returning 70 MB.

-39 Tabs, Another 5 Minutes

After waiting an additional five minutes, the results remain the same. Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox slightly increase in memory usage. Opera gives back only 40 additional megabytes, still holding onto over 750 MB.

Chrome obviously takes the top spot for memory management, just like in Windows, despite doubling its peak usage in Linux. Firefox achieves a close second, demonstrating big improvements to memory management in its Linux version. Opera tanks at memory management in Linux. The Norwegian browser gives back essentially none of the RAM it used with 40 tabs open.

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