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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.

  • twztechman
    Been using Firefox for years - it works best for me.
    Reply
  • shiftmx112
    This makes it worth putting up with the constant updates on Aurora. :)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    The only one thing I hate about firefox is that it takes a lot of time to launch.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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/
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply