Planned for launch on December 6, Chrome 55 will see performance improvements predominantly if a device doesn't have much memory to start with (such as low-cost smartphones), and if a user runs Chrome with multiple tabs or other apps open at the same time.
Most noticeably, the average V8 heap memory consumption of the mobile New York Times benchmark reduced by about 66%. Overall, we observed a 50% reduction of average V8 heap size on this set of benchmarks.
Another optimization introduced recently not only reduces memory on low-memory devices but beefier mobile and desktop machines. Reducing the V8 heap page size from 1M to 512KB results in a smaller memory footprint when not many live objects are present and lower overall memory fragmentation up to 2x. It also allows V8 to perform more compaction work since smaller work chunks allow more work to be done in parallel by the memory compaction threads.
As it moves forward with more updates to the web browsing software, the focus for the Chrome team appears to be on entry-level devices that have between 512MB and 1GB of RAM.
Still, users who are conscious about performance issues with multiple tabs and apps open -- or who own a system with a lot of memory -- are likely to see less of a difference with Chrome 55. Chrome is available to download for iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux systems, and users should see the new performance-enhanced update on December 6.