Google Touts Chrome 89 Memory Savings That 'Keep Your Mac Cooler' While Browsing

Google Chrome Material Icon 450x450Google's Chrome browser has been criticized for years for being a system resource hog, but Chromium developers are making some loud claims about how much smarter the latest version is at using and freeing up memory on macOS.

According to a new post on Google's Chromium blog, Chrome developers recently managed to shrink the memory footprint of background tabs on Mac by up to 8%, or just over 1GB on some systems in version 89 of the browser.

Tab Throttling, which acts on pages that are not currently active, is also said to have led to significant improvements by reducing JavaScript Timer wake-ups. Background tabs no longer wake up the CPU as often and preserve battery life, and as a result, Chrome uses up to 5x less CPU, while battery life is up to 1.25 hours better, says Google.

According to the developers, since its introduction in Chrome 87 and wider rollout in Chrome 88, the feature has been responsible for a 65% improvement on Chrome's Apple Energy Impact score for pages in the background.

The highlighted improvements are in stark contrast to recently reported independent measurements which claimed to demonstrate that Google Chrome uses 10x more RAM than Safari on macOS Big Sur.

The interpretation of those measurements has since been contested, but separately Apple still claims that Safari on ‌macOS Big Sur‌ is "50% faster on average at loading frequently visited websites than Chrome." Apple also says Safari can stream video for up to one and a half hours longer, and can keep users browsing normally on a single charge for up to one hour longer, compared to Chrome and Firefox.

Google Chrome for Mac is a free download available directly from Google's servers. Google Chrome for iOS is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tags: Google, Chrome

Top Rated Comments

trifero Avatar
20 months ago
I really can´t understand why a mac user install this piece of ****.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolajami Avatar
20 months ago
This 8% improvement is amazing! Means that instead of hogging 100% of your CPU/Memory will hog only 92%.
Way to go Chrome #not.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
crevalic Avatar
20 months ago
Wow, Macrumors.

Still perpetuating the completely debunked "safari uses 10% of RAM" finding from a single test by a guy who didn't understand how to correctly check for memory use?
Even misquoting by saying it was "tests" not a single false report that was completely disproven and should have been removed from this website? And then daring to call the findings "contested". They are not contested, they are false

Disgusting and embarrassing.

You are perpetuating misinformation.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
20 months ago

According to a new post on Google's Chromium blog, Chrome developers recently managed to shrink the memory footprint of background tabs on Mac by up to 8%, or just over 1GB on some systems in version 89 of the browser.
Alternative headline: "Google Touts Chrome 89 Now More Efficient At Spying On And Monitoring You While Browsing"
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mazz0 Avatar
20 months ago

The highlighted improvements are in stark contrast to recent independent tests ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/02/20/chrome-safari-ram-test/') which claimed to demonstrate that Google Chrome uses 10x more RAM than Safari on macOS Big Sur.

While the independent measurements have been contested ('https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26179817')
I don't think your little concession to that claim being "contested" is sufficient there. The report was disregarding almost all of Safari's memory footprint (that was handled by processes not named Safari). That doesn't make it just somewhat questionable, it makes it complete bollocks.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schranke Avatar
20 months ago
A little sad that they need to emphasis that its now able to save memory space. should have been lightweight all along.

Will stick to safari as my daily browser and Firefox as my 2nd option. No amount of work put into this by google will change that by now, and I also trust apple a little more in regards to privacy so...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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