September 5, 2015 weblog
Chrome 45 is no memory hog and quickens browsing
Chrome can now load faster and use up less memory.
"As the web evolves and sites take advantage of increasing capabilities, Chrome's performance—how fast pages load, how smooth scrolling is, how much memory is consumed, and how long your battery lasts—becomes even more important," said Ryan Schoen, Product Manager and Performance Promoter Schoen, in a blog that talks about Chrome's latest release.
The Chrome emphasis is on speed and lower memory usage with version 45—it is said to result in a browser that is faster and more efficient. In other words, it works better.
Google highlighted speed and memory but tech sites singled out the memory improvements as the standout feature.
Frederic Lardinois in TechCrunch said the real updates were in how Chrome now manages memory. "One of the most talked about issues regarding Google Chrome is its memory consumption," also said Tim Schiesser, TechSpot, "with the popular browser often taking more than its fair share of RAM just to display a few webpages." Schiesser said with version 45, Google was "finally attempting to rectify this issue."
"Starting with this update" said Lardinois in TechCrunch, "the browser will recognize when your computer is running low on resources when it's restoring tabs and then stops restoring them until you actively click to restore them yourself."
Schiesser referred to "a new garbage collection system that attempts to clean up unused memory in idle tabs."
Lardinois said, Chrome will notice if you are not using a tab for a while or a website is not busy with another task; it uses that time to free up unused memory. "Google says its tests have shown that this can cut memory usage by 10 percent on average"
Schiesser said, "This new system reduces RAM usage by around 10 percent on average, but Google saw even greater reductions (up to 25 percent) in complex web apps such as Gmail."
Schoen's blog included a sped-up video to show that after being idle for a short time, Chrome 45 frees up nearly a quarter of the memory it was using for Gmail, an improvement compared to Chrome 43 .
According to the Google blog, "Now, Chrome is smarter about restoring your tabs more efficiently. Tabs are restored from most to least recently viewed, so you get to see the most important tabs faster. And Chrome will now detect if your computer is running low on resources and stop restoring the rest of your tabs to save you precious memory. You can always click to restore them if you'd like to access them later."
Then there's that change involving Flash: "Chrome will now also start automatically pausing Flash videos that it thinks aren't "central" to a website. For this, Google's tests have shown that turning on this setting can make your battery last up to 15 percent longer, so Google will now turn this feature on for all users by default in the coming weeks."
Interestingly, a comment from a TechSpot reader JC713 said, "Switched from Chrome to Safari (Chrome user since day 1) because of the RAM and battery issues. Switching back to Chrome today because it seems like they are actually trying to fix it!"
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