Google Chrome is widely considered to be the best performing web browser today, and this largely seems to hold true when you have a decent machine at hand. I wouldn’t be wrong if I said that most people prefer Google Chrome over any other browser, because if we take a look at browser statistics from W3Schools, we can see that Google Chrome just touched the 50% usage mark as of February 2013. This goes on to show that half the world’s desktop internet users are now using Chrome. But far be it from me to stir up a whole new debate on what is the best browser, I would instead like to talk about a critical problem most Chrome users like me might have faced – that of a high RAM consumption. Is there any solution to this problem?
Indeed there is! Chrome might be faster than other browsers, but by far, it is the most memory-intensive. While latest systems have no problem with that, old PCs with a limited RAM capacity have difficulty running it smoothly. So if you’re running an old machine and want to use Chrome without all the sluggish-ness, or maybe you’d just like to preserve your RAM for another program on your PC, I’d strongly recommend you read this post through to the end.
The solution actually comes from an unlikely source – additional extensions. Add-ons and extensions tend to hog down memory even more. Not these though. These couple of extensions are designed to improve your Chrome’s performance. If you don’t believe in me, just give the following extensions a try!
The Great Suspender
Now I know the title sounds cheesy, but it’s not a bad extension at all! The Great Suspender suspends some of your tabs to free up some RAM. When you click on them again, they are reloaded into the RAM. Handy? Yes. Slow? Unfortunately. But not as much as you’d think. You can white-list domains you don’t want to be suspended, such as the ones you use most frequently, for example, social networks, email applications, reader applications, and so on.
You can either suspend all tabs except for your active one, or you can set a period of inactivity after which the inactive tabs will be automatically suspended. There’s also an option to un-suspend tabs based on your preferences.
So is it any good? As it turns out, quite. Here, I am sharing a simple test of my own. I opened up 20 tabs in Chrome, and notices the memory usage (with the resource monitor on my Windows PC). It gave me a reading of 3.5 GB (total usage out of 8 GB). After suspending all tabs, the reading was 2.6 GB – a ballpark difference of 900 MB. The following picture contains two screenshots. They were taken a few seconds apart, with the left one showing readings before, and the right one showing readings after the suspension. Notice the fall in the memory graph which depicts the event when the suspension took place. By the way, memory usage with Chrome closed was 1.9 GB.
Now this Chrome may be a little more substantial if you’re looking to keeping things organized. It helps you create tab bundles, save them, and share them. At its core, OneTab simply bundles your tabs together, and closes them when not needed. It then pretty effectively manages your closed tabs so that you can open them in no time at all! There’s no rocket-science involved – just some fancy grouping.
You would no doubt be interested to know how much RAM OneTab can reduce? Well, here are the tests again with an initial memory usage of 1.9 GB.
As you can see, OneTab saved more than 1.3 GB of RAM space, which is a lot by any standards.
What do you think?
I’d really recommend you to go ahead and try out these two extensions for your own. And if you have any better ones in mind, please feel free to share them with us. And of course, if you have questions, shoot them our way! We’d be glad to help. Cheers