Goodbye Google Chrome – the Love Affair is Over

I recently purchased a new laptop. I liked the idea of a hybrid machine – keyboard end running Windows 8 and the screen either acting as a screen or an Android tablet. I bought an Asus TX201L which provided what I was looking for there. Not a bad machine except that there is only 4 Gig of memory on board. This means that I am inevitably running at 95 to 98% memory usage and one of the big hogs is Chrome. Yes, I have too many folders open but really, I am sure that the memory could be handled better.

So, I am now on the lookout for a low memory hog browser. Any recommendations?

And for the record, I would happily upgrade the memory to 8 or 16 gig but #asus don’t make the TX201L upgradeable (#fail #boo #hiss).

8 thoughts on “Goodbye Google Chrome – the Love Affair is Over

  1. Ron (@jokeyrhyme) 1 December 2014 / 11:25 am

    You actually want 100% memory usage all the time if you can help it. Any unused RAM is wasted, when there’s data on a much slower SSD or HDD that you might need soon. It’s only a real problem a very small portion of that is for caches.

    Check this out:
    So, back in January, Firefox used the least memory, but Chrome was best at reclaiming memory after tabs were closed.
    Then again, the reason Firefox is lighter on memory is that it lacks the per-tab process/thread safety mechanisms of all the other modern browsers. I personally like the fact that one tab can die in Chrome without taking them all down (although it’s still possible in any browser for the whole thing to come tumbling down).


    • Thomo the Lost 1 December 2014 / 1:18 pm

      OK I can understand that but, when memory utilisation is over 95% the PC runs like a snail on a salt lake!

      So, how does one work around that? What makes a PC run slow?


  2. zardoz 3 December 2014 / 7:40 am

    Well maybe you want 100% RAM utilization, but it’s the 100.5% that will kill you.

    As Charles Dickens wrote: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.”

    The problem is that the total RAM needed to store all the code and data for all the open programs (which includes each tab in Chrome plus Chrome background processes plus at least the operating system itself, Explorer, background services yada yada…) is bigger than the physical RAM in the PC.

    The operating system swaps bits of RAM to disk and back again so that the program that is *currently* executing is in RAM and the parked programs are on the disk. This takes a lot of time and generally involves what is known as “thrashing” since a modern PC is multitasking many programs and so is always swapping memory in and out of RAM.

    Either increase RAM or decrease the total memory footprint of all the programs you want to open at the same time; there’s no other solution.

    There do seem to be some options to tweak Chrome, including a couple of add-ons that unload tabs that are not being viewed (while keeping the actual tab symbol on the screen). Google should find these options for you. Whether they work is another question.


    • Thomo the Lost 3 December 2014 / 8:27 am

      Being lazy, i would have liked just to increase the memory available but that apparently is not an option with this PC and is about the only thing that annoys me about the Asus.


      • zardoz 3 December 2014 / 5:49 pm

        More RAM (and a 64-bit OS that can address all the extra RAM) is the simplest solution. But there are a couple of Chrome add-ons that claim to help reduce the memory footprint of inactive tabs. Google “the-great-suspender” in the chrome web store.

        I’m no browser expert but I’d expect any multi-tabbed browser to be a memory hog. There’s a lot of magic happenin’ behind the scenes of each tab these days. A lightweight browser will probably be a one-tab pony which doesn’t sound what you want.


  3. Thomo the Lost 4 December 2014 / 12:21 am

    keeping control at the moment by reducing my close tab laziness and using the favourites folder to keep track of sites I think I must spend time reading but never do. It is helping


  4. Hadrian Embalsado (@newecreator) 5 December 2014 / 1:16 am

    Why not a Chrome derivative like Maxthon? I’ve been using Maxthon and I have less problems with it. It runs along with IE when it fails to do the job.


    • Thomo the Lost 5 December 2014 / 7:10 am

      I shall give maxthon a try. I wasn’t aware of it. Thanks for the suggestion.


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