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Chrome Vs. IE 8

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the put-em-up dept.

The Internet 771

snydeq writes "Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 herald a new, resource-intensive era in Web browsing, one sure to shift our conception of acceptable minimum system requirements, InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy concludes in his head-to-head comparison of the recently announced multi-process, tabbed browsers. Whereas single-process browsers such as Firefox aim for lean, efficient browsing experiences, Chrome and IE 8 are all about delivering a robust platform for reliably running multiple Web apps in a tabbed format in answer to the Web's evolving needs. To do this, Chrome takes a 'purist' approach, launching multiple, discrete processes to isolate and protect each tab's contents. IE 8, on the other hand, goes hybrid, creating multiple instances of the iexplore.exe process without specifically assigning each tab to its own instance. 'Google's purist approach will ultimately prove more robust,' Kennedy argues, 'but at a cost in terms of resource consumption.' At what cost? Kennedy's comparison found Chrome 'out-bloated' IE 8, consuming an average of 267MB vs. IE 8's 211MB. This, and recent indications that IE 8 itself consumes more resources than XP, surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing."

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Chrome iPhone (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868299)

Stick Chrome with iPhone and you can run them stories to fill up a whole week.

Re:Chrome iPhone (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868471)

should be easy for google to do coz all they have to do to get that going is adapt their OS X version to the version that the iPhone uses... oh wait....

Firefox Damage Control Is More Than Enough (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868645)

Forget the iPhone.

The amount of damage control and FUD coming out of the Firefox camp is enough to fill every news and discussion board on the Net.

Mozilla has no one to blame but themselves for getting humiliated by Google and Chrome.

How many people here on Slashdot have talked about exactly what Google did with their V8 JavaScript engine and the protected memory and threading for tabs?

Only to be flamed by a Mozilla developer or fanboy?

There are too many people who seem to emotionally attached to Firefox. It's just a fucking browser. Dumping Firefox and wwitching to Chrome yesterday had that same feeling of dumping IE years ago.

The same pathetic arguments and FUD that came out of the hardcore Microsoft/IE crowd are now being mimicked by the hardcore Mozilla/Firefox fanbase and developers.

The stinking pile of crap that is the Firefox codebase isn't going to magically fix itself and bring itself up to Chrome standards. Mozilla developers had the past two years to get their shit together and they chose to play the same stupid denial and flame games they did with their atrocious memory leak problems.

Mozilla is lucky the extension API isn't finialized in Chrome with and working ad block and flashblock extension.

Chrome right now is the browser everyone has been dreaming of. Been running since the moment I downloaded it yesterday. No crashes and it feels like the first time I upgraded from a cooperatively multitasking OS to a full preemtively multitasking and memory protected OS.

Bye bye Firefox. You won't be missed. Hacking on the high quality Chrome codebase is a joy. And the Google developers are incredibly friendly and helpful.

Re:Firefox Damage Control Is More Than Enough (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868825)

Forget the IPhone. The AMount of dAmage conTROL and FUD coming out of the Firefox camp is enough to fiLl every news and discussion board on the Net.

There. You said it all there.

Re:Firefox Damage Control Is More Than Enough (2, Informative)

shanx24 (232938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868875)

Firefox's set of extensions and features are very, very important to a "Web 2.0" user for whom the Chrome is meant. As it stands today, Chrome is a bloody useless browser, and it looks butt-ugly to boot. If I wanted Webkit and its semblance of speed, I'd just get myself a Safari, no?

Re:Chrome iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868889)

I'm waiting for the time I sign on to iGoogle when there's no news but Goog news. Maybe next week?

Much more "...we have our space and we'll and we
will prove we can hype better than either party", or "Hey, we know that hurricanes are 'a comin', but we've got somethin' REALLY important to tell ya", and I'll have to go get some Firefox stock.

Resources? (0)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868303)

Where's it all going? Is it to with page complexity? In that case, I recommend ditching it wherever possible.

Re:Resources? (1)

igny (716218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868321)

Was it something we said?

Re:Resources? (5, Insightful)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868477)

Well essentially most of it is going to overhead.

In the old style multi-tabbed environments(Firefox, Opera), if one tab crashes, all tabs crash. That's fine if all you're looking at is web pages, because both of those browsers can pull you back up to where you were page wise. But in the era of AJAX and responsive web applications, just reloading the page with your previous session settings isn't enough, because it won't be the way you left it.

IE has been able to create separate process for each instance of the browser for quite some time(mostly because internet explorer and explorer used to share code and crashing one would crash the other which wasn't good), but until IE 8/Chrome it hasn't been done for tabs before.

The upshot of this is that if one of your tabs misbehaves, theoretically your other tabs ought to be fine, the downside is that it means that each tab uses significantly more resources than it would otherwise because state which would otherwise be shared amongst all tabs has to exist for each and every tab.

So basically yes, page complexity is what is causing this to be necessary, but no it's not what is creating the actual increase in resource consumption. I also agree that ditching complexity wherever possible is a good thing(flash,javascript,etc where you don't need it is just plain silly), but rich web applications are a good thing and they're here to stay.

Re:Resources? (3, Insightful)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868621)

This might sounds like blasphemy on slashdot... but there are some things that are TOO rich.

Re:Resources? (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868637)

How about this? Put flash in a separate process, and problem solved. 99.99% of all my crashes in Firefox are due to the Flash plugin for Firefox (most of them in youtube)

Re:Resources? MS not very resourceful... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868761)

I guess then that it's too bad they aren't resourceful and non-threaded enough with their site... It's been down for over an hour now:

http://slashdot.org/~davidsyes/journal/210827 [slashdot.org]

I tried to firehose the story, but i guess my post is swamped by tons of other firehose sumbmissions.

ms' site has been down since at LEAST 1815 PST. Is this normal for them?

Re:Resources? (1)

Paiev (1233954) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868765)

I'm guessing you're running Linux? Flash isn't a problem at all on Windows; I haven't had a single flash-related crash in Firefox in the past couple of years. Flash in Firefox on Fedora (whee alliteration) has caused me countless issues, though. Flash + Windows = Good, Flash + Linux = Very Bad.

Re:Resources? (1)

chubs730 (1095151) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868849)

While that has changed for the better recently, it is true that flash tends to crash more often on Linux. However, the plugin is in a separate process, as the GP was talking about, under linux. I honestly haven't had a flash related crash in at least 4 or 5 months, but when I did I would just kill npviewer.bin and firefox was happy to stay open.

Re:Resources? (1)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868779)

I second that. Firefox would be extremely stable for me if it weren't for the damned flash plugin. As I asked in a different post, why is flash able to crash the browser in the first place? Something about plugin-browser interaction must be poorly designed. Is there a reason why flash can't be a separate process?

Re:Resources? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868921)

They will. plugins and addons will have their own processes.

Re:Resources? (2, Interesting)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868831)

IE has been able to create separate process for each instance of the browser for quite some time(mostly because internet explorer and explorer used to share code and crashing one would crash the other which wasn't good)

Recall that the old versions of Mozilla even had the mail client running in the same process. And for the longest time Firefox and Thunderbird shared no DLLs. It was a bad design decision from the very beginning.

How Ironic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868325)

I just installed Chrome and am using it now.
Seems very fast.

Re:How Ironic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868395)

irony (plural ironies)

  1. A statement that, when taken in context, may actually mean the opposite of what is written literally; the use of words expressing something other than their literal intention.
  2. (colloquial) The quality or state of an event being both coincidental and contradictory in a humorous or poignant and extremely improbable way.

Re:How Ironic (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868507)

So, in other words, his comment actually conveyed the precise opposite of "irony."

How ironic.

Re:How Ironic (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868543)

Ironic indeed.

Re:How Ironic (4, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868565)

Just because something takes up more resources doesn't mean it has to be slower. Granted, something that takes less resources usually runs faster, but a good application that makes good use of RAM and CPU power can seem fast.

Re:How Ironic (5, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868651)

I don't mind that it uses a lot of RAM so much...I have plenty of that. I wish it didn't use so much CPU, though. I've been using Chrome for the past day or so, and had to stop leaving it open while I was working on other things because every so often it would bog down my CPU for no apparent reason.

Re:How Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868603)

The word you are looking for is apropos.

Of course it still would not apply because Chrome has been part of every other story on /.

While comparing browsers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868327)

IE 8 beta 2. Go to a W3C XHTML strict compliant site and watch CPU usage. Now after that, go to a regular and even more complex site like www.yahoo.com or www.aol.com . Does it use LESS CPU on non standard site?

I got MS VPC 7 on my Quad G5, it is (as you guess) horribly slow. I installed IE 8 beta 2 to it to test my sites which are all standards compliant. First of all, it claims sites have errors and second, which you may or may not notice on "Real" PC, it renders them so slow that you can actually view site line graphics being drawn!

As VPC 7 and its horrible slowness even helped a friend to pick best performing anti virus on Windows (It is Avast), I wonder if I found a evil thing which would be unnoticed on real x86.

Re:While comparing browsers... (3, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868391)

That is actually something I have used in the past- intentionally slowing things down to really see how they perform. One of the best ways under Unix/Linux is to use an Xterminal to which you restrict the bandwidth. Of course, you can get the same effect by just running the Xclient remotely through ssh from another Linux machine, across a slow connection. Then you can "see" and "feel" what might not be evident on fast LAN connections.

When working with thin clients, it is a good way to see how things might behave if you were to scale up the number of users on a centralized system.

"Thin" won't be "in" (5, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868331)

>"surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing"

Yep, an era that won't sit well for users of thin-clients, multiuser servers, older machines, and smaller mobile stuff. I think some of the ideas in Chrome are good, but I am not so sure I like the idea of ultra-fat browsers. I recently was complaining that Firefox was starting to get bloated (defeating the goal of FireFox, to be lean and mean). I don't mind different concepts, except the design of web sites will, no doubt, start demanding more and more "fatness" to work (kinda like trying to use the web without Flash).

Now I will go crawl back under my 90's rock...

Re:"Thin" won't be "in" (3, Informative)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868413)

Webkit actually works great on mobile platforms. Android and the iPhone both use it.

Re:"Thin" won't be "in" (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868461)

Yes, but that is webkit- just the rendering engine. It is not the same as Chrome, a desktop web browser. It is like taking gecko, which might be small and efficient and throwing it into the largest Mozilla possible. Still, good point (I was thinking about that when posting, but posted anyway).

Re:"Thin" won't be "in" (1)

reidconti (219106) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868573)

Thin will be in once we ditch the uselessly fat OS...

Not a bad thing. (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868341)

...surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing.

How is this a bad thing? Modern browsers are far more demanding than Mosaic, because they do more. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a more demanding browser if you need the increased requirements to add functionality... that's the point of advancing our hardware capabilities!

Next thing you know, people will be complaining that it takes more muscle to run a 360 game than it took to run an Atari game. Jeez.

Re:Not a bad thing. (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868529)

I guess it's just that some people perceive anything more than basic functionality as waste.

Re:Not a bad thing. (4, Insightful)

entrylevel (559061) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868539)

I agree. I find it suspect that people are suggesting that an application is using more resources than the operating system in which said application runs. Especially when that very application provides a framework for other applications to run.

An "operating system" should, by its very nature, not "utilize" resources in and of itself, but simply partition and apportion them. Of course, I haven't R'd any FA's for a while. Perhaps they are talking about the myriad of services and built-in applications that are bundles with Windows.

That said, I find it very disappointing (although understandable) that both of these new browsers have been released for the only operating system I do not use professionally. I look forward to one day trying both of these new browsers outside of a VM.

Re:Not a bad thing. (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868677)

An OS contains more than just a kernel. Usually it contains many daemons working. For example, on my Xubuntu OS, I have 96 programs without counting any major ones (terminal windows, browsers, apache, etc.) All of these daemons are needed to provide a modern operating system experience.

A kernel by nature should be tiny, but an OS should contain tons of functionality.

The browser is irrelevant to applications! (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868343)

Microsoft was unfazed [today.com] . "Browsers donâ(TM)t need to be integrated with online apps," said marketing developer Ian Moulster. "Certainly not like the operating system ... Iâ(TM)ll just get back to you."

Meet a Slashdotter today! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868593)

BloatWare Continues.... (5, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868345)

It's hype. By the time you ad in all of the mind-numbing widgetry, the browser becomes the ultimate in madness. It proves the old adage that when you get a really nice hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Mod me whatever, but browsers need to go on a diet so that there can be cross-platform coherency and cohesiveness for apps, whether it's on a phone, a kiosk, a notebook, an HD TV DVR display, or whatever. I want the same page to display the same way on Konqueror, Safari, IEWhatever, Chrome (please, a marketing guy needs a spanking), Opera, or whatever. Stop for a while and get it right guys.

Re:BloatWare Continues.... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868369)

That's a good goal, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice adding new features. It requires working together (which is where the difficulty will be, even if you do put new features on hold while you work on compatibility).

Re:BloatWare Continues.... (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868533)

I'm all for evolution. Interoperability has been sacrificed for the sake of tying users to platforms. Same old story, new application. Join our free dev network and we'll grow together! Instead, we grow apart. Is that progress? Are the new features worth it when we make browsers that take a semi to run? Whatever happened to stealthy tight code? Whatever happened to API sets that worked across platforms? It's all about grabbing users and corralling them to increasingly incompatible and proprietary platforms. To both Google and Microsoft: shame on you. We love the neat new stuff. But the ball-and-chain effect gets old.

OpinionWare Continues.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868819)

"Are the new features worth it when we make browsers that take a semi to run? "

Are these the same semis that run the latest games?

"Whatever happened to stealthy tight code?"

General programmers stopped doing assembly when people realized they weren't as productive as with higher level code.

"Whatever happened to API sets that worked across platforms?"

Like when I could run Mac code on an Intel platform?

"It's all about grabbing users and corralling them to increasingly incompatible and proprietary platforms. "

Did anyone tell you're cute when you're flustered? Anyway the Google code is open sourced. If that's corralling then I hate to see what your idea of free is?

Re:OpinionWare Continues.... (0, Troll)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868897)

Are these the same semis that run the latest games?

Is a browser an Xbox or an SGML viewer?

General programmers stopped doing assembly when people realized they weren't as productive as with higher level code.

200MB+??????? Yeah. Right.

Like when I could run Mac code on an Intel platform?

Virtual Mac. How about IE5 on the Mac? Where did that go?

Anyway the Google code is open sourced. If that's corralling then I hate to see what your idea of free is?

Ah, yes, open source. Like the EULA. Open source doesn't necessarily connote free. Ask any Mozilla developer.

Re:BloatWare Continues.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868549)

It's hype. By the time you ad in all of the mind-numbing widgetry, the browser becomes the ultimate in madness.

That's the problem, right there...

Re:BloatWare Continues.... (4, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868605)

THIS!

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

A good question that I think needs to be asked is this: "What information are we trying to convey?"
and "What is the best way to convey that message?"

The sole purpose of the internet is to provide a medium(s) that convey data/information. It seems to me this concept got perverted and got us into the pickle that we currently see. I remember the days when it was HARD to find information on the net, well thanks to web 2.x data is getting hard to find again.

I propose 2 new protocols for internet usage:

Advertisement.Free.Transport.Protocol
Rich.Commercial.Experience.Protocol

Lets fix the signal to noise ratio we currently endure.

Re:BloatWare Continues.... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868649)

Amen.

Welcome to 64bit (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868365)

Because your gonna need an OS that supports more than 4GB of RAM. And Vista 64 fits that bill.

Who would have thought? 8GB of RAM just to browse the web. Heh

Re:Welcome to 64bit (4, Funny)

quazee (816569) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868717)

And by running tabs in separate processes, Google sidesteps the need for a native 64-bit browser and *plugins*.
After all, 2GB per tab should be enough for everyone.

I don't get it. (5, Interesting)

xigxag (167441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868375)

Can somebody explain to me why resource limits are still an issue in Windows? I usually keep 25-40 tabs open in FF, and after it gets over the 350MB range, the whole browser starts to act flaky. Why is 211MB, 267MB, 350MB or even 500MB a problem on today's platforms with 2 to 6GB RAM standard?

Re:I don't get it. (5, Insightful)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868457)

Some of us are on older computers, thank you very much. We like slim, streamlined operations.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868769)

Okay, then don't install the new browser or open up 20 or 30 tabs, thank you very much.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868469)

It isn't. It is just a metric to help feed the trolls.

Not hard to get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868657)

A) Unless you have a 64-bit OS, you're limited in how much of that 6 GB of RAM you can actually use. I forget the exact limit, but I think you'll only be using ~3 GB of that due to various legacy hardware issues. Most people are not running 64-bit versions of Windows because most drivers aren't available or stable yet, though that may have improved since I last checked.

B) People run more than one program at a time and they can't all afford expensive new computers, nor are they geeky enough to install RAM on their own.

Re:Not hard to get... (3, Informative)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868801)

Unless you have a 64-bit OS, you're limited in how much of that 6 GB of RAM you can actually use. I forget the exact limit, but I think you'll only be using ~3 GB of that due to various legacy hardware issues

There is some lie in your truth, and some truth in your lie. Or something like that.

The upper limit on 32-bit addressing is 2^32 = 4294967296 bytes. Which is, coincidentally, exactly 4 gigabytes. Any 32-bit copy of Windows can support up to that much.

Why, then, do some computers only report 3 GB of RAM available? It's not really lost - it's just a side effect of how Windows handles memory paging. Every program running on Windows is going to be using at least some part of the Windows API, so Windows reserves a portion of RAM for its own system files and locks it. (Why would you swap system libraries used by nearly every application out to disk? Ever?)

Additionally, this RAM gobbled up by Windows is mapped to every process. 512 MB or 1 GB isn't really "missing" - in fact, it's part of the shared memory space of every process, and every process can address it as if it really did own it.

The overlapping memory pages is kinda cool, but your computer actually is using all of that RAM you installed. Discrepancies depend on your motherboard logic, exactly how Windows decides to address that "missing" memory space (I honestly don't know what Windows does sometimes), and the presence or absence of Physical Address Extension hardware. (If your motherboard supports it, the Pentiums and up actually have pins for 36-bit memory addressing, which is why you can see computers in Circuit City running 32-bit Vista and reporting 4 GB (or more) of memory. Cheaper CPUs or motherboards just won't connect the extra pins, and you won't see a "PAE Enabled" or whatever in My Computer->Properties.)

Discuss!

Re:I don't get it. (1)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868759)

There such a thing as a limit to how fast we can move information between the memory and the processor. We can only show information we know we want to show, using calculations (in the processor) on things in memory. If we have 200 MB PER PAGE, a lot of that has to be gone through for rendering/error checking/scripting/etc which means lots of swapping of things in and out of caches, hence lower performance across the board. Last I checked, doing calculations on 200 MB of memory as fast as possible takes time that doing it with 25 MB usage doesn't take.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868911)

Last I checked, doing calculations on 200 MB of memory as fast as possible takes time that doing it with 25 MB usage doesn't take.

Maybe. But blitting a 200MB bitmap to the screen will be faster and smoother than (re-)decompressing every JPEG every time the page is scrolled. IIRC, leaving uncompressed images around for performance reasons was supposedly a big part of the old Firefox back-button memory leak.

Memory versus speed is an old trade-off. It's entirely possible that wasting 175MB is just bloat, but if it draws the page faster, go for it. Memory is cheaper than ever, and most new computers seem to be coming with at least 2 GB.

I just downloaded and installed Chrome. Both it and IE7 are rendering the slashdot main page right now - chrome's processes are using about 32MB of memory, and Internet explorer 7 is using 86 MB. (And it does seem very fast.) Opening a bunch of tabs in both browsers brings their memory footprints back into line, though.

Now, I wonder why they didn't make Chrome multithreaded instead of multiprocess. Threads can share memory within a process, meaning there's far less overhead from both a scheduling standpoint and a memory standpoint. But, doing things properly on Windows would probably make it harder to port anywhere else (Linux still seems to have little love for threads, although my only tinkering with UNIX processes was on an old Solaris box.)

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868855)

because browsers weren't designed to be used like operating systems.
However every time you visit a new page with some javascript you're running a whole bunch of programs.

This means that every time you run firefox with all those tabs you're running about a gazillion programs.
If they leave even a tiny bit of state in an odd way it'll potentially effect all subsequent programs.

That's why separate processes per tab (and domain) are a big deal and are going to be super robust in spite of the large resource consumption

As far as speed goes (1)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868441)

As far as speed goes, it's not even close. Chrome has JavaScript VM that leaves IE in the dust.

Re:As far as speed goes (1)

Dannybolabo (980836) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868895)

Did you read that press release all by yourself? Let's wait for some solid testing before we judge eh?

Newer doesn't necessarily = better

chrome runs great on old machines (2, Interesting)

Kz (4332) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868445)

i'm trying it in the only windows machines i have at home: a 700Mhz P3 laptop with 256MB RAM and XP SP2. it's slightly faster than FF3, and a lot better than FF2 on this machine.

maybe on bigger machines it will use lots of RAM, but on limited machines its really good

Re:chrome runs great on old machines (3, Insightful)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868569)

How many tabs were you using on those machines? It's probably more that it uses less RAM than firefox with a smaller number of tabs. I would expect that it would be worse than firefox on a low RAM system with larger numbers of tabs.

Perhaps the best way to compare the two browsers would be to make a graph of memory consumption by number of tabs (assuming each tab contains comparable web pages).

I noticed that Opera was much better memory-wise than firefox with low numbers of tabs, but with higher numbers it ceased to have much advantage.

Hmmm (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868451)

As I understand it, multiple processes don't necessarily mean more bloat. If a set of processes are all running the same executables and libraries, then the code is all mapped into physical memory only once and shared between the processes.

At least under Linux, using fork() and copy-on-write paging makes multiple processes highly efficient. Maybe it's a bit tougher to do under Windows (which lacks a fork call), but it seems to me that careful coding could get close to the same results.

Re:Hmmm (3, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868865)

You are correct. Linux, Windows, and pretty much all modern operating systems implement copy-on-write.

Tab-per-process not so good for memory? (1)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868463)

Hmm, so the process-per-tab model of Chrome results in more rather than less memory consumption. Google's cartoon claimed that memory consumption would be less overall. So is google wrong? Or did this test fail to show the advantage of this model over long browsing sessions, as google claimed there was? Or perhaps the beta is more bloated, as others suggested for IE8?

My own guess is that google was wrong.

Re:Tab-per-process not so good for memory? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868517)

The author of this article doesn't understand copy-on-write paging. Chrome isn't actually using that much memory.

Didn't measure memory correctly (5, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868493)

They measured the working set [blogspot.com] , not the private working set. One of the big reasons why Chrome's "spawn a bunch of different processes, all running the same code" strategy isn't a big deal is because Windows shares memory between copies of code when it can.

Re:Didn't measure memory correctly (2, Insightful)

SAfeR (1357151) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868697)

Mod parent up. And do a comparison for yourselves. It's not that hard.

Re:Didn't measure memory correctly (2, Insightful)

drakethegreat (832715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868755)

Is this that surprising? I mean the whole tone of the article suggests they know nothing of how things work behind the scenes. Not to mention if you have 20 tabs open the OS can still page swap with VM. This whole article screams noobs to me.

Re:Didn't measure memory correctly (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868767)

Question: Would it be possible that the memory usage that was measured for IE8 was flawed in the same way?

Re:Didn't measure memory correctly (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868891)

Threads do not have separate address spaces so they don't require fancy memory-management tricks like separate processes do.

Re:Didn't measure memory correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868867)

It's not the amount of code, it's the amount of data. Each process has its own stack, each has its own data structures, its own buffers, its own allocated system resources, etc.

But we can already crash EVERY tab at once (5, Interesting)

Cynic.AU (1205120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868511)

Simply inserting an a href linking to "evil:%" crashes chrome. ALL of chrome. While this is acceptable in a beta product, I don't buy the graceful, tab-only crashes they're promising.

We need to go in the other direction (0, Troll)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868531)

IE6 and even Firefox are already huge. I definitely plan to stick to Firefox. First of all, if it ain't broke, why break it?

...and I like Google -- and I really wanted to like Chrome, as well (after all, competition is good). But viewing the bite-size videos (how about a single overview, rather than having to keep clicking for a snippet on each feature?), I didn't see anything useful -- only a lot of integration with Google Search. Guys, I already have Google as my start page. I don't need a toolbar, custom browser, or especially any spyware^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsearch application to snoop through^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hindex my hard drive. Do no evil? Well, maybe. But their brand of "good" has rather long tentacles these days.

I guess it's this newfangled "cloud computing" thing. I'm condemning myself to the old-curmudgeon category by saying this, but they can have my local apps when they pry them from my cold dead hard drive. I'd rather build a computer from scratch [paleotechnologist.net] and write my own apps in machine code than trust "the cloud" to keep my information safe and secure.

...and you kids stay the heck off my lawn, too.

Re:We need to go in the other direction (3, Insightful)

shish (588640) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868641)

I definitely plan to stick to Firefox. First of all, if it ain't broke, why break it?

A single plugin in a single tab can take down the entire browser; I think that qualifies as broken :-/

Re:We need to go in the other direction (2, Interesting)

Burdell (228580) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868909)

A single plugin in a single tab can take down the entire browser; I think that qualifies as broken :-/

That's why I use nspluginwrapper. I run x86_64, so it is required if I want to use any i386 plugins, but it helps with the native plugins as well.

Re:We need to go in the other direction (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868695)

...any spyware^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsearch application to snoop through^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hindex my hard drive...

FFS. Couldn't you have just used ^W?

Re:We need to go in the other direction (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868743)

Kids these days. Back in my day, we not only didn't have no fancy ^W, we had to toggle in those ^Hs in binary.

(In other words, good point. Ya learn something every day. Thanks.)

Re:We need to go in the other direction (3, Interesting)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868791)

But viewing the bite-size videos (how about a single overview, rather than having to keep clicking for a snippet on each feature?), I didn't see anything useful -- only a lot of integration with Google Search.

I wish some people would just download Chrome and give it a shot instead of theorizing about why it's broken based on "bite-size videos", and then comment. There's nothing useful to *see*, really, it's a browser with a simpler UI. There's no integration with Google Search, nothing that Firefox doesn't have as well, anyway. But, it's so damn fast, very noticeably faster than Firefox, and you'd see that if you just took the time to try it.

It's also more stable by design, but that will take some time to really appreciate (or realize that it's a bogus claim).

But, speed... you see that right away.

Re:We need to go in the other direction (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868917)

In all honesty, desktop apps aren't going anywhere. The big deal with web apps is not for you, Joe Homeuser, but for the enterprise, where things like salesforce.com, Taleo, and so forth are becoming real alternatives. Having a stable, "multitasking" browser (so to speak) is very important for these emerging apps.

Standards (4, Informative)

DougofTheAbaci (1036510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868541)

Acid 3 Test, IE8: 14/100 Chrome: 78/100 Enough said. IE8 is another pathetic attempt at a good browser. As a web designer and developer I can tell you I look forward to mass acceptance of the final version of Chrome. Under no circumstances do I EVER expect to look forward to IE, any version.

Re:Standards (4, Interesting)

Phroon (820247) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868857)

WebKit itself is doing 100/100 on Acid3 [webkit.org] . One would assume that Chrome would be performing similarly as it is based on WebKit, especially when this 100/100 result was achieved in March of 2008. Is Chrome based on an older fork of WebKit? Or is something else going on here?

What Happened too.... (2, Funny)

FooMasterZero (515781) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868551)

found Chrome 'out-bloated' IE 8, consuming an average of 267MB vs. IE 8's 211MB. This, and recent indications that IE 8 itself consumes more resources than Vista, surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing."

Whatever happened to the web being called thin clients. That sounds morbidly obese

Re:What Happened too.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868631)

Whatever happened to the web being called thin clients. That sounds morbidly obese

Having only read the summery, I can assume that this isn't some computer running with 512 MB of RAM, but rather one with 2-3 GB of RAM. And really 270 MB of RAM isn't a significant % of RAM if you are using that much. Now, I could be wrong and it still uses that much with 512 MB of RAM, but really, RAM is no use just doing nothing, a browser should use it effectively.

Re:What Happened too.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868907)

Web2.0 Happened

These articles still don't answer my question (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868583)

Is there a good reason to switch from IE or firefox (currently using firefox 3.0.1). to Chrome. I use some google apps; but, for office apps I generally use openoffice. I will say that I haven't looked too close; however, I have seen nothing that makes me feel that I have to switch.

Are there any real benefits to switching today?

Firefox lean?? (1, Redundant)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868607)

Calling Firefox lean is like referring to Chris Farely as an athlete. My new new "lean" memory optimized firefox 3 consumes just about three hundred megs of memory with a handful of tabs open. It's crazy. The only reason I use it is because it's a great development platform with some kick-ass extensions, but don't think for a moment I like the fact that my freakin web browser dominates my hardware. Is there a way of decreasing this footprint? Seriously ... was the Mozilla Suite ever this bad?

The matchup: Beta vs. Beta! (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868663)

Does anyone else think that benchmarking early builds is useless? Of course they're not particularly efficient yet - premature optimization and all that. Wake me when the final builds roll around.

(Of course, that brings up another issue: What the rest of the world calls "Version 3.0", Google calls "Beta". And what the rest of the world calls "Beta", Microsoft calls "Version 3.0".)

Google Chrome HDD and CPU Usage (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868673)

Has anyone else noticed Chrome thrashing their hard drive? I find Chrome is doing a lot of reading and wrinting to my hard drive (specifically the main thread, and chrome.dll), so much so that it increases my CPU usage to 20%.

I loved Chrome, but when it started freaking out like this, I can't afford to run a browser with that.

I was planning on running Chrome for Gmail/Gcal/Gdocs, and FireFox for everything else, so I can restart FireFox with no problems at all, and because FireFox has the plugins (AdBlock and NoScript) that I need.

However, I can't do that until this issue is resolved.

Additionally, what the hell is it doing? It does several hundred MBytes or reading and writing, and I have no idea what it's doing. I'm often not even using the browser.

I'll have to get FileMon to check it and force it to happen again. See what it's actually doing.

Why can plugins crash the browser anyway? (1)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868681)

FTA:

So now, when that buggy Flash applet on your favorite humor site goes belly up, it won't necessarily take down the entire browser - the processes running in other tabs will keep chugging along.

Could someone explain to me why the flash plugin (as well as any other plugin) can crash the entire browser? Don't they run as separate processes? If not, why not? Wouldn't fixing this (however you would do that) solve the problem without creating the inefficiencies of having a process for each tab? (Granted, the process-per-tab thing does solve other problems).

Re:Why can plugins crash the browser anyway? (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868745)

Most browser's codebases, at least for historical reasons, come from times when it wasn't common practice to isolate parts of things... Part of it was performance, part of it was simply that it wasn't the culture of the time (like using the safer string handling functions in C/++), etc.

Now, as to why a newer browser wouldn't do it...beats me.

Re:Why can plugins crash the browser anyway? (1)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868815)

Though the java plugin does run as a separate process. Sure, the browser could force plugins to run as separate processes, but one could instead blame the plugin developers. In the case of flash, they could also be blamed for making a really crashy plugin (especially the linux version of the plugin, for whatever reason).

How long before the next chrome article? (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868703)

I'm guessing less than 4 hours

IE has a lot of catching up to do (1)

PassMark (967298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868707)

Chrome roundly beats IE in terms of memory resource usage. All previous versions of IE had a fairly limited Javascript engine, in terms of the allowed memory usage and limits on the size of statically declared arrays. There is another example here of how IE fails completely under high resource use [wrensoft.com] . While Chrome and Firefox were able to handle much larger data sets. Also IE is much slower in the benchmarks above. Up to 4 times slower than Chrome.

What about Shared Segment size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868719)

Does that take into account the Shared Segment size? Each Chrome instance on vista lists the SS as around 8MB,

:% crashes it (1)

FunkyRider (1128099) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868741)

Type two characters :% in Chrome's address bar and you can guarantee a bad crash...

IE8 consumes more resources than Vista? (4, Informative)

ko9 (946154) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868747)

The article mentioned in the summary states that IE8 (beta) consumes more resources than XP, not Vista. That's quite a difference I think..

about:% (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868773)

Try tying about:% into the more robust better tested chrome.

Zig... (0)

kungfoolery (1022787) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868777)

all your base are belong to the web.

Bad Summary (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868833)

from the summary: "IE 8 itself consumes more resources than Vista"... and that link goes to an article comparing IE8's footprint vs windows XP footprint...
Vista != XP. If IE8 did consume more resources than Vista that'd pretty much kill one or the other, maybe even both... because most people can't afford a computer with 8 cores and 32gb RAM

Not Accurate (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24868837)

The description of the process model isn't that accurate. In both IE8 and Chrome the renderer process is shared across multiple tab groups. If you manually create a new tab that tab will have a new rendering process associated with it. If you click on a link and it opens in a new tab it will share the rendering process of the parent page. Chrome will show you this in the Task Manager as a single process which show a list of tabs.

The implementation of the rendering processes between IE8 and Chrome are strikingly similar, so much so that I am suspicious that Google borrowed some ideas from the public betas of IE8 which had this functionality since March. Both use the same behavior for sharing rendering processes as mentioned above. Both spawn the same image as the rendering process as the hosting browser process (iexplore.exe and chrome.exe), using command line arguments to pass channel information. Both use the Job API in Win32 to assign the rendering processes to security restricted jobs. Both use an IPC mechanism built on UDP messaging to localhost for the rendering processes to communicate back to the parent process, where plenty of other IPC options exist, and considering a lot of the Chrome code is Win32-specific they could have used platform-specific IPC for performance purposes without sullying the project.

Where Chrome differs is that unlike IE8 plugins are also loaded in isolated processes. It's a neat idea in theory but I think it will be problematic in practice. The browser shares one plugin process for all uses of that plugin, which I've already seen cause bottlenecks in resources on my machine trying to view several sites with Flash content. The plugin processes also have a lot of hard coded logic to deal with the nuances of the different plugins and how they behave. For example, there is hard coded logic to deal with the UI expectations of Flash where the content is rendered in the renderer process instead of in the plugin process, whereas with QuickTime the content is rendered in the plugin process and overlaid in the rendering process. In IE8 if a plugin crashes hard the tabs that contain the failing plugin would crash, but other pages would remain open potentially displaying other content using the same plugin. In Chrome if the plugin crashes hard it does so for every page displaying content with that plugin, although all of the tabs would remain loaded showing a placeholder where the content would be.

It's standards based programming, man (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868869)

This is what U always wanted. Software based on Java standards. You don't think all that Java TV, MHP, J2ME, SNMP, Davic love was just Sun's effort. Why build a platform specific browser on a library when U can build it on 5 layers of standards.

Simple refutation (2, Insightful)

sp332 (781207) | more than 6 years ago | (#24868901)

Open Firefox. Check memory usage. Open a lot of tabs. Close them. Check memory usage.

Open Chrome. Check memory usage. Open a lot of tabs. Close them. Check memory usage.

The memory usage at first may be larger, but at the end will be a lot smaller!

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