Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world with more than 60% market share according to Statista. Safari, in turn, accounts for close to 20%, being natively present on Apple’s macOS computers and iPhone.
Both browsers allow access to the Internet, but they do it differently, especially with regard to resource management. According to a study carried out by Flotato, Chrome uses an average of 10x more RAM in a normal situation.
Google Chrome uses between 10x and 24x more RAM than Safari
The test was carried out by Morten Just after feeling that his computer was overloaded, hot and with the fan always running. That said, when closing the Chrome tabs, he found that the Mac computer was quiet again and operating normally. Assuming that the “problem” was generated by Google’s browser, he decided to run some tests.
The methodology used consisted of making a clean installation of macOS in a virtual machine, using two tabs – 2 in Chrome and 2 in Safari – as a point of comparison and measuring your resource consumption.
The operating system used was macOS Big Sur, with extensions disabled in both browsers. As for the stress and pressure test, he used a total of 54 tabs open in both browsers – Google Chrome and Safari.
2 open tabs, 10x more RAM occupied by Chrome
The first round of tests aimed at simulating banal use of browsers. To do this, he opened Twitter and then Gmail in Chrome and Safari, ascertaining the RAM memory occupation by each of the browsers, with the results presented above.
The researcher points out that Google Chrome comes to occupy 1 GB of RAM by having 2 tabs open. Meanwhile, Safari stands at 80 mb. The CPU load factor reflects the same scenario with Chrome demanding more from the machine.
With 54 tabs Google Chrome requires up to 24x more RAM
The most demanding round of testing between Google Chrome and Safari on a macOS computer consisted of 54 tabs open in both browsers. The findings point to an excessive consumption of Google’s browser, up to another 24x.
In other words, Google Chrome required up to 24x more RAM per open tab, something that, scaled by 54 tabs, represents a huge machine overhead compared to the same task performed by Safari.
In fact, in the stress test each tab opened in Chrome required 290 MB. As far as you are concerned, Safari required 12 MB.
The real impact of Chrome and Safari on macOS computers
The researcher warns that these numbers can scare the average user. Stressing that the machine’s resources are there to be used and that Google Chrome is effectively fast, it is certain that this causes a greater warming.
The real problem lies in the common use of browsers on a computer. If, by itself, there is no danger in using and abusing Chrome, the same is not true when we have several apps open in addition to Internet browsers.
Particularly demanding applications and programs such as Photoshop, Sketch, or Final Cut Pro. In these instances the accumulated use of RAM memory causes greater stress on the machine and causes an overheated computer.
On the other hand, according to the tests carried out, both Google Chrome and Safari – testing only browsers – cause a similar heating of the computer. Incidentally, in the test Safari warmed up the computer a little more than Chrome.
Finally, in his tests the researcher used a 16 “Macbook from 2019 with the Intel Core i9 processor with 32 GB to 2667 MHz DDR4 RAM and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics with 8 GB.
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