Memory Usage of Browsers visiting Google

Measured in MB. Lower is better.
  1 tab 5 tabs 10 tabs 20 tabs
Polarity 5.2 11 30 45.8
Internet Explorer 72 180 300 646
Google Chrome 120 240 360 404
Firefox 317 359 391 410

All browsers were tested without any third party plugins, extensions, and apps installed.

Device: Hp Pavillion g7-1033cl

Operating System: Windows 7 (64 bit)

Processor: Intel Core i3-380M


So why less RAM?

Polarity specializes in being the most efficient browser so it fits seemlessly into your workflow without intrusions. Polarity is a project dedicated to be a solution to the high memory usage of other browsers as cited in many different sources.

Better for lower end and smaller hardware.

With smaller devices shipped with less memory, users are generally less inclined utilize it for intensive work but rather just simply browse the web. The browser probably becomes the most accessed application on the entire system as the users depend more on the web for content. However, even a simple web browser has evolved into a massive conglomerate of tools overtime with the addition of new features and standards.

Browsers that are not optimized to lower RAM consumption easily allows the browser to consume a large portion of memory just by opening a few tabs. This causes the RAM limit to be hit more easily which would slow down the machine. At that point, the OS attempts to reallocate the memory with the excess data that it needs to hold. As a result, the PageFile is then used to store any memory that RAM could not hold. This decreases the speed of the computer since data stored on a file needs to be read/written as part of IO operations. Since the disk speed (especially on HDD's) is much slow than RAM, the machine tends to slow down. The CPU also has to do more work to manage the memory which increases power and CPU consumption. When the device begins the warm, fans may kick in drawing more power. This may not apply for desktops or even higher end laptops, but this is issue still exists for those who do not have more advanced hardware.

Not all used RAM is good RAM.

In principle, the more memory that an application for operation, the better the performance of the application. However, not all used memory may actually be put into good use. There may be a portion of that memory that may be the result in dead storage where it will not be accessed again or from memory leaks which may increase during the program's operation. This starves other processes running in the background that could use the additional resources and could slow down performance on lower end machines.