Who’s taking up too much?

Google Browser (Google Chrome) and Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 are nothing short of resource hogs compared to Firefox 3.0.1. This is the conclusion presented by researchers from the Devil Mountain Software company, who threw the three browsers one against the other on the same “arena”, a Dell OptiPlex 745 (Core 2 Duo @ 2.66GHz) with 2GB of RAM and running both Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3.

The conclusion on IE8 Beta 2 is not that flattering: “What we found was another example of unchecked Microsoft code “bloat,” complete with “shirt-bursting, waistline-stretching” memory consumption and the kind of CPU-hogging thread growth normally reserved for massively parallel server farms,” a representative from the Devil Mountain Software company stated.

But the fact of the matter is that Google Chrome, is even worse. “What we found was truly shocking: After re-executing our 10-site, multi-tab scenario across all 4 browsers, we discovered that it is Google Chrome, not Internet Explorer 8, that is the true memory consumption leader,” the Devil Mountain Software company member indicated.

In a 10-site, multi-tab browsing scenario, IE8 Beta 2 consumed no less than 332MB of RAM, with Chrome Beta also eating a lot of system memory, namely 324MB. By contrast, Internet Explorer 7 only managed to climb as high as 250MB. In this context, it appears that the new technologies, features and capabilities built into Internet Explorer 8, as well as Google Chrome, require more resources than Firefox to perform the same tasks.

“Of course, both browsers look absolutely porcine when compared to the lean, mean Firefox 3.01 (151MB peak, 104MB average working set size). And lest we forget, IE 7 continues to hover somewhere between the fit & trim Firefox and the obesity that defines Chrome/IE 8 (209MB peak, 142MB average),” the Devil Mountain Software company researcher added.

But when it comes down to CPU utilization, both Firefox 3.0.1 and Google Chrome managed to shame IE8 Beta 2, in terms of their hunger. Google Browser took no less than 45% of the processor while Firefox 3.0.1 managed a high of 42%. IE 8 Beta 2 used just 22% of the CPU under XP SP3 and 33% under Vista SP1, while IE7 took only 13% and 24% respectively.

“Both Firefox and IE 7 spawn a relatively modest number of threads (25 and 43, respectively), a fact related to their reliance on a single process instance to handle all tabbed sessions. By contrast, IE 8 spawns potentially hundreds of threads (153 in our latest test round), and spreads them out across its various instances (in our case, 6 discrete copies of iexplore.exe),” the Devil Mountain Software company member indicated, adding that, by contrast, Chrome was managing just 48 execution threads at the apex of the test scenario.

But in the end, the fact that Firefox 3.0.1 is superior, in terms of resource usage, to Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 shouldn’t come as a surprise. Both Microsoft and Google’s browsers are still in Beta development stage, albeit IE8 is in Beta 2, with the gold version expected to drop in November 2008, and considerably slower than its predecessor.

“Chrome, like IE 8, is a browser designed with tomorrow’s hardware in mind. Its use of a multi-process tabbing model – which, according to Google, helps isolate failures and protect complex web applications (like GMail or Google Docs) – means that it will always use more memory than Firefox, IE 7 and similar, single-process browsers. How such model will hold up under heavy use, especially on today’s hardware, remains to be seen,” reads the conclusion from the Devil Mountain Software company.

[Via: Softpedia News]