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Chrome on Windows 10 will now use a lot less memory, says Google

Chrome 89 should be noticeably faster on Windows 10 and uses fewer resources on macOS and Android.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google claims the just-released Chrome version 89 brings "significant memory savings" to Windows 10 users, better memory handling on macOS, and a faster experience on Android. 

On Windows 10, Google claims Chrome is achieving up to 22% memory savings in the browser process, 8% in the renderer, and 3% in the GPU thanks to Chrome's memory allocator, PartitionAlloc. 

Google also optimized the way Chrome uses and discards memory in the foregrounded tab. This means Chrome can reclaim up to 100MiB per tab by discarding memory from the foreground tab not currently being used. For example, large images that have been scrolled off screen. 

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

For macOS, Chrome has a smaller memory footprint in background tabs. Google claims it's seeing 8% memory savings on macOS, which can be as large as 1GiB. 

Chrome can now also keep a Mac cooler via its tab throttling feature, or JavaScript timing throttling that came with Chrome 87. Tab throttling gives more resources to tabs in use by taking away resources from tabs backgrounded for lengthy periods. 

Google says it's seeing up to a 65% improvement on the Apple Energy Impact score in the macOS Activity Monitor for background tabs.   

The latest version of Chrome for Android also brings a 5% improvement in memory usage, 7.5% faster startup times, and up to 2% faster page loads. These results depend on the specific Android device. 

Additionally, for the latest Android devices running at least Android Q and with at least 8GB of RAM, Chrome is now a 64-bit binary. Chrome on these smartphones should see 8.5% faster page loading and 28% smoother experience when scrolling and with input latency.

Finally, Chrome on Android includes a new feature called Freeze-Dried Tabs, which helps its start up 13% faster. The features saves a light version of tabs that are are similar in size to a screen shot while still allowing scrolling, zooming and tapping on links.

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