Safari, Chrome or Firefox- who's the memory hog?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rkb, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. rkb macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2010
    I saw a thread the other day that alluded that Chrome or FF were memory hogs vs Safari. I have FF on my iMac and like it fairly well, my wife really prefers it. I have not installed it on my MBA because of the comments that I read the other day. It seemed like someone also posted Chrome was almost or as bad.

    There have been some spirited threads on how to keep our Airs running at top efficiency, going both easy on the RAM and on the battery life. The general consensus amongst members is Flash with a Flash filter plugin such as ClickToFlash is a brilliant way to help battery life. If a browser is a memory hog will it also hasten the battery's discharge or just sap your RAM? Or would the user never really notice the difference unless they were tunnel visioned on their system monitor whilst surfing the web?

    cheers- R
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I've been using Chrome on my late model MacBook Pro 13, I've noticed no difference in power consumption over Safari or Firefox.
  3. NotAHater macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2010
    In my experience Chrome specifically is a terrible memory hog. Much more so than Safari. I can't speak to the Flash usage, as I don't bother to install it, but Chrome is terrible. I've had friends that keep telling me how wonderful that it is, and I see it all over at work. I've even installed and run it, and I'll never do it again...the experience was just ugly.

    What I'm really trying to wrap my mind around here is why so many people use it? What does it offer that Safari doesn't. I have yet to find a use-case where Safari was unable to provide an excellent browsing experience, and I feel very strongly that it is *THE* browser to be using when running an Apple device. I'm pretty sure that everybody here knows that Apple and Steve work to make sure that you're going to have a browser that integrates well with OSX, doesn't have all of the security holes that Chrome and Firefox and other browsers have, and sips RAM the way a well written application should. Why give up all of this to go to a memory hungry, slow, and generally poorly performing browser such as Chrome? Am I missing something?
  4. macbookpro13 macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2010
    Compared to Safari, Chrome is faster, has a better UI, updates seamlessly, has sandboxed tabs, and has access to a plethora of extensions that are super easy to install/uninstall.
  5. NotAHater macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2010
    I keep hearing its faster, I can discern no difference when using them, I think the UI is rather ugly, but to each his own. I'm not sure what sandboxed tabs are, but I'm pretty happy with tabs in Safari. I can't argue the extensions, but I'm leary of them. My experience with Firefox has been that they are the greatest cause for instability/slowness in a browser and for that reason I avoid them. Just my $0.08 (Apple Tax!)
  6. Loonytik macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    I'll have to say the same for Firefox. It outperforms Safari in my tests and I just like it better. I like the menus, customizable look, and overall use of it much more than Safari.

    Plus, I have Flashblock installed so I only see Flash content that I want to see simply by clicking on the > (play) icon.
  7. altair7 macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2004
    I second this. Chrome feels much faster than Safari for me.
  8. Jezak macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Interesting, I prefer Safari. It looks and acts more Mac like than Chrome. Chrome ships with a flash layer/plugin right? For that reason alone no thanks.
  9. eyespii macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I can't go without the chrome omnibar.
  10. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  11. Gruber macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    Same here. I keep trying to go back to Safari, but I always end up trying to google from the address field. The omnifield rocks.
  12. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Firefox works well for me - Chrome is a memory hog and somehow I just don't trust Google to protect my privacy. Firefox has all the extensions one can dream of and more. Chrome's sandboxes is what makes it so inefficient with memory.
  13. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Safari is a memory hog (leak)

    I use Chrome because I always see memory leaks with Safari. Over time, Safari slowly uses more and more memory until the system bogs down.
    Chrome does not appear to have a memory leak. I can run it for weeks without it increasing its memory footprint.
    Its possibly I have some plugin of some type for Safari causing the problem, but I've tried disabling and removing everything and the memory leaking continued.
  14. NotAHater macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2010

    I'm still a Safari man, but these points I can agree with! I really feel that Google isn't a trustworthy company.
  15. rubberwheels macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2010
    How about opera?
  16. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Opera seems like the slowest overall browser you could use plus its got its set of interface quirks. That's my experience with it.
  17. Moodikar macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    Safari is 64 bit.

    I know Safari is a 64bit program and seems like Firefox is not. Don't know what chrome is.

    So far I don't think flash or divx is 64 bit yet nor if this affects the speed and memory of the programs.

  18. potentpotable macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2010
    Wow, I feel like you're me but somewhere else in this world!! I love the little things like Google search opening in a new tab, and customizing close buttons on tabs, too much to endure Safari.

    Anyway, the only time I've ever had my graphics card crash (flicker and freeze) was when I was using Chrome. It's not stable yet.
  19. inf macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    I'm mostly using Chrome, just because the omnibar :)

    I did some tests yesterday with Safari vs Chrome. I opened the same tabs (10 tabs) to both browsers. Opened up Activity Monitor.

    Safari used like 40% of CPU power and chrome used just under 10%. Also Safari hogged memory like hell.
  20. Bernard SG macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Jul 3, 2010
    Browser won't make much difference on your power consumption. Just use the one you prefer in terms of usability and stay away from Flash (use ClickToFlash).
  21. gw1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2007
    If you need to do tests to see if it outperforms Safari then it probably doesn't make any real world difference, certainly doesn't for me.

    Completely agree about Flash - needs to be kept blocked away unless you really need it. interestingly websites are dropping it, for example the new Daily Telegraph refresh of their site.

    For my browsing activity Safari looks and works very well, for me.
  22. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    No freakin way. I use all these browsers side by side and Opera is my favorite that I rarely close unless I need to shut down or reboot. On a daily basis, I have static 16 to 20 tabs locked open and Opera uses 450mb give or take a few. Yes, it's fast and stable. Always use the latest versions, neteng101.
  23. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    In my many years of experience, FireFox is terrible, eats memory and frequently, for unapparent reasons, very CPU intensive.

    Chrome is alright, but I use Safari, mainly because I just love the Extension Youtube5 which gives me a sweet HTML5 player for flash video, with nice controls, and no commercials.
    There is a version for Chrome, based on the Safari extension, but it has less controls (no watching fullscreen), which the Safari version does have.

    Overall Chrome doesn't really feel integrated in Mac OS X, I think it has an Ugly UI.
  24. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    I find it _very beneficial_ all the way around, to always buy my new Macs with as much memory as I need, plus a little more. That way I've got the peace of mind of not having to focus on memory management, the number of apps I wish to have open, or the browser I use. I have enough for increases in resource demands in the future. Thus I ordered my MBA with 4GB, a very inexpensive upgrade for the long haul.

    I use four browsers, each for their strengths, and my personal preferences. There are too many good reasons to use more than one, and they tend to leapfrog each other in features and usefulness as time goes by. Currently my favorite order of preference is this:

    1) Chrome
    2) Firefox
    3) Safari
    4) Opera

    In terms of which uses the most memory, because I have plenty I've not checked recently. I did when upgrading to the newest version of each.

    What I _can_ give is accurate feedback, based on my personal experience. Chrome and Firefox are very close in how they perform. The speed title goes to Chrome, whereas the add-ons offered for Firefox are more plentiful.

    Chrome is catching up quickly and gets better each month. Then there's a gap, after which a good solid third is Safari, then very close behind is Opera. A browser that was a huge favorite years ago in the Mac community. Then they fell behind with lack of extension support (add-ons in FF speak) but now are soon to release version 11, which will have full extension support.

    A good friend of mine just got his MBA with only 2GB of ram, and it still runs Chrome really well, it's fast, fun and quite good.

    Cheers... :)

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