Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Memory taken by a WebPage in a Tab in Web Browsers


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Google Chrome web browser has a very interesting and useful feature that is “built-in” to the browser. It actually has a “Task Manager” on its own to compare the memory usage between active browsers such as IE, Firefox and Opera. Not only that, the best part is that it can tell you how much memory has been taken on a particular process and tab! Let’s say I open techrecipe.co.cc and tech-recipe.co.cc website, the memory statistics page can tell me how much memory techrecipe.co.cc has taken and also how much memory tech-recipe.co.cchas taken.

There are two ways to access Google Chrome’s built-in Task Manager. The first way is to right click on an open Google Chrome on taskbar, and select Task Manager.

The second way is to simultaneously press Shift+Esc keys while Google Chrome is open.

If you think that the information given is not enough, and would like to see more a more detailed memory usage, you can click the “Stats for nerds” link located at the bottom of Google Chrome’s Task Manager. A new page will open showing you the a more detailed memory and virtual memory usages. You can actually access the page by typing about:memory at the URL bar and hit enter. Below are the explanation of what you see in the memory statistics page.

Private: Resident memory size that is not shared with any other process. This is the best indicator of browser memory resource usage.
Share: Resident memory size that is currently shared with 2 or more processes. Note: For browsers using multiple processes, if we simply added the shared memory of each individual process, this valud would be inflated. Therefore, this value is computed as an approximate value for shared memory in each of the browser’s processes. Note also that shared memory varies depending on what other processes are running on the system, and may be difficult to measure reproducibly.
Total: The sum of the private + shared resident memory sizes.

Virtual Memory
Private: The resident and paged bytes commited for use by only this process.
Mapped: Total bytes allocated by this process that are mapped into the view of a section, backed by either system pagefile or file system. This primarily memory-mapped files.

While playing around with Google Chrome’s Task Manager, I found that the browser able to handle the memory usage extremely well. Try switching between all opened tabs a few times and you’ll see a drop on the memory usage for each process. The maximum drop of memory usage I’ve seen for my site is from 10756KB to 1764KB. Now I am wondering when will Firefox improve its memory usage handling like Firefox and also come up with a process/tab task manager?

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Hi, I am Hua, a chinese expat residing in India excited about windows, linux and all things tech

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