Warning: Google Chrome Browser Has Serious Memory & CPU Issues

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The test machine runs on Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4 Ghz (x2) with 2GB RAM. I tried loading single page PHP manual (16.5 MB) on Windows Vista from our local server with 100Mbps LAN connecting it. At the same time I was running the Javascript console to measure performance of page loading. I was also searching for the term cgi in the page being loaded. It takes about 2 minutes to load it in Firefox. 20 minutes later the page was still loading in Google Chrome!

The page up / page down keys were pretty unresponsive in the tab as well as the Javascript console. It appears Google Chrome parses pages as it loads the. As of the time of this writing the single tab with PHP manual has consumed 576 MB of RAM and still increasing. I could see the Javascript Console was using the same process which explains which it was hanging along with the browser tab. Read after the break for more details.

Google Chrome has potential memory leak issue and massive memory misuse problem. To load a 16.6 MB file it consumed over 600 MB of RAM and was still increasing when I decided to kill the process. It consumed 100% of one CPU (you will see near 50% in the display because it is a dual core machine) in my core 2 duo machine during the entire time. There was no network activity indicating that the page content was fully loaded by the browser. There is something seriously wrong here.

I repeated the experiment but this time without loading the Javascript Console and without searching, just plain page loading with the task manager to show resource consumption. This time it loaded the 16.5 MB page (17300829 bytes to be exact)¬† in 333,820K memory! I couldn’t drag the scrollbar to the end of the page, it simply wasn’t moving. Pressing the Page down worked with a noticiable pause. I decided to refresh the page using Ctrl-F5. This time the memory again started shooting up and stopped at 454, 188K!

The same page took less than 2 minutes to load on same hardware in Firefox and all the keys were very responsive. This is not a dummy file. This is the PHP manual which we PHP developers use on a regular basis.

Google Chrome needs to address the serious memory misuse - 454 MB to load a single 16.5 MB page! Google Chrome developers also has a potentially big memory leak issue in its hands.

Discussion

Kyle Connors
April 25, 2009: 7:56 pm

I tested Google chrome on a XAT chat room and Firefox running at the same room for a few hours. I noticed that Firefox leaks twice as much memory compared to Google chrome.

(Google Chrome has low memory footprint)

but i cant blame you for Google chromes stability issue, it might load heavy pages with serious issues. (im a webmaster myself) but Firefox is tested to be stable for a long time now and im sticking with it.


fred
March 28, 2009: 10:08 pm

yup, i left a lifehacker tab open a few days, turns out it ended up using 600mb for that tab alone, it just kept creeping up!! my system warned me about low memory or else i woudln’t have known. shockwave plugin also eats its share.

October 8, 2008: 5:25 am

So far I have been using Chrome since its release. It is nice, but the lack of features makes it hard to use. With Mozilla Firefox you have all of the extensions in place to block ads, unwanted scripts, control web site styles, get weather updates, etc, etc. Chrome is SUPER basic.

September 22, 2008: 12:15 pm

[...] doesn’t show the exact memory consumption for one and I sincerely hope that’s not because they have serious memory issues in Chrome which they want to [...]

September 9, 2008: 1:53 am

@personman
I reported through this blog :)
Google scans through the internet and I am pretty sure they are aware of the issue.

> It is still in the Beta testing phase remember.
Sure, but can you believe they haven’t tested it with large files!


personman
September 6, 2008: 9:37 pm

did you report this?! sounds serious, i’m sure they’ll want to know.

http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/entry


Will
September 6, 2008: 10:39 am

It is still in the Beta testing phase remember.

September 4, 2008: 1:51 am

[...] are saying Google Chrome has serious memory & CPU issues but we our self have to figure that [...]

September 3, 2008: 11:56 am

[...] Please read my detailed chrome browser review for more information and other features. BTW: Are you aware of the major memory issue in chrome? [...]

September 3, 2008: 11:23 am

@Marcio
Thanks for the encouragement.

@Darcy
This is great to hear confirmation from you.

> Scary virtual memory heart attacks can be had from this. :)
You said it! I was very surprised to find such massive memory issue in a browser from Google.

@Marcus
I understand increased CPU usage but how do you explain over 600MB to load a 16.5 MB page and constantly increasing as long I allowed it to go on?
I am happy to know that you too observed the same behavior.
Hopefully we will get a confirmation from Google soon.


Darcy
September 3, 2008: 9:37 am

I just tried this on a 512MB XP machine. Scary virtual memory hard attacks can be had from this. :) I closed the tab after the first 350mb of the manual-loading attempt got allocated.


Marcus
September 3, 2008: 6:37 am

If you are running the inspector, it will be heavy on memory and cpu since it is seems to check the page in real time constantly.

I noticed this behavior on several other pages when i had the inspector up and running at the same time.


lionel
September 3, 2008: 6:19 am

note: i rather like Chrome. it is still a beta. Compared to early version of firefox it fares pretty well.

it is a promising software.


lionel
September 3, 2008: 6:17 am

i tried using this url:

http://fr.php.net/distributions/manual/php_manual_en.html.gz

loading took 2 min. approx. process size was 720 Mo approx.

the browser woked ok, but side scrolling with the mouse was jinxed.

All in all, the page was loaded and the browser did not hang. but it did not handle the load gracefully.

September 3, 2008: 6:03 am

Great work!

I hope more people push Chrome to the limits and detect this flaws as early as possible. It is still in version 0.2 Beta!

September 3, 2008: 4:15 am

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