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Windows 7: Chrome - Multiple Processes

13 Apr 2010   #1
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
Chrome - Multiple Processes

I just downloaded Chrome to test it out again. I had it when it first came out, but I didn't like it much then. Anyway, I just checked my task manager to see what the difference was between firefox (120k w/ a bunch of tabs) and chrome. What I found was interesting... Multiple chrome processes all between 10 and 30k.

My Question: Is this normal?

Chrome - Multiple Processes-chrometweak.png

In total, with three tabs open Chrome had: ~119k in processes, thats not much of an improvement over Firefox :/

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Yep each tab has its own process and in newer dev builds even each addon has its own process. The idea is that if a tab or an addon crashes, it wont bring down the whole browser. I regularly have about 20 processes open from chrome and therefore dont much like the idea. Ive been looking for a way to disable it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #3
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

People were talking about how much of a memory hog firefox is, Chrome actually uses 30% more memory on my system. That's with identical tabs open and more add-ons in firefox than chrome.

It may have to do with the fact that I have Aero off which tunes firefox's need for skin memory down and chrome has its own special skin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Apr 2010   #4


I believe each extension you have on counts as another process as well. I'm not currently on my main computer, on this laptop I have 2 process of chrome.exe One is the Browser and one of the tab.

I've noticed on my desktop the many processes of chrome.exe and I have multiple extensions there.

You can hit Shift+Escape to see how many processes chrome says are running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #5

Linux (Debian, Android)

Yep each extension, tab, and plugin runs in its own process. This "process isolation" is better for security and stability and Internet Explorer 8 does this as well. Soon Firefox and Safari will implement this too. There is more memory overhead per process, but all memory is freed when a tab (process) is closed. Overall it results in less memory bloat because of less fragmentation. If you run Firefox for a long time you can see the memory usage grow and grow. I never see this with Chrome.

This method makes sense when you run web applications in separate tabs. You don't want a security vulnerability, a memory leak, a hang, or a crash in one application to disrupt the other tabs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Yeah it seems that chrome uses a bit of memory. But if you have 2 gigs of ram (like me) it doesn't really matter at all if chrome is using 120 000 kb of memory.

Attached Images
Chrome - Multiple Processes-untitled.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 32 bit

I have 3 extensions so I guess that explains why bringing up about:blank shows 4 processes. I have one PC with 2 GB and one with 8 GB. So far it runs pretty snappy on both without bogging other stuff afaict. The way it's set up I think I'd only end up with maybe 1/2 dozen extensions tops. I'd like to be able to sync bookmarks without using google account like SyncPlaces uses my ftp account. The other major fix would be handling multiple accounts on the same site like Opera or Firefox with Secure Login can do. Other than that I'm really liking it. I'm running the latest Alpha of SRWare Iron.

The other thing that would be nice is the ability to set a limit on the disk cache.. but that should be built-in, not an extension.

Before finding this browser I had Portable Firefox loading from a Ramdisk, in addition to regular Firefox, just so it could get off the dime when my disk is busy. I removed all that Ramdisk bit. This browser snaps right up there!

I still use Firefox but I'm going to have to work out how to do the bookmark and password syncing cross browser etc.. It would be ideal if SyncPlaces was ported with the ability to service both browsers transparently.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7

Wow, flashback to 1998, when I started working desktop support for a company that used Netscape as their browser. I would say 80% of all trouble calls there were from slow/locked up systems due to Netscape launching multiple processes(and never closing them on exit). Some users by the end of a week or 2 had 50-100 Netscape.exes running....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

This isnt the same thing Desslok. In the cases your referring to, they are crashed instances. Modern Chrome compartmentalises its tabs/addons in to individual processes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #10
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

In regards to bloating... You're talking about fragmentation. Isn't this nullified when I defragment once a week?

In regards to memory usage... I'm not that worried about using more memory, especially since I have 4GB DDR3 and 6GB in Readyboost, but I figured if one was going to bloat like crazy and the other wasn't I would switch. But since the difference isn't that pronounced, I'll stick with what I know unless I find a way to make chrome look and function more like traditional explorer Windows. I don't use Aero or any of the "Glass" looks so I like my Windows to look more traditional. Chrome sort of throws this out the Window. If anyone can find a Chrome theme that looks like a Windows Classic explorer window w/out the blue bars on the top I might try it out for a while longer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Chrome - Multiple Processes

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