The amount of RAM usage plays a major role in browser performance. Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are the top browsers used on Windows 10. On a desktop or laptop, we browse many sites.
More the number of tabs, more will be the amount of RAM usage. To make the files open faster, computers store important information in short-term memory called RAM. Only the essential data is stored in it.
Hard-Disk and RAM are the important bits in browser tabs working efficiently. If we want to save any web pages on a hard-disk, then the new type of drives like SSD play a role in faster performance.
Browsers open quickly when you have an SSD kind of disk.
But when you open 30 to 60 tabs at once, it will be a resource hog on the other applications and apps. This will slow down the program usage. For example, if you are using 40 tabs and Adobe Photoshop with 8GB of RAM, the system may still perform poorly.
The way to find out the best browser in Windows 10 that uses less RAM is testing them with the same number of tabs and sites. In this Tomsguide test, the RAM performance was put to test for Chrome, Firefox and Edge.
Test Case Scenario
All the programs were initially closed. Then 10 common tabs with sites like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, YouTube etc were opened on all the 3 browsers. Then the amount of RAM taken by each browser was calculated.
In the second test 20 tabs and 60 tabs in the third test were done. Finally, 2 instances per 20 tabs a piece were tested to see the effect of the same site performing twice.
The following are the RAM usage results.
In the first 3 cases, Microsoft Edge used the least amount of RAM.
Firefox was using the highest amount of RAM.
Though Google Chrome was expected to be a resource hog, it took the middle route.
In the first case, 79MB of RAM memory was the difference between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
The second test with 20 tabs, shows a difference of 200MB between Edge and Firefox.
The final test with 60 tabs was the most critical test.
In this test too, Microsoft Edge came out to be the winner.
The nearest browser (Chrome) was using more than 800MB.
My Self Case-Study
In order to cross-check the results of the above scenario, I tried to do a small test on my computer configuration.
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz 71 °C
Wolfdale 45nm Technology
8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 533MHz (7-7-7-20)
Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. G41MT-S2P (Socket 775) 64 °C
LG IPS FULLHD (1920×1080@60Hz)
1024MB NVIDIA GeForce 210 (ASUStek Computer Inc) 56 °C
223GB Western Digital WDC WDS240G2G0A-00JH30 ATA Device (SATA (SSD)) 43 °C
111GB Western Digital WDC WDS120G2G0A-00JH30 ATA Device (SATA (SSD)) 45 °C
74GB Seagate ST380211AS ATA Device (SATA ) 44 °C
I closed all the programs on my Windows 10 computer. Some of the background apps were still working. Then I opened Microsoft Excel, NotePad++ and Task Manager. This was to check if other programs usage has any influence on the RAM performance of the best browsers in Windows 10.
- Google Chrome – 88.0.4324.150
- Mozilla Firefox – 85.0.2 (64bit)
- Microsoft Edge – 88.0.705.68 (64bit)
Initially I opened 12 tabs in Google Chrome. I closed the browser. Then I restarted it. I checked the RAM usage in Task Manager, after the CPU % came to a stand still and there was stability in memory value.
There were also some extensions and apps like AdBlock Plus, Evernote Web Clipper, CSS Viewer that were installed on this browser. Similarly Microsoft Edge and Firefox had some of the extensions and add-ons installed.
The same 12 sites or tabs were opened in Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox to test the efficiency of these browsers in RAM usage. I initially opened the same tabs in these browsers and then closed them and restarted them.
One interesting fact I observed was when I restarted Microsoft Edge, it was opening the tabs in sleeping mode. This is a new feature in this browser. So I expected that it would give better results compared to other browsers.
In my findings I found that Mozilla Firefox was using the least amount of RAM of 335MB. The maximum amount of RAM was used by Microsoft Edge with 858MB. Google Chrome was in the middle with 704MB.
I also observed that Firefox was opening the tabs more quickly and sites loaded super-responsive compared to other browsers. Sometimes, Chrome tabs or sites were hanging up and slowing down things.
Microsoft Edge was the slowest to regain the tabs that were in sleeping mode. This was in contrast to the above findings.
Though there can be several reasons for this, it is interesting to find that Mozilla Firefox came out as the best browser in Windows 10 when it comes to usage of RAM.
The best theory is the computer configuration and the type of extensions, add-ons play a major role in determining the best performing browser of Windows 10.