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Why does Chrome perform better than anything else?

Ok, i’m not trying to start the holy browserwars here. I’ve just been really unhappy with most browsers for months and wanted to get some input from you guys.

I’ll try to keep this as focused as possible. So

  1. I don’t care for resource usage. I know the web takes RAM. My work machine has 16G of it and all Browsers i tried got the same hardware.
  2. I use tabs, deal with it. I tend to have around 10-30 tabs open. What’s the use of a tabbed browser if the only way it performs great is to not use that feature?
  3. Some site i use Are rather resource intensive. Nagios, Grafana, etc. They all use scripts to display huge amounts of data. Nothing i can do about it.
  4. I do use some Extensions. Lastpass, uBlock, PrivacyBadger, HTTPS Everywhere. Again, it’s a feature i need to use on any browser. Not using extensions is not a solution to those Problems.

The latest Problems where with this very site. I’ve been using Firefox for some time now and was rather happy, but scrolling performance has always been mediocre. The more Tabs are open, the worse it gets. Same for the Chromium Based Edge. Both came to a point where using them for half a day without restart would mean starting to scroll in a thread here would have half a second delay and then be jumpy and not at all smooth.

The same happens on various other sites. It’s just not smooth at all in any Browser. Other than chrome.
I don’t really want to use chrome. It has it’s downsides. But really, when it comes to the simple task of displaying a website and scrolling up and down, it just works like i expect it too.

So, why do even Chromium based Browsers like Edge, Vivaldi or Brave or even chromium itself suffer from really big performance Problems, when chrome doesn’t? I’m starting to see why the average user prefers it over any other option. Again, i’d be fine with my Browser using 8G of Ram to do it’s work. It’s one of two primary software tools i use to do my work. It can have all the resources it wants.

Is there any Browser i havent tried, or should i just suck it up and stay with chrome? I’d personally want to use Firefox, just to work against a Browser Monopoly, but in it’s current state, it’s just unusable for me. Have you had different experiences, or any about:config hacks i should try to mitigate this? Maybe set up a 8G Ramdisk for the Browser?

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So, to make this a bit “producitve” and not only a post of me rambling about bad performance
I’ve now set up a 4G Ram Disk. Firefox by default (like chrome and oh so many other applications) won’t let you choose an install location. If you look closer on the website though, there is an advanced installer for Firefox that still allows that. So, uninstall Firefox, Reinstall on the RAM disk. For now, the AppData and Profiles stay on the SSD, as i feel it’s mostly the rendering that’s the Problem, not saving sessions and such.

Keep in mind that i’m running older DDR3 Ram, so my 4G Disk gets about 3GB/s Reads and 4G/s writes. So those speeds are close to what a modern NVMe drive would get. My Laptops a few years old though, so no NVMe.

On first try it seems to be quick and fluid now. But this could also be because of a new Installation on a frsh drive. I’ll keep testing.

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I use Chrome on a work computer for one particular work site, and it upon first launching, it is significantly slower than other browsers, But, the machine is very old, with only 4gigs of ram(typically 1 available) a quad core core2 or something and only spinning rust.

On my own PC running Linux, it opens in less than 3 seconds, as good as any other app.

Once running on my work PC it runs okay, but I typically only have 1-2 tabs, and 3-4 windows open (again, dies to the site it runs best)

Does anyone else have a better experience launching Chrome from Rust? It really seems to take like 11-14 seconds to open, longer than any of the office apps (except Outlook, that takes a fair while to open on my old, old work PC)

I really couldn’t care less about how fast it launches. I start it in the morning and just use it all day. If it want’s to take half a minute to set itself up, i’m fine with that. But once it runs i want to have a fast and fluid website experience. proper scrolling is one of the major factors in how fast an application feels. That and the initial load time when opening a website. Not until finished, but until the first elements load.

But yes, chrome does take a bit longer to launch for me too.

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Okay, thanks.
Like I said, once running, it is fine, and pretty stable.
Unfortunately at work, ram is limited, so not all apps can run at all times :man_shrugging:

Isn’t it all due to javascript bloat and how well your system/browser can deal with it? I tend to have dozens of tabs open but I rarely have any issue because I pretty much disallow all scripts except the ones I absolutely need to run.

But then I’m not using it for work so there’s that. I don’t have to run much.

It’s too bad you couldn’t isolate your browser(s) in a VM and dynamically control how much CPU time you devote to them. Then you could control how much it’s taking up in the background and you wouldn’t need to close and reopen connections… though they might timeout anyways if they don’t have the resources. Not to mention that would take a considerable amount of memory overhead to split up your browsing into multiple VMs…

But this would only work if you want to restrict the resource usage in some way. I can’t force the Browser to use more resources that way. I’m not to concerned about the resources it uses.
In the end, my 4th gen core i5 with 4 cores might just not be enough for the modern web anymore (sad as this is).

Partially. Problem is 90% of the web is unusable without JS (sad as this is). But i come back to the point where i’d say, even js should be able to run with the proper amount of resources attached to it.

Most complaints i read about browsers are, that they use to much ram and CPU. For me, most aren’t using enough. My Browser should take as much resources as needed to run the websites as fast as it’s rendering engine allows. But most Browsers now seem to try to keep resource usage in check.

Then the problem would be that, despite the trend to separate tabs onto different threads, they prioritize background scripts to rendering the current tab? In any case it would be nice if you could just force each open window of a browser to be it’s own process instead of being spawned from the same one. Then you could get around it’s internal priorities and saturate your hardware with as many instances as it could handle. Though it’s certainly not as convenient as having tabs…

Could they have different compile arguments?

Optimizations for their own analytic scripts :stuck_out_tongue:

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From my own tests of running browsers within VMs, Chrome “sleeps” inactive tabs similar to Chromebooks while IE, Edge and Firefox typically will keep running everything(javascript, HTML5 objects, etc).

As far as Chrome vs Chromium, Google will always “tweak/optimize” certain functions and Chromium is up to anyone to do their own features and tweaks.

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To be honest, the RAM Disk experiment at work went so well for a day, that i’m now replicating that at home too. Both are still running a Sata SSD which both cap out at around 500MB/s.
DDR4 didn’t make as much of a difference as i though (4GB/s compared to 3.5 on DDR3), though i’m still running 2133.
I can see though, that a fast NVMe drive would lessen those Problems significantly.

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I have had good performance with Opera, 50+ tabs on a Kavari APU with 8 gig.
Of course I have DSL with a top download speed of 300kps so that is mt biggest prob

I did a really basic browser test at work a short while back with Chrome, FireFox, IE, and Edge. Chrome used the least amount of resources out of the three modern browsers.

Google QA is far more involved than anyone else’s. They automatically run thousands of automated integration tests against each release. That’s why even their canary releases are incredibly stable.

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Ok, one day later. Back at work. Now running 31 Tabs, with all the usual suspects and not having restarted the browser in two days. And everything is buttery smooth. Looks like all my systems from now on will be planned with an 4-8G Ram disk for this kind of stuff. The speed is really impressive and i’m surprised by how much difference it makes in actually using the application. I thought storage bottlenecks for responsiveness of Applications was gone with basic SSDs. Seems the Devs have realized that faster storage is a commodity now and start to use that fact.

Yeah, RAM drives rock. I think all modern Linux systems use RAM drives built in to some extent, too. Linux has such a small footprint that everything but /home, /usr, /etc and /var could run in a 1GB RAM drive, which if you have 32GB over makes a ton of sense.