In the not-too-distant past, Microsoft claimed that it had found a way to fix Chrome’s infamous RAM usage in Windows 10, but if you had hoped this would make the browser less resource-hungry, we’ve got bad news, as Google has just disabled the fix.
Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, but it’s been annoying and frustrating for several years now because of the amount of RAM it uses. If you have many tabs open at once, you may notice that your machine starts to slow down – and the problem is so bad that Microsoft took it upon itself to fix the problem in the Windows 10 May 2020 update using the Segment Heap feature.
This, Microsoft claimed, would result in a 27% reduction in memory usage for its Chrome-based Edge browser, which uses the same engine as Chrome. This savings was large enough for Google to notice and use it for Chrome as well.
But it now looks like the RAM-saving fix that Microsoft came up with will be turned off by default in future versions of Chrome.
So why has Google killed such a popular fix? It seems that while Segment Heap reduced the RAM usage of Chrome, an Intel engineer discovered that it stopped causing “performance regression”
And according to a Chrome developer, “the CPU cost (10% slowdown on speedometer 2.0, 13% increase in CPU / power consumption) is too big for us too,” and so the feature will be turned off by default in Chrome 85, which will released in August.
But does that mean we have to live with Chrome eating up all the RAM? Hopefully not. First, Google has stopped using the feature at this time while running more tests and may “reconsider in the future” if there is a way to implement it without affecting the CPU too much.
Google also claims that it is working on other optimizations for Chrome 85, so we can see that Chrome’s RAM usage is dropping anyway.
Hopefully, Google will find a way to reduce Chrome’s RAM usage, as this is neither the browser’s biggest mistake, and many people get tired of it.