Saturday, June 8, 2013

Computer slows down even with only Chrome running

I often here the following from my friends:

"My computer becomes very slow after some time but become faster after reboot even if the only thing I am doing is browse the internet."; "I only have Chrome open but after some time I get an out of memory error. Why"; or "Why does my computer slows down even if only one Chrome window is open?"

I have encuntered the same problem as well.

When Chrome was first introduced, it has been hyped that it is the fastest browser out there and there was no denying that. Many experts had tested it and most if not all agreed that it indeed was faster.

Another feature of Google Chrome that separate it from the rest, at least during that time was that every window and tab are independent from each other that when one tab/window crashed or become unresponsive and is forced to close, not all opened window or tab are closed. Great idea! Because of just these two things alone, it has become the browser of choice for individuals that surfs the internet a lot. In fact, all other major browsers are also going into this direction.

The trade-off, however, was that Chrome needs more memory to function as each window or tab acts independently from each other. In fact Google Chrome is the most resource hug browser that is out there in terms of memory allocation is concerned.

This then poses a problem, as the more pages you have open, the bigger memory is allocated just for Chrome. This is specially true to aging computers where the RAM is limited to say 1gb. A 1gb RAM today is small and can be easily consumed by Chrome alone that has about 7 pages opened as tabs (i.e. together with the essential programs on your computer). As a consequence you get a slow down of your computer and the more tabs or Chrome windows you have, the slower your computer gets.

Take this for example, with my freshly booted PC, I have a commit charge/Page File (PF) usage of 654Mb.
After restart my PC's PF usage is 654Mb.

I opened Chrome and 2 chrome.exe processes were immediately added. I opened several more pages as a different tab and after 6 tabs that opened different sites, I begin to experience a slowdown on my computer. Meanwhile my PF usage shoot up to 1.27Gb
After adding several tabs, so do too are my processes added with each
chrome.exe process using memory.

Here is what you can do, enter OneTab
Ever heard of OneTab? It is a small app (around 85Kb) that when installed shows as a small icon on Google Chome's Toolbar.

What it does is reduce your tabs into a list on a single tab. Because of this, it claims to reduce memory usage by up to 95%. Neat isn't it? Well obviously, the 95% reduction is realized once you got lots of tabs open but when you got about 2 or three tabs open, I don't think that it will reduce that much memory usage. But then again with only a couple of tabs open, things will still be manageable so there is no need for OneTab.

On the OnTab main page, there are several more functions listed such as you have control over the list, the list will not be lost if the tab was accidentally closed/has crashed.

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sager September 10, 2013 at 2:06 AM

Congratulation for the great post. Those who come to read your article will find lots of helpful and informative tips.

Acer - 15.6" TravelMate Notebook 4 GB Memory - 500 GB Hard Drive

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