Home Technology Chrome now uses 10-13% more memory thanks to Spectre fixes

Chrome now uses 10-13% more memory thanks to Spectre fixes

1 min read


Over the years, Chrome has become an incredibly hungry browser, eating up as much as RAM as it can. Once one of the leanest browsers, it’s become one that gobbles up everything it can. It’s a lot like me in that regard. Anyway, it’s now become worse.

Google has confirmed that the latest version of the browser now includes browser-side site isolation fixes to mitigate the Spectre vulnerability inherent in most modern CPUs. Expect the browser to use up 10-13 per cent more RAM.

“Site Isolation is a significant change to Chrome’s behavior under the hood, but it generally shouldn’t cause visible changes,” Google’s Charlie Reis explains. “Site Isolation does cause Chrome to create more renderer processes, which comes with performance tradeoffs: There is about a 10-13 percent total memory overhead in real workloads due to the larger number of processes. Our team continues to work hard to optimize this behavior to keep Chrome both fast and secure.”

It makes some big changes under the hood that’ll protect users from Spectre and Meltdown (and very probably other attacks). It’s on by default in Chrome 67, so users on PC and Mac are going to have to deal with a little extra RAM consumption for now.

“Site Isolation is a large change to Chrome’s architecture,” Reis says. “In Chrome 67 … even if a Spectre attack were to occur in a malicious web page, data from other websites would generally not be loaded into the same process, and so there would be much less data available to the attacker. This significantly reduces the threat posed by Spectre.”

It won’t be forever though. Intel has promised that future processors won’t have the vulnerability, while software providers like Google and Microsoft continue to distribute more efficient patches for the attacks.

Last Updated: July 13, 2018


  1. Gavin Mannion

    July 13, 2018 at 08:23

    I’m using chrome.. it’s using over 1Gb of RAM right now. I really should change browsers

    [update] it’s up to 3.2Gb now. I’ve not done anything really


    • Geoffrey Tim

      July 13, 2018 at 08:31

      I just checked..and my chrome is using 4.5GB of RAM. That’s fucking ludicrous.


      • Pariah

        July 13, 2018 at 08:58



    • Ir0nseraph

      July 13, 2018 at 08:33

      I am running around 2GB, but have plenty to spare so I am good for now.
      I won’t complain if they tweak it to preform better though.


    • Yondaime

      July 13, 2018 at 10:10

      Fuck me…it’s like i’m playing a small game over here


  2. Kromas

    July 13, 2018 at 08:56

    And here I am still using Firefox happily.


    • Tbone187

      July 13, 2018 at 09:11

      Gotta manage Firefox though. I find default settings don’t provide optimised performance.


  3. Pariah

    July 13, 2018 at 08:59

    Seriously. How are you all using so much RAM? I’m using 140mb at the moment and I have all the tabs I need. Twitch, Spotify, mail, various news pages and the local/dev sites I’m working on.


    • Original Heretic

      July 13, 2018 at 09:04

      Which browser you using? My Chrome is also eating a crapload. Time to hop over to something else, methinks.


      • Pariah

        July 13, 2018 at 09:16

        Chrome. It’s the only thing I use.


  4. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    July 13, 2018 at 10:20

    I have tried Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers, but still have memory issues. I think this laptop is useless.


  5. Magoo

    July 13, 2018 at 10:51

    Yeah it’s now called Google Steel.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Tech start-up Mighty is offering high-performance browsing for $30 a month

A tech start-up believes people are willing to pay a lot of money to surf the web in a way…