Google still plans to fix Chrome’s biggest problem on Windows 10

Windows 10 memory usage

Google has been trying to reduce memory usage of Chrome on
Windows 10 and Chrome 87 was recently shipped with performance
upgrade.

Unfortunately, Chrome still eats up a lot of RAM, but Google
now claims that it’s working on another very useful change that
should reduce memory usage and hopefully end its reputation as
a RAM-hogging browser.

Chrome engineers are working on ‘PartitionAlloc FastMalloc’ to
keep the worst-case active memory usage less than 10% for
certain processes. In other words, Google will get better at
RAM management and caching to improve the overall performance
of the browser.

Google was originally planning to use
Windows 10’s new feature called ‘SegmentHeap’, which is a
modern heap implementation with memory improvements to reduce
app’s overall RAM usage.

Microsoft claimed that it observed a substantial 27% reduction
in memory usage of Chromium-based Edge after using Segment Heap
and Google also confirmed that it’s willing to adopt it for
Chrome.

Chrome memory usage

It now seems like Google has completely given up on
‘SegmentHeap’ feature because Microsoft is unable to offer
“control over heap types”. Without control over heap types in
Windows 10, Google says
it’s not able to enable the segment heap for just some
processes or just some heaps or both.

Segment Heap is also causing “performance regression” in
CPU-intensive processes, and Google has abandoned the project.

As we mentioned above, Google is now planning to use a new
function called PartitionAlloc FastMalloc instead of Segment
heap.

This feature is basically a memory allocator to improve the
browser’s security and performance at the same time.

Google will improve the browser cache by enabling dedicated
partitions. When PartitionAlloc is enabled, the number of
operations in Chrome will be optimized and it’s also designed
to be extremely fast when allocating resources.

According to a commit,
Google has already enabled this feature in Chrome Canary and it
could be released to users next year.

In a Github post,
Microsoft noted that they’re also making improvements to
Segment Heap to address performance concerns. These
improvements will benefit all browsers and Microsoft will
backport the improved version of Segment Heap to older versions
of Windows 10 via monthly cumulative updates.

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