Browser tests... on AL under dwm

To satisfy my curiosity regarding browser resource use (RAM), I ran a few quick tests on my setup to see which browser(s) worked most efficiently.

Here’s what I’m running (inxi -Fxxxz):

mark@ArchLabs:~
$ inxi -Fxxxz
System:    Kernel: 5.6.4-arch1-1 x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 9.3.0 Desktop: dwm 6.2 
           dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: ArchLabs Linux 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: Dell product: Latitude E5470 v: N/A serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 9 
           serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: Dell model: N/A serial: <filter> UEFI: Dell v: 1.21.6 date: 10/02/2019 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 43.4 Wh condition: 43.4/62.0 Wh (70%) volts: 8.3/7.6 
           model: LGC-LGC4.20 DELL HK6DV type: Li-ion serial: <filter> status: Full 
           Device-1: hidpp_battery_0 model: Logitech Wireless Mouse M510 serial: <filter> 
           charge: 55% (should be ignored) rechargeable: yes status: Discharging 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5-6300U bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Skylake rev: 3 
           L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 20004 
           Speed: 700 MHz min/max: 400/3000 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 700 2: 700 3: 700 4: 700 
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] vendor: Dell driver: i915 v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:1916 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.8 driver: intel unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa 
           compositor: picom resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz 
           Message: Unable to show advanced data. Required tool glxinfo missing. 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio vendor: Dell driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:1f.3 chip ID: 8086:9d70 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.6.4-arch1-1 
Network:   Device-1: Intel Ethernet I219-LM vendor: Dell driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: f040 
           bus ID: 00:1f.6 chip ID: 8086:156f 
           IF: enp0s31f6 state: down mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter vendor: Dell 
           driver: ath10k_pci v: kernel port: f040 bus ID: 01:00.0 chip ID: 168c:003e 
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter> 
           Device-3: Qualcomm Atheros type: USB driver: btusb bus ID: 1-8:6 chip ID: 0cf3:e007 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 1008.18 GiB used: 585.21 GiB (58.0%) 
           ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: SD32G size: 30.09 GiB serial: <filter> scheme: GPT 
           ID-2: /dev/sda vendor: Crucial model: CT1050MX300SSD4 size: 978.09 GiB speed: 6.0 Gb/s 
           serial: <filter> rev: R031 scheme: GPT 
RAID:      Hardware-1: Intel 82801 Mobile SATA Controller [RAID mode] driver: ahci v: 3.0 port: f060 
           bus ID: 00:17.0 chip ID: 8086.282a rev: 21 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 57.89 GiB used: 36.35 GiB (62.8%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda5 
           ID-2: /boot size: 299.4 MiB used: 57.7 MiB (19.3%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/sda1 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 41.0 C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 0 
Info:      Processes: 181 Uptime: 1d 16h 01m Memory: 23.39 GiB used: 1.92 GiB (8.2%) Init: systemd 
           v: 245 Compilers: gcc: 9.3.0 Shell: bash v: 5.0.16 running in: sakura inxi: 3.0.38 

What I did was test the following browsers:

  • Firefox
  • chromium
  • otter
  • surf

On each test, I opened three windows (or tabs) accessing the same sites:

On each ‘standalone’ test I measured my RAM use via conky & htop. Here my results:

Baseline (no browser running):

  • conky: 1.07G
  • htop: 1.1 GB

Results with browsers accessing 3 sites (run with only 1 browser active and a clean reboot between tests).

  • Browser… conky… htop
  • Firefox:…1.66G…1.7G
  • Otter…1.83G…1.9G
  • Chromium…1.87G…1.88G
  • surf…1.5G…1.54G

For my purposes I plan to use FF. The additional functions like tabs, fvd speed dial, lastpass, lack of google connection make it the best choice (not to mention I know how to use it).

FWIW, I was shocked that otter & surf did not do much better…

1 Like

It’s not the browsers that are resource-intensive, it’s the internet itself…

5 Likes

That certainly helps to explain why the numbers are so close. Nonetheless, I see the benefits of the added functionality offered by FF to be worth the “tiny” memory cost.

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Probably one of the truest quotes of the last decade!

2 Likes

surf is tiny until you using multiple instances. When used with tabbed it create new instance for every tab and not sharing resources as FF/Chrome doing. So for multitab user it’s not worth it imho.

1 Like