It’s conventional wisdom that Google’s Chrome web browser is often the culprit when your computer slows down.
Chrome is often known as a “memory hog,” as it seems to always consume a big chunk of your computer’s RAM. That can often lead to a pretty noticeable performance drop, even on high-end powerhouse PCs.
A quick RAM recap: It’s your computer’s short-term memory, where it keeps tabs on apps that you’re using. In Chrome, more more open tabs and extensions means more RAM usage, which in turn means a hit to performance.
As recently as November 2017, Mozilla has emerged as a beacon of hope for web users, with a claim that its latest version of the Firefox web browser uses 30% less RAM than Chrome, at least on Windows. In theory, that means Firefox users should be able to run 30% more open tabs and extensions than Chrome before their computers slow down.
However, from my experience on both a Mac and Windows 10 machine, Firefox actually uses more RAM than Chrome, meaning it takes fewer tabs and windows before it starts digging into your performance. Mozilla says that it all comes down to your computer and your configuration.
“The dominant factors that are going to get different results have very much to do with whether it’s Windows vs Mac. Certainly, we perform a lot better on Windows. And certainly hardware characteristics and that certain thing all comes into play to affect the outcome,” Firefox Product Manager Peter Dolanjski, tells Business Insider.
To be fair, this might not be the case for everyone, so it’s worth checking for yourself to see whether Firefox or Chrome uses up more RAM for your daily workflow.
Here’s a semi-scientific method to see if Chrome or Firefox has higher performance on your machine, on both Mac and Windows 10:
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