CPU Test – Safari Vs. Chrome Vs. Firefox on Mac OS X

Ok, I was thinking the other day… Why did I start using Chrome? I must have been unhappy with Safari. Then I thought some more…. I must have been unhappy with Firefox before I was unhappy with Safari. But why?

I don’t remember the exact time I switched to Safari, away from Firefox, so I don’t recall the specific reasons, but I think I was looking for a more integrated Mac experience with my iPhone browser. After using Safari for a while I started noticing that when I had a lot of tabs open, which on a normal day may mean up to 15 or 20 at a time, the performance of the browser and the CPU/Memory requirements was starting to cause me grief.

So one day I saw an article that was essentially “Why are you not using Chrome? You should be!”. So I figured I would give it a shot.

I have been using Chrome now for a couple of months, and it seems to perform well, although I have noticed a few sites that do not work with Chrome (Webex for example).

Well this morning I decided to do a very technical performance test, one that could only be done by a highly trained technician such as myself, I decided to load them all up with the same tabs content and compare them using the built-in Activity Monitor. 🙂

Here is the result:

I loaded each browser with 6 tabs and loaded the same sites on each.

Safari: Real Memory=142.55MB, CPU=.3, Threads=13

Firefox: Real Memory=99.5MB, CPU=.7, Threads=12

Chrome: Real Memory=115.36, CPU=0, Threads=16

The results are not surprising. Chrome basically sites there idle, consuming the 2nd most RAM, but consuming the least amount of CPU.

I then decided to open up 10 more tabs on each:

Safari: Real Memory=222.52MB, CPU=.4, Threads=16

Firefox: Real Memory=152.55MB, CPU=1.5, Threads=15

Chrome: Real Memory=125.34MB, CPU=0, Threads=16

The one thing that stands out here is the fact that Chrome is only consuming 10MB more of RAM, while Firefox jumped up 53MB, and Safari a whopping 80MB! And CPU on Chrome is still at 0!

Now I realize this test is probably VERY flawed, but it sort of proves to me what I kind of figured out before I did this test, that Chrome performs better than Safari or Firefox when it comes to system resources.