As a test, I used Google Chrome in “Incognito Mode” (as in private browsing) which turns all extensions off, so for any web page I loaded, everything showed up. All ads, all scripts, all Flash, everything.
After that, I cleared the cache and loaded 5 popular web sites.
I wanted to see exactly how much memory certain web sites would take up when loaded “from scratch” with absolutely nothing blocked, then used Chrome’s in-built task manager to see a memory usage report.
The 5 sites I loaded were:
Here are the results:
YouTube itself really doesn’t use that much memory. What causes the site to slow to a crawl is Adobe Flash. When you start loading video after video after video, that’s when YouTube gets really slow and starts eating up memory left and right. (Note: Does this mean with a Flash blocker that YouTube runs really fast? Yes.)
Hotmail was the chunkiest of the bunch, and I totally understand why. It loads a ton of scripting to enable mail functions, loads even more scripting for chat functions and even more scripting after that for those huge sidebar ads.
Second-chunkiest was Huffington Post. While that site on the surface may appear to be simple and streamlined, the underlying code loads a large amount of scripting.
Google, while not nearly as light on its feet as it used to be, still only requires a small amount of memory to use.
MSN compared to other “portal” sites (like yahoo.com) is fairly light on its feet and loads very quickly. This actually surprised me because I thought for sure it would be a resource-intensive site, but it isn’t.
Will you have the same results?
Unlikely. How much resource any given tab Chrome uses is dependent on what extensions you have (if any), how much your anti-virus/malware/spyware suite “digs” into your browser and a bunch of other factors.
If you use Chrome, try the same sites for yourself and see what happens. You can load Chrome’s Task Manager at any time when in the browser by pressing SHIFT+ESC.
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