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Google says Chrome 89 keeps your Mac cooler, and saves ‘significant memory’ on Windows

Google says Chrome 89 keeps your Mac cooler, and saves ‘significant memory’ on Windows


Improvements have arrived on Windows, macOS, and Android

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Stock imagery of the Chrome logo.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google has detailed the efficiency improvements it made with Chrome 89, the latest version of its browser released earlier this month. Depending on whether you’re using the browser on Windows, macOS, or Android, Google says the browser should use less resources, launch quicker, and feel more responsive to use. There’s no mention of any improvements specifically for users on iOS.

The exact benefits vary by OS. Across platforms, Google says Chrome is able to reclaim as much as 100MiB (or over 20 percent on some sites) by using foreground tab memory more efficiently, and on macOS it’s saving up to 8 percent of its memory usage based on how it handles background tabs (something which Chrome already does on other platforms). Google says these improvements on macOS have benefited the browser’s Energy Impact score by as much as 65 percent, “keeping your Mac cooler and those fans quiet.”

Benefits vary by platform

On Windows and Android, the browser is also using a more advanced memory allocator across more areas to further reduce memory usage, and increase browser responsiveness. On Windows, Google says it’s seeing “significant memory” savings of up to 22 percent in the “browser process,” 8 percent in the renderer, 3 percent in the GPU, and that overall browser responsiveness is improved by up to 9 percent.

There are also a host of improvements specific to Android, which google says result in 5 percent less memory usage, fewer crashes, 7.5 percent faster startup, 2 percent faster page loads, and a 13 percent faster startup. High-end Android devices running on Android 10 and newer with at least 8GB of RAM should also load pages 8.5 percent faster, and be 28 percent smoother to use. 

Google has made similar promises about previous Chrome releases. For example it said Chrome 87, released at the end of last year, was “the largest gain in Chrome performance in years.” Under-the-hood performance improvements were said to improve everything from CPU usage, power efficiency, and startup times.