Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

I hope that you will totally agree with me when I say that,

Both Firefox and Chrome are some of the renowned browsers in the industry: however, when it comes to resource or memory hogging, each of them can affect your internet experience

There are no second thoughts that Mozilla and Chrome are the leading web browsers on the many operating systems.

However, when we talk about ram management, things become a bit complicated. In general, Chrome has been known for its superior memory consumption, but now multiple tests show that Mozilla is not far behind it. For a on-sided insight about chrome; Read our fix Chrome Leakage guide.

Related: Chrome extensions for developers.

However, it will be a comparison article, so you could decide which browser to pick from in the end. So, let’s get into it!

Firefox vs chrome memory usage Tests

We will be using 8GB of ram in the DDR4 variant for the particular tests, which is more than enough for general usage. Our operating system will be Windows 10 64-bit running with an i5-3rd gen processor.

To give you additional peace of mind, we have incorporated Microsoft edge in some benchmarks, which has been competing quite well from the recent updates.

It is also worth noting that all the cache and cookies of these browsers have been cleared out, and these extensions have been up to date for genuine results.

To give you additional peace of mind, I’ve used software such as CCleaner

CCleaner

It is a utility that lets you get rid of all temps, cookies, the cache and basically any unnecessary file that gets accumulated over time in your application(browser), which ultimately slows down your computer.

So, by using it, there will be fewer chances of flaws in our results. 

image 90 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

You could see here that I’ve chosen both of these browsers and selected to delete everything, including any preferences, save passwords, internet history, cache, and compact databases.

With that aside, let’s open up the Task Manager, which will help us visualize the ram consumption.

Opening the task Manager for Chrome vs Firefox ram usage

To check the ram usage of these respective browsers, we need to open the task manager. For this, I will,

1) Click on the accessories panel near the bottom and select “Task Manager”.

image 91 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

2) Under the “Apps” section, we could see the current memory consumption of our respective browser as shown on the right side.

image 92 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

3) As we move to the performance tab and choose “Memory“, we can see the ram usage more precisely.

image 93 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

1)  One Tab Test

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The first thing is, first, let’s check out how much ram both of these browsers consume under the perspective of one tab.

Now I know that one tab might not be ideal for most internet users, but you can’t complain much for general testing.

Also, keep in mind that even under one tab, each of these browsers split itself into many mini processes, so it does generate stress on your system to some extent. So, let’s check out the actual figures.

image 95 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

As you could see, the total result of Firefox stabilized at 375MB after firing up just a single browsing tab.

At the same time, Google Chrome is not far behind at 336MB. Although when compared, it wins this round fair and square.

Now let’s analyze how Microsoft Edge compares with them at the exact configuration,

image 96 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

Honestly, it was pretty surprising to see Microsoft Edge standing out from them, but I guess these values might be majorly due to the recent updates that Edge has received over months.

2)  Five Tabs Test

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Up next are the five tabs of YouTube opened on the home screen of each of these browsing utilities.

To make these results unbiased, I’ve chosen the same videos running at the same speed.

Also, I’ve particularly selected YouTube as a testing ground for five tabs because multiple YouTube videos can lead to additional load and resource consumption, especially if you have multiple of them opened simultaneously. So, these were the results:

image 98 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

For this 5-tab test, Firefox boasts approximately 1.08GB of system’s RAM, compared to Chrome’s usage of 1.5GB of overall memory.

In contrast to last time, the difference went up a bit but not anything extraordinary or out of the box. Here Firefox beat the renowned Chrome.

These results might be slightly different for you, even at the same setup, so make sure to perform this benchmark a couple of times before drawing any conclusions. Now, let’s take con consideration Microsoft’s Chrome;

image 99 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

Again, Edge beats the hell out of them, falling just under 700MB of memory consumption. Due to its responsiveness and boosted optimization, who knows, it might be just the pick for you in the future.

3)  Ten Tabs Test

image 100 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

 Finally, I will be utilizing ten tabs as a reference point to check out the performance or consumption levels of both Mozilla and Chrome.

In this same test, the additional five tabs will be of random Reddit pages because it is found sites like Reddit can be resource-hungry on your browser.

These pages are almost identical, so realistically speaking, there will be a slight difference from the last results. So, let’s check where the Firefox vs Chrome vs edge RAM utilization stand.

image 101 - Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

For this last test, Firefox manages to take around 1.9GB of the system’s random-access memory, while Chrome stands up at 1.9GB. If you look at this result alone, you will conclude that they are almost identical, and you might not be wrong.

The fact is that Firefox is functional at almost similar if not more significant system resources than Chrome. Let’s, counter this assessment by checking on Edge:

- Firefox vs Chrome memory usage; Which Browser Should You Choose In 2021

Well, as we can visualize, Microsoft Edge again didn’t disappoint us, averaging below 1GB, which is quite fascinating in contrast to the given load. All in all, if you’re searching for Firefox vs chrome memory usage, you shouldn’t underestimate Edge in your assessment.

Conclusion

Google chrome is renowned as a resource hog browser, and it indeed uses a decent amount of the system’s memory. Mozilla claims that its newer Firefox Quantum utilizes 30% less ram than Chrome, but it is noticeable that their claim is prone to skepticism to some extent. Firefox operates on the same amount or, in some cases, more memory than Chrome itself.

In contrast to that, both browsers are pretty much the same in terms of additional features.  Both have dozens of installable extensions in their respective web stores as well as an easy to understand interface. From password managers to ad blockers and themes, you won’t find any difference in using either.

So, in conclusion, both of them will give you a decent browsing experience as long as you’re not centric about memory consumption. Sure, ram consumption can lead to slowing down your system, but it is what it is. But if you are still unsure about your decision, then choosing a new browser altogether can be a lifesaver.

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FAQ’s

Q1, Which browser is ideal for old systems?

If you’re currently managing an older build with little to non-performance specs, i.e., RAM, then the best option for you is to go for browsers like Opera. It is light, efficient and can get you desired results without the cost of heavy-duty resource consumption.

Q2, What is the major drawback of Chrome?

Lack of customizability is a significant drawback for chrome users. Unlike Mozilla Firefox, you can’t tailor it according to your preferences. Additionally, its Google sync isn’t as compatible as we saw in the case of competitors.

Q3, How can I make my Firefox run faster?

One of the best ways to enhance your Mozilla Firefox’s functionality is by disabling unnecessary plugins and clearing unwanted browsing data such as cookies, cache and preferences. 

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