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Chrome 55 uses ~30% less memory than Chrome 54

We use headless Chrome to drive our service so we were very interested in the alleged memory improvements of Chrome 55 reported 2 months ago. Weather.com was the first site to crash our service due to a 300MB memory cap we had on a Docker container.

Weather.comChrome 54Chrome 55Memory reduction
Chrome task manager~340 MB~250 MB26%
heap snapshot87 KB85 KB3%
w/uBlock heap snapshot30 KB28 KB5%
Reddit.comChrome 54Chrome 55Memory Reduction
Chrome task manager~160 MB~110 MB30%
heap snapshot11 KB9 KB19%
w/uBlock heap snapshot10 KB9 KB10%

The improvements are more apparent when looking at the Chrome task manager than the heap snapshots.

We waited at least 30s before taking a snapshot or looking at the task manager because the numbers moved up and down (mostly down). In all cases, the tab was left in the foreground. All extensions were disabled (except uBlock while testing with that).

  • MacOS, El Capitan (10.11)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014)

N.B. see the Chrome team's official memory benchmark process in their blog post for more "real world" tests. The tests used here were mere heap snapshots and task manager investigations.