Locking down and speeding up Chrome

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Phasma Felis
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Locking down and speeding up Chrome

Postby Phasma Felis » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:31 am UTC

I've got a reasonably powerful PC with 6GB of RAM, and I tend to have quite a lot of tabs open at once (a couple of dozen or more). I'm getting tired of Chrome suddenly grinding to a near-complete halt for no obvious reason. Sometimes I check the Chrome task manager and find that some bloody webcomic or something has gobbled up a gig and a half of RAM for no obvious reason, sometimes there's not even that much explanation. I know it's not the number of tabs alone, because often I can restart Chrome (reloading all previous tabs) and see a sudden dramatic speedup. Either way, it sucks.

What's the best suite of Chrome extensions to give me complete control over what runs on all webpages, for both speed and privacy purposes? I'd like to be able to individually vet scripts, cookies, etc, but also have default settings that are reasonably intelligent and controls that don't make me jump through hoops. At the moment, I'm using Adblock Plus and FlashBlock. What else should I be using?

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Xanthir
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Re: Locking down and speeding up Chrome

Postby Xanthir » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:09 am UTC

Cookies have nothing to do with performance; they're small text files.

Try NoScript if you want to vet scripts running.
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Phasma Felis
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Re: Locking down and speeding up Chrome

Postby Phasma Felis » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:06 am UTC

I know cookies don't affect performance. I'm looking both speed and privacy control, as I said in the second paragraph. I will check out NoScript, thanks.

cphite
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Re: Locking down and speeding up Chrome

Postby cphite » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:49 pm UTC

Phasma Felis wrote:I've got a reasonably powerful PC with 6GB of RAM, and I tend to have quite a lot of tabs open at once (a couple of dozen or more). I'm getting tired of Chrome suddenly grinding to a near-complete halt for no obvious reason.


Actually there is an obvious reason - you have a couple of dozen tabs open; which means a couple of dozen instances of the same program fighting over the same memory.

Sometimes I check the Chrome task manager and find that some bloody webcomic or something has gobbled up a gig and a half of RAM for no obvious reason, sometimes there's not even that much explanation. I know it's not the number of tabs alone, because often I can restart Chrome (reloading all previous tabs) and see a sudden dramatic speedup. Either way, it sucks.


Because when you closed Chrome you released all that memory; and when you open it up again with all the same tabs you're opening them up fresh. The problem isn't purely the number of tabs; the problem is the number of tabs over time. A lot of those tabs are running scripts and pushing and pulling data, and that adds up over time. By closing down and starting over, you clear most of that up.

What's the best suite of Chrome extensions to give me complete control over what runs on all webpages, for both speed and privacy purposes? I'd like to be able to individually vet scripts, cookies, etc, but also have default settings that are reasonably intelligent and controls that don't make me jump through hoops. At the moment, I'm using Adblock Plus and FlashBlock. What else should I be using?


Best bet is probably NoScript.

Phasma Felis
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 3:42 am UTC

Re: Locking down and speeding up Chrome

Postby Phasma Felis » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:00 am UTC

cphite wrote:Because when you closed Chrome you released all that memory; and when you open it up again with all the same tabs you're opening them up fresh. The problem isn't purely the number of tabs; the problem is the number of tabs over time. A lot of those tabs are running scripts and pushing and pulling data, and that adds up over time. By closing down and starting over, you clear most of that up.

You're right, but I think you're restating what I already said. Obviously something in those pages is continuing to run and soaking up extra memory. IMHO, a static display page (webcomic, news article, blog) has no excuse to be doing anything but displaying once it's loaded up and finished its housekeeping; its memory footprint should be the same 30 seconds or 30 hours after load. I don't mind some discreet advertising and such, webmasters gotta pay the bills, but when they start stomping all over my RAM I don't feel like I need to respect their desires.

cphite
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Re: Locking down and speeding up Chrome

Postby cphite » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:29 pm UTC

Phasma Felis wrote:
cphite wrote:Because when you closed Chrome you released all that memory; and when you open it up again with all the same tabs you're opening them up fresh. The problem isn't purely the number of tabs; the problem is the number of tabs over time. A lot of those tabs are running scripts and pushing and pulling data, and that adds up over time. By closing down and starting over, you clear most of that up.

You're right, but I think you're restating what I already said. Obviously something in those pages is continuing to run and soaking up extra memory. IMHO, a static display page (webcomic, news article, blog) has no excuse to be doing anything but displaying once it's loaded up and finished its housekeeping; its memory footprint should be the same 30 seconds or 30 hours after load. I don't mind some discreet advertising and such, webmasters gotta pay the bills, but when they start stomping all over my RAM I don't feel like I need to respect their desires.


Next time you have Chrome open (like now, for example) press Shift-Esc and open the Chrome Task Manager - this will show you what each tab is doing. You can find the ones that are eating a bunch of resources, and... well, really your only viable options are to either stop going to those sites or live with it. I suppose you could try sending angry emails to the webmasters of each page, but chances are they'll be ignored if they're even seen by anyone.

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Jorpho
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Re: Locking down and speeding up Chrome

Postby Jorpho » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:49 am UTC

Firefox tends to grind to a halt for me too on occasion (when I have many, many, many tabs open). By far my most useful Firefox extension is Bartab, which keeps unused tabs unloaded. Chrome, apparently, has something similar in the form of Footab.

I agree that Chrome's Task Manager is very useful. I wish Firefox had one of those, but Chrome differs in that it runs tabs in many different processes – which can cause serious system stability problems when there are enough tabs. Or at least, that's the way it used to be.

Do you use OKCupid? OKCupid pages have a uniquely bothersome habit of auto-reloading on a regular basis and I have a sneaking suspicion that a bunch of OKC tabs can wreak havoc if they're kept loaded. I haven't found a way to make them stop that yet.


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