Chrome’s ‘Disable Best Effort Tasks’ Reduces Memory Usage

We already know that the Chrome team is working on a “Never-slow” mode for optimized performance. Looks like there more efforts underway to improve Chrome’s performance.

“Disable Best Effort Tasks”

Never-slow mode reduces memory usage by setting limits on things like script and font size etc. This new code commit that I spotted today talks about a totally different method.

The team has identified a few tasks which they call “Best Effort Tasks”. Things like “writing user data to disk, cleaning caches, reporting metrics or updating components” are included in this list.

These tasks “will not be executed until shutdown”. I am not a developer so I might be wrong here, but my assumption is this. Instead of doing things like reporting metrics during the browsing session, Chrome will now queue them up and perform at the time of closing the browser.

Now, here is the code commit log:

Add disable-best-effort-tasks to Chrome flags

The new flag can be switched on and off on “chrome://flags”. It is
disabled by default, and if turned on, all tasks of lowest priority
“base::TaskPriority::BEST_EFFORT” will not be executed. This is
equivalent to the command line flag “–disable-best-effort-tasks”.

Now, the flag description, which gives us a better idea of how this will work:

“With this flag on, tasks of the lowest priority will not be executed until shutdown. The queue of low priority tasks can increase memory usage. Also, while it should be possible to use Chrome almost normally with this flag, it is expected that some non-visible operations such as writing user data to disk, cleaning caches, reporting metrics or updating components won’t be performed until shutdown.”

So, there you have it. Yet another effort from the Chrome team to reduce or limit memory usage so that the browser feels and works faster.

Let me know what you think!

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