When it comes to memory usage, Chrome doesn’t take it easy. Chrome’s memory usage on Windows has even become a theme for memes. A new Windows 10 feature might improve the situation significantly, according to a new report.
Segment heap – a Windows 10 feature
Segment heap is a new Windows 10 feature that helps developers reduce the memory usage of their applications. According to Microsoft developer documentation:
“Segment heap is a modern heap implementation that will generally reduce your overall memory usage. This element is supported in Windows 10, version 2004 (build 19041) and later.”
Already available on Edge
Microsoft has already included this feature in Edge. This will help reduce Edge’s memory usage on Windows computers. According to the official blog post announcing this feature, Edge will have up to 27% reduction in memory usage:
“With the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft Edge has leveraged the Windows segment heap memory improvements now available for Win32 applications to manage memory more efficiently. Early internal testing results of devices on the May 2020 Update are showing a memory usage reduction of up to 27% when browsing with Microsoft Edge. Individual device performance will vary based upon configuration and usage, but the lower memory usage is expected to create a better experience.”
Coming to Google Chrome
“Adding a SegmentHeap entry to the chrome.exe manifest will tell recent-enough versions of Windows (20-04 and beyond) to opt chrome.exe into using the segment heap instead of the legacy heap. Details are in the bug but it appears that the default Windows heap is tuned for server workloads where throughput is what matters most, and Chromium (especially due to its multi-process architecture) also has to care about memory footprint. Experiments with per-machine opting-in to the segment heap for chrome.exe suggests that this could save hundreds of MB in the browser and Network Service utility processes, among others, on some machines. Actual results will vary widely, with the greatest savings coming on many-core machines.”
We might have to wait for a few weeks for to see this in action. However, if the Edge numbers are any indication, we will see a significant improvement in Chrome’s performance on Windows PCs very soon.
Make sure that you update Chrome to the latest version when this feature is released. Here is our guide on keeping Chrome up to date.