IE8 demands more memory than Windows XP

by Dhiram Shah

Microsoft’s latest browser Internet Explorer is a memory hog it gobbles more than double the system memory of its main rival Firefox, 52% more memory than its predecessor IE7 and uses almost three times as may threads. In a test involving IE8 Beta 2, IE7 and Firefox 3.0.1 10 rich media sites were opened in each on a machine running Vista with 2 GB RAM. In the end IE8 sucked up 380MB of memory, IE7 260MB and Firefox accounted for 159MB. You would be surprised to know that when Windows XP starts it takes 130 – 150MB, then start IE8 and suddenly you would be looking at a larger memory print than Windows XP. Its not all brickbats for IE8 as it did score high than its peers when it came to CPU utilization. On average, Firefox consumed 33% of the CPU’s time under XP, and 48% under Vista. Meanwhile, IE8 Beta 2 took 22% of the CPU in XP, 33% under Vista. IE7 was the least aggressive at utilizing the processor: its averages were 13% and 24% under XP and Vista, respectively.

“If a multi-threaded application is designed well, and runs on a heavily parallel system, like a multi-core machine with four or eight [processor] cores, you can get additional performance. My guess is that Microsoft is targeting IE8 at the next generation of hardware.”

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