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Browser memory usage problem/site optimization

10 September 2002
I've noticed (via Chrome's built-in task manager) that Prime tends to accumulate a lot of memory usage as I browse the site, and does not release any of it until I close the tab (as well as any open child tabs) or kill it. If I do not do that, my computer slows down to a crawl as physical RAM is exhausted and it's forced to swap pages in and out of disk.

Other sites that I frequent do not seem to exhibit this problem, and I wonder if anything can be done to prevent this from occurring. For example, can we get rid of any unnecessary elements from loading, such as the "Bookmarks" bar at the bottom of each page? Do people actually use them to submit threads to digg, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Google, Facebook, MySpace, MyYahoo, and Reddit? My guess is no, or extremely rarely, and experienced users of those sites should know how to share items without having to resort to those links. I also noticed my browser waiting for something from skype to respond while refreshing a page, and I wonder what else is being loaded that no one ever uses.

I don't know if this is applicable, but here's something I found from vBulletin about optimizing plugin memory usage: https://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/main/optimizing_plugin_memory

If you wish to replicate this problem for yourself and aren't already using Chrome, you can download the portable version of Chrome and use it to browse Prime for a day. You will notice that the site is extremely fast at first, but as you browse back and forth between threads throughout the day (without killing the tab or closing the browser), the Chrome task manager will show increasingly growing memory usage. And once you've exhausted your available system RAM, your system will get bogged down and become sluggish.
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Here's an example of what I'm talking about. You can see that my Chrome tab for Prime is taking nearly 1GB of memory after a few hours of surfing. I have to close or kill the relevant tabs in order to reclaim the memory.



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Hi Lud, thanks for responding. I am running some extensions on my home computer, but I'm not running any on my work Windows 7 PC, which is where I took the screenshot from. I'll keep digging and see if I can find anything else that might indicate what the source of the memory leak may be.
Extension memory usage is not reported as part of the tab that the site is running in.

PHOEN$X, how much RAM does your system have? The mere fact that Chrome is letting the tab take up that much RAM means you have the RAM to spare. Almost everything it's putting into memory is cache, and cache is the first thing to get purged when another application demands more RAM.

I would suspect the culprit of any bloat is an excessive amount of JavaScript related to any advertising and analytics. I use AdBlock in Chrome and don't see the a tab with Prime using any more than 150MB.
I have 4GB of ram on each of the 4 different machines that I use regularly (work PC, work laptop, home desktop, personal laptop) and various flavors of Windows (XP Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate & Enterprise). If the cache was getting purged, I probably wouldn't care but I can tell stuff is swapping to disk when my system slows down to crawl.

I've tried AdBlock and it makes no difference. I can't be the only Chrome user to experience this issue? :confused:
I would suspect the culprit of any bloat is an excessive amount of JavaScript related to any advertising and analytics. I use AdBlock in Chrome and don't see the a tab with Prime using any more than 150MB.

That's a reasonable theory, but testing doesn't seem to bear it out in this case. I tested on a machine with the same core setup PHOEN$X described (Win7, 4gb RAM), using Chrome with NO script or ad blockers running. I opened a bunch of tabs and loaded various parts of the site. And even with nothing blocked, no tab for this site is using more than 150MB, same as you with adblock running, so the memory overhead from ads and analytics seems to be pretty negligible. I left some of the tabs open for days in case there was a memory leak in some java or something.

I'd say it's much more likely a Flash memory problem since Flash seems to suck like that, but I couldn't get any tabs with Flash-based ads to do it either, though obviously ads are different for each person on each page load so maybe there is a buggy ad I'm just not seeing.