FAQ: Google polishes up its new browser, Chrome

Is it a Chrome-tastic browser, or just another app?

What about its memory footprint? Is it as big a pig as IE8 Beta 2?

Bigger, according to Craig Barth of Devil Mountain Software, who just ran Chrome through the same performance test that he used Monday to name IE8 as "epically porcine."

"What we found was shocking," Barth said. "We discovered that it is Google Chrome, not Internet Explorer 8, that is the true memory consumption leader."

By his numbers, Chrome came very close to matching IE8 Beta 2 on peak memory use (324MB for Chrome, 332MB for IE8), but used more memory on average (267MB for Chrome versus 211MB for IE8).

Barth attributed the heftier memory appetite of Chrome to its multi-process tabbing model, where each tab is actually a separate iteration of the browser. "It's use of that model, which, according to Google, helps isolate failures and protect complex Web applications, [that] means that it will always use more memory than Firefox, IE 7 and similar, single-process browsers," he said.

We haven't had a chance to catch up yet with Barth for a conversation to drill into his data, but we plan to.

Where do I go for Chrome support?

Google's set up a Chrome Help Center here, but there's no support desk to phone or e-mail.

Instead, Chrome's support leans, like most of Google, toward self-help. The Center sports some online documentation, but for real problems, you should steer straight to the user-to-user forum where you can ask others questions and hope someone comes up with an answer.

No doubt, you'll want to bookmark it for future reference.

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Gregg Keizer

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