Chrome now uses more RAM because of Spectre security fixes

Google has revealed this week that its fixes for the Spectre CPU vulnerabilities have caused its Chrome browser to use more memory. In a blog post, spotted by Thurrott, Google details its new Site Isolation feature for the latest Chrome 67 release. It’s a feature, now enabled by default, that’s used to protect against the Spectre side-channel attacks that use the speculative execution features of most processors to access parts of memory that should be restricted. Unfortunately, it has also increased Chrome RAM usage as a result.

“Site Isolation does cause Chrome to create more renderer processes, which comes with performance tradeoffs,” admits Google software engineer Charlie Reis. “There is about a 10-13 percent total memory overhead…

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