Safari on Windows is not really memory efficient

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 8, 2008
Updated • Dec 9, 2012

That's at least what Sam Allen discovered who used a software that he programmed to record memory usage of processes in Windows. He tested Safari 3.1 along with Firefox 3, Opera 9.5, Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 and Flock and discovered a huge gap between Safari and the other four browsers.

His application recorded the memory usage of the browser every three seconds over a period of three hours each and the graphs show clearly that there does not seem to be an end to Safari's memory hunger. In the end Safari was using more than 630 Megabytes of RAM compared to 111 Megabytes for Firefox 3, 191 Megabytes for Flock, 190 Megabytes for Opera and 194 Megabytes for Internet Explorer 8.

The conclusion of the author is that "Safari on Windows shows extremely poor memory management [..] certainly a design that looks inefficient and seems to contradict Apple's marketing". Firefox 3 on the other hand seems to have memory efficiency written all over its face.

Update: When you open the home of the Safari web browser on Apple's website you will notice that the latest version is not offered for the Windows operating system. It is not clear if Safari for Windows has been discontinued, or if Apple is just preparing a release after the new version has been released for Apple Macintosh systems.

The Apple website hosts no official download link for Safari 6 which means that Windows users do not have any option to download the version of the browser to their system to install it on it. Apple Mac users on the other hand get a version of Safari with their operating system that they can update natively to the latest version.


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  1. Visoot said on March 27, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Running memory optimiser available with almost any utilities software alongside Safari solves the problem.

  2. Rob said on August 10, 2008 at 6:22 am

    There’s no doubt that Safari (v3.1.2 and v4 dev) sucks up the memory. With normal usage, I’ve seen Safari eat up as much as 1 GB or more of memory. Firefox, with the same windows/tabs open, uses but a fraction of that. Using memory is fine… However, Safari doesn’t give it back when it’s done with it!

    When you close tabs or windows in Firefox, it releases (at least some of) the memory it was using for that page. Safari, however, tends to hold on to it for some cryptic reason that only Stanton Friedman is aware of.

    I’m still a big fan of the Safari browser. It’s very fast, streaming media works MUCH better on Safari than Firefox, the GUI is simplistic yet functional… But until the memory issues get fixed and more plugins are available (for the Windows platform), Firefox isn’t going anywhere.

  3. michael said on July 15, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Naah that is not correct (on my machine anyway). I’ve been using opera since v2 and recently started using safari too. I’m using both now. Can’t decide which I like the most… :)

    Anyway. With one tab Safari uses ~74000K and Opera 63000K. With two tabs both have approx 80000K. Three tabs, safari 93000K and opera 90000K. and so forth. Thus safari uses a little bit more but not much.


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