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I don't know enough about Ram & sharing to know what the difference is here.

Normally, I run Chrome in one desktop for personal use, and Firefox on a second desktop for business. I like the separation of saved passwords and whatnot.

However, I recently learned that I can open two different profiles in Firefox at the same time, so I was wondering if that would be cheaper to my system resources, or not? Out the door, I don't think it would save more than 40-60mb of ram... but I'm wondering, 3 hours later, if ram handling will be better using just one browser for all my heavy lifting.

I only have 2gb of ram and I run iTunes and Photoshop as well, almost all day. So I like to save ram where I can.

Any thoughts?

UPDATE: I've been centering around chrome more recently and using firefox for testing. Dev isn't bad on Chrome and it's great at releasing memory when I close tabs. In retrospect, I think the best answer to this question is simply for me to buy another 2gb of ram.

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Unused RAM is wasted RAM, remember that. –  John T Sep 14 '10 at 23:58
    
True. Though I frequently open many other programs during my work day (ftp, html, terminal, flash, video editors, encoders) that can quickly max out my ram and make my system sluggish. So I like to know that my "all day" apps consume as little of my ram as possible. –  Kayle Sep 15 '10 at 0:00
    
Why would you want to use firefox instead of chrome? :) –  micmcg Sep 15 '10 at 0:49
    
@micmcg In many tests, Firefox does better concerning memory. –  digitxp Sep 15 '10 at 1:34
    
Simple. I'm a web developer and in addition to all the little tools I have on my firefox (firebug, web dev toolbar, measureit, color picker, etc) my profile is pretty old and has a LOT of usernames and passwords I don't feel like looking up... and I have no idea how to transfer remembered passwords, if you even can. –  Kayle Sep 15 '10 at 1:35
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1 Answer

Well, you can look at this in two ways:

  1. On one hand, the extra profile is another firefox process IIRC. It'll have its own data constructs and whatnot that's also in the other process, wasting memory.

  2. On the other hand, like letting more people use the same bathroom, that memory will get corrupted and uglier faster if you have more tabs, wasting memory. It also lets you close them separately, and will be much easier to manage.

What I would do? Install Flashblock and BarTab (which are IMO the most practical way to save memory), try to trim your tabs, and maybe relaunch Firefox when you get the chance. You may also want to try to cut down on iTunes too, being an extreme memory hog. Try out Foobar2000. And concerning Photoshop, leaving the thing open all day tends to save quite a bit of time and memory because opening and closing it a billion times is a huge drag to load.

Note: I assumed you're using Windows 7 in this answer, though it does still apply to most other OSs (ie, WinXP and MacOSX).

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+1 and let me add GIMP as a great alternative for PhotoShop which doesnt eat alot of memory like Photoshop, also Firefox and Chrome and IE any browser would eat alot of memory if its kept working or idling for alot of time.. –  eslambasha Sep 15 '10 at 4:17
    
I actually use media sharing with my xbox to handle all my jukebox needs, which is really cheap for my machine, resource-wise. (less than 30mb after 3 hours of music) –  Kayle Oct 14 '10 at 21:51
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