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My regular computer is a tiny Samsung NC10 netbook, and the screen space is limited so I zoom out on pages I regularly visit (like this place) so to give myself the illusion of having higher resolution.

However my aging netbook isn't very fast so I'm wondering if I take a performance hit keeping so many tabs in a non-standard mode?

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+1, great question. – Moab Apr 20 '11 at 22:15

What you are likely experiencing is Chrome's high-memory usage. Chrome uses more memory in order to speed up other parts of the program, like background pages, quick rendering, etc. Zoom level is not going to affect this memory usage, and likely has a minimal performance impact.

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