I have heard that each tab in a Google chrome is a separate process. So if any tab crashed it won't be affected to the whole browser. So if you open so many tabs there will be as many processes in the OS.
Is this a performance issue?
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I've used Chrome as main browser on one of my PCs. I've never experienced performance problems . Actually the mechanism keeps the single tabs very responsive because one "bad" site doesn't affect the other tabs.
BTW: also Internet Explorer 8 implemented the same mechanism and future versions of Firefox will do the same.
Edit: Here is an interesting blog post written by Scott Hanselman: Microsoft IE8 and Google Chrome - Processes are the New Threads
In the fallowing scenario:
When you return to Chrome, you will feel each tab recovering from swap slowdown. In other applications you will be delayed only once.
You could call it a performance issue, but it's only a side-effect of the different process architecture.
Don't get me wrong, I still prefer this over Firefox's (non) performance with many opened tabs and low memory, and it can be avoided if you have enough memory.
Not at all. Even though processes on Windows are more expensive to create than on UNIX-based systems, It is not nearly slow enough be called an issue.
You can get a quick view of how the multiple processes can be used to keep the browser stable from here
Yes, it is a performance issue since each process would technically get it's own time-slice. A single-process browser would get just one slice where a multi-process browser can get a slice per process. Thus the browser is a bit faster and responds better, but your system in general will be a bit slower. (Unless you only have one tab open.) Internet Explorer 8 also uses multiple processes. Since many people use their browser quite a lot, it's a good thing to improve the performance of your browser, even though it might slow down other processes...
This technique is actually quite common on Unix systems, where a multi-threaded application would often just translate to an application that would just start a second process to run the separate thread in.
Performance-wise, using multiple processes instead of threads will make your system more reliable since a crash of one process won't kill the other ones. Furthermore, a special "guardian" process could keep track of the other processes and take actions when one of the processes seems to be stuck on something. It could even kill and restart the thread, if need be. But speed-wise, it tends to depend on the number of other processes that you have running. In general, you will have between 40 and 75 processes active on a clean Windows system. (Assume 40 for now.) If you open Chrome with 20 tab pages, processing time would then be divided over 60 processes instead of 41. This does slow down the other processes a bit. (But does give you a better browser experience.)
NOT AT ALL!
Just after booting my laptop on Windows 7 (with no applications running), there are 74 processes running and CPU is only yawning...
Don't worry about number of processes. Current machines will run hundreds of processes and won't even blink.
Yes... It will. But according to the capabilities of the modern computers the advantage you get from this (Capability of handeling each web page independantly, ex : In a failure) is bigger than the memory issue. Note that the modern computers have giga bytes of memory.
P.S The google comic book addresses this issue as well. Have look.