How much memory does Propane take up for you? I noticed today
that Propane is sitting right around 50mb on my system. Compared to
the negligible amount of memory it takes up in the browser that is
quite a bit. What do you think?
trevor on 19 Dec, 2008 07:31 PM
this is a bit of a complex issue with a lot of factors
I'll just deal with open chats to start with:
I just started Propane with 1 open room and it's sitting at
about 22MB, with 11MB as 'private' (which is the critical figure
apparently - you can see that with 'top' rather than Activity
Monitor). If I start it with 3 rooms it uses 29MB, 15MB
If I quit safari and use Propane's Room Menu to "Open Room in
Web Browser" then Safari takes up 42MB with 25MB private. If I open
another 2 rooms then Safari takes up 57MB with 37MB private.
Pyro manages to take up 74MB with 53MB private before I even log
in with one room, and 3 open chats takes up 160MB with 122MB
Bear in mind that these figures are just from launch
time. When a chat has activity, the memory will begin to creep up
especially if a lot of images are pasted in.
When the guys at ENTP go on a lolcat frenzy the memory usage
does go up - and it seems to do so disproportionately. I've seen
Propane's memory jump by 2MB in response to a 250K image being
pasted - clearly webkit must work hard to render images :-)
Whenever I run side-by-side comparisons of just open
chats, running in safari (or Fluid or Pyro) Propane always starts
out consuming a lot less memory and its memory footprint grows
much more slowly. I can regularly get Safari and Fluid to
top 300MB compared to < 60MB in Propane (all running the same
I'm not bashing on Safari or Fluid here, it's understandable
because they are general purpose browsers while I've optimized for
just one site.
So... long-story-short, I'm not concerned about your report of
50MB for just open chats - it's an amount that indicates
Propane has been running a long time (days) and/or a very busy room
with lots of images. The memory footprint is unlikely to climb
(I've even seen it drop after - I guess - webkit decides that it
doesn't need to hang on to images it loaded but no longer
I haven't (yet) been able to apply the same optimizations to
things like search and transcripts.
The rooms at ENTP are crazy-busy so they're a fantastic
stress-test, here's an example:
Open a search and the memory jumps from 22/11MB to 27/15MB
(dropping to 25/13MB when you close the search window). Re-opening
search brings it back up to 27/15MB.
View a really long transcript and the memory jumps to 50/29MB
(dropping to 41/23MB when you close the transcript). Your own
results will differ depending on how many images are in the
Incidentally, viewing the same transcript in Safari results in
65/40MB from a clean start so even though I'm not proud of my
footprint I can at least say I'm doing better than Safari :-P
The good news is I have a cunning plan to address the search and
transcripts issue which will also have a pleasant side effect of
making Propane snappier when initially connecting to rooms.