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Memory/Resource Load Opera vs Chrome running extensions

  • Both are Chromium based browsers, but I am unclear if Opera is architected in a way that is less of a resource hog than Chrome, whether in having 20+ tabs open, or when using 10-30 extensions or so.

    I am not a programmer so if I have asked this question imperfectly, what I am trying to find out is whether I should expect the same performance hits with Opera desktop browser as I have with Chrome when using 20-30 extensions installed, or if Opera is built differently in such a way as to be less resource intensive?

    I want to know this because I have long used Chrome as my primary browser (with lots of extensions) and Opera as my secondary browser (with just 3-5 core extensions).

    Certain specific websites I must use work better on Opera than Chrome. Recently though I ran into major problems with Chrome that I have not been able to thoroughly troubleshoot the actual cause/causes-- most notably connectivity interruptions when working in Google Docs. The same docs open in Opera did not experience these long lags and interruptions that would be up to 30 seconds, making use of Chrome no longer viable for me as my primary browser.

    I do not know, however, if perhaps the source of my Chrome problems is the fact that I use a variety of extensions that really help my daily workflow. So I began an experiment to use Opera as my primary browser — and began to install those same extensions I was using with Chrome now with Opera.

    Some things can be illusory and my initial impressions were that the same overall workload of running Opera + all those extensions was better/faster/ no lag vs the same running Chrome.

    But having experienced some lag today using Opera with those extensions makes me wonder if it is actually 6 of 1, half-dozen of another, whereby regardless of which chromium browser I use, the extensions are going to weigh down the performance similarly if not equally.

    Thus I am asking so I can rule in/ rule out whether generally speaking I can expect a better performance overall with Opera vs Chrome in these use cases, or if at the end of the day, they behave and perform pretty much equally when it comes to using lots of extensions?

    Thank you

  • Opera and Chrome should be almost exactly the same in performance and resource used. Opera might even use a tiny bit more resources because its features that it adds to Chromium are done via component extensions. They can use processes and resources etc. So, you'll actually have more extensions running in Opera than in Chrome when you have the same amount of user-installed extension.

    When it comes to playing video, Opera can be different for certain codecs as it relies on the Windows Media Foundation instead of ffmpeg. That could be better or worse depending, but generally shouldn't be that much different.

    Opera has a battery feature in settings. I'm not exactly sure how that works, but if it's enabled, that might make Opera slower.

    Opera might be compiled with different optimization flags compared to what Google uses for Chrome. Could make Opera a little better or worse. In general, there shouldn't be much of a difference.

    There are a few Chromium extension APIs that Opera doesn't support. In some cases, an extension from the Chrome store might work a little different (more functionality) in Chrome compared to in Opera. There might be slight performance differences because of that. But, they should be small in those cases.

    Also, you need to look at chrome://version in Chrome and opera://about in Opera to see what versions of Chromium they're using. If they're using different major versions, that can be like comparing apples to oranges. One version of Chromium might have a performance issue that's fixed in another.

    So, in short, there really shouldn't be much difference between Chromium browsers unless there's a bug in one of them that causes a performance problem.

    When you're comparing though, you can try Chrome Beta and Chrome Canary and Opera Beta and Opera Developer for fun.

    Vivaldi (another Chromium-based browser) might be a little slower than other Chromium-based browser because of how it does its web-based user interface.

  • @burnout426 said in Memory/Resource Load Opera vs Chrome running extensions:

    you need to look at chrome://version in Chrome and opera://about in Opera to see what versions of Chromium they're using. If they're using different major versions, that can be like comparing apples to oranges. One version of Chromium might have a performance issue that's fixed in another.

    Thank you, very helpful—

    (1) In their current states, this is what I found by using the flags you suggested. But I'm not clear on how to tell the chromium build they're based on, can you pls clarify?

    Chrome:
    Google Chrome: 84.0.4147.105 (Official Build) (64-bit)
    Revision a6b12dfad6663f13a7e16e9a42a6a4975374096b-refs/branch-heads/4147@{#943}
    OS: macOS Version 10.13.6 (Build 17G12034)

    Opera:
    Version: 71.0.3770.148
    Opera is up to date
    System:Mac OS X 10.13.6 64-bit
    Browser identification
    Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_13_6) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.102 Safari/537.36 OPR/71.0.3770.148

    =======

    (2) Based on your explanation of additional load in using Chrome Extensions in Opera, my takeaway is that perhaps I need to re-optimize my specific criteria for when to use each of the two browsers. Does this make sense to you?

    (A) Since the biggest problems I've been having with Chrome are connectivity stability problems when using Google Docs, with no such problems when using Opera, then maybe that would be kind of a standalone use case: For Google Docs, use Opera.

    (B) By far the largest group of Extensions I use are specifically for Youtube, to compensate for all of the annoyances in usability (from blocking end-title cards, to channel and topic blockers, to subscription organizers to playback speed controls & more), thus creating standalone use case #2: For Youtube, use Chrome.

    (C) There are a few finicky websites where form-entry or live-video call is handled better on Opera, with problems on Chrome: For problems-on-Chrome-sites, use Opera.

    =======

    (3) The other huge factor for me that gives the nod to Chrome as my primary browser, relegating Opera as my "Exceptions" browser: is cross-device Sync:

    Chrome Sync maintains Extensions across both my Mac computers. Opera Sync does not include Extensions. And because I am a heavy user of hierarchical Bookmark Folders, subfolders, etc, it is far too hard to maintain sync across 2 browsers. It just creates endless manual work.

    (4) Theme Usability: Switching back to Chrome as my primary browser will also now solve the frustration I've had with Opera's severe limitations of just their own Light or Dark theme, vs Chrome's many Theme add-ons that help with readability and usability.

    (5) The last factor is that I'm an Android user and there I have long used Opera vs Chrome, for too many reasons to cite here. And my hope had been that by using Opera as my Primary Desktop browser, I would gain the advantage of Syncing Desktop & Mobile Browsers. But thank you for your explanation about resources/performance. I now conclude that I have to continue with the patch-quilt use cases for which browsers to use when.

    Now I Know ! Which itself is very helpful vs the constant state of trial and error and not knowing which sucks time & frustration out of life. And since I have ADHD, that is a resource drain on my brain's RAM limitations. Thanks for noting Vivaldi as "not a better choice" in the extensions performance realm.

    Only last question would be: And what about Brave Browser? So many people rave about that as a "better Chromium browser", but I'm guessing based on your answers about Opera that this is just another set of tradeoffs with no overall gain.

  • @quicksite 85.0.4183.102 for Opera and 84.0.4147.105 for Chrome.

  • @quicksite said in Memory/Resource Load Opera vs Chrome running extensions:

    Based on your explanation of additional load in using Chrome Extensions in Opera, my takeaway is that perhaps I need to re-optimize my specific criteria for when to use each of the two browsers. Does this make sense to you?

    I would just figure out why Chrome is having a problem, sort it out, and use only Chrome.

    I'd test a new profile in Chrome to see if the problem with Google Docs happens there too or not. If not, then you know it's probably something broken with your normal Chrome profile. You might also try disabling extensions one by one to see what one (if any) is causing the problem with Google Docs. Good docs for example should work great with Chrome. You could goto chrome://flags and reset all your flags too.

  • @burnout426 said in Memory/Resource Load Opera vs Chrome running extensions:

    @quicksite said in Memory/Resource Load Opera vs Chrome running extensions:

    Based on your explanation of additional load in using Chrome Extensions in Opera, my takeaway is that perhaps I need to re-optimize my specific criteria for when to use each of the two browsers. Does this make sense to you?

    I would just figure out why Chrome is having a problem, sort it out, and use only Chrome.

    I'd test a new profile in Chrome to see if the problem with Google Docs happens there too or not. If not, then you know it's probably something broken with your normal Chrome profile. You might also try disabling extensions one by one to see what one (if any) is causing the problem with Google Docs. Good docs for example should work great with Chrome. You could goto chrome://flags and reset all your flags too.

    All excellent advice and thank you! I agree, it seems very unlikely that Chrome would be performing poorly with GDOCS... No shortcuts when comes to troubleshooting extensions... As for a new profile, this is where I get confused. I understand that a new profile would be for testing/ruleout with Gdocs, but what are the steps to creating a new profile, importing bookmarks and passwords etc, then making that new profile the one that is synced across devices? I can & will google this, but if you can put me into ballpark, would be great. Last month I reset Chrome and reimported bookmarks I'd prior exported to local computer. What confuses me is the relationship between my primary Google Account & email address (where I pay for Google Drive storage), and my Chrome Browser profile.

    I'd just as soon create a new profile to begin anew if it will be tied to my primary Google Account and I can import bookmarks & passwords. Then I'll be even more scrutinous in one by one adding extensions, paring down to reduce ruleouts.

    Last point -- I initially suspected my ISP about the connectivity problems, and after the usual modem resets, I did have them come out and the Comcast tech told me she found problems at the networking box outside of my building. But their ticketing system was not capable of notifying me when or if they corrected that. It has been my assumption (perhaps wrong) that this matter was resolved and thus ruled out. And this was a reason why when I saw no Google Docs connectivity disruptions on Opera I made the leap that "Opera was a better choice for me". Your super helpful replies on this thread are really appreciated!

  • @quicksite said in Memory/Resource Load Opera vs Chrome running extensions:

    what are the steps to creating a new profile

    On the right-side of the address bar in Chrome is an icon with a picture of a person. Click it, choose "add", give it a name, and create it. You can then use that icon to switch to that profile. Or, close Chrome and use the desktop shortcut that's created for that profile. Test with that profile, but don't import or sync anything. See how things work there.

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